Executive Vice President of Competition Scott Miller explains how NASCAR gave teams a warning that the race could end early due to darkness.
LOUDON, N.H. — After Sunday‘s Foxwoods Resorts Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, NASCAR‘s Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller met with members of the press.
The event was scheduled for 301 laps, but due to darkness following an early rain delay, the race was deemed complete at the conclusion of Lap 293.
“I don‘t think it got by any of us that it was getting dark,” Miller said. “We knew that by the time we got the facility dry enough to resume competition, we knew we were going to be up against darkness. Depending on cautions and the rest of that, we knew it would be close.”
As the field completed Stage 2, NASCAR informed teams that officials would monitor racing conditions and, if deemed unfit for racing, crews would be notified that 10 laps remain with no overtime attempts.
“We let the teams know so that it didn‘t affect any of their strategy that we were definitely up against darkness,” Miller said. “It could have come earlier if there had been more cautions, so we just felt like it was getting too dark and we needed to call it.”
The rain delay followed a Lap 6 incident in which race leaders Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. crashed in Turn 1 as precipitation developed before the scoring tower called a caution. Busch‘s day ended early while Truex rebounded to finish 12th.
“We were consistent with how we‘ve always handled that,” Miller said. “Again, we rely on driver communication through the scanners, spotters, all of our people out in the corners. It obviously didn‘t work out today. We got caught out by kind of a quick sort of pop-up (shower) there in Turn 1. The corner got wet really quick.
“We can always look at being more conservative, but we did do and follow the same protocols that we always do under those circumstances.”