A debris caution significantly changed the complexion of Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400, and some of NASCAR’s biggest names aren’t happy about it.
The debris, which landed on Michigan International Speedway with 21 laps remaining, sent the race under caution. Not only was it frustrating to see 40 race cars slow down all because of debris, but it also took NASCAR officials five laps to remove the object.
Once the race resumed, all hell broke loose. Clint Bowyer hit the wall on the Lap 187 restart and, after the ensuing caution, Ryan Blaney sparked a chain events that led to Danica Patrick wrecking out and bringing out yet another caution.
After the dust settled and Kyle Larson took the checkered flag, Dale Earnhardt Jr. hopped on Periscope to share his thoughts on what happened.
“I just wish, with the stages, I don’t know why they’ve got to throw so many damn debris yellows,” Earnhardt said. “The purpose of having stages was really because the networks want more cautions, more restarts because people tune in when we have a caution. They tune in a for a restart.
“That’s the whole reason why we have the stages to try to create a little more drama, so I don’t know why we keep throwing the damn debris yellows and stuff.”
Tony Stewart, who Earnhardt soon will join in retirement, also isn’t a fan of debris cautions.
At the end of the day, cautions are meant to keep drivers safe, especially in the event NASCAR is unable to quickly identify how large or small the debris is. Still, situations like we saw Sunday aren’t fun for anyone involved, and it’s hard not to feel like NASCAR could’ve handled it better.
Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images