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“We’re going to make mistakes” NASCAR Official Illuminates the Challenges of the Job

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When unusual circumstances arise in NASCAR, fans and the NASCAR community often apply pressure and seek answers from NASCAR officials. Issues such as the finish line and scoring pylons have previously taken the spotlight, prompting questions about how NASCAR officials handle such challenging situations.

Elton Sawyer, the Senior Vice President of Competition at NASCAR, plays a pivotal role in making tough decisions during races, and he revealed their approach on the Dale Jr Download podcast.

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“We’re human beings. We’re going to make mistakes. I tell our teams all the time. We’re going to do our best to do the right thing. If we need to go back and we need to change some language in the rulebook, we’ll do that,” Sawyer said.

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He then explained how the rulebook doesn’t always provide specific guidance for every situation, requiring them to make decisions with precision. Sawyer emphasized that while they always strive to do what’s right, mistakes can occur because they are human.

The Finish Line Dilemma after Historic NASCAR race at Kansas

kyle larson NASCAR

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NASCAR Cup Series managing director Brad Moran clarified that there exists a difference between the painted start/finish line visible to fans and the precise line used to determine race winners. While the painted line serves as a visual reference, the actual finish is determined by a laser line.

Moran emphasized that NASCAR doesn’t rely solely on the accuracy of a painter’s brush. Instead, they employ a pencil-thin laser line captured by high-speed cameras (which record up to 20,000 frames per second) to pinpoint the exact finish.

The Kansas finish raised eyebrows due to the proximity between Larson and Buescher. Initial confusion arose from the Fox Sports television camera, which couldn’t definitively declare the winner based on the start/finish line.

Observers noticed that the white painted line didn’t extend onto the apron of the racetrack where Buescher’s car crossed. Questions arose about why the finish line wasn’t completely painted.

NASCAR swiftly released its high-speed camera image, revealing the truth. The red line represented the painted start/finish line, while the black line (only slightly different) indicated the laser line used for the official finish determination.

READ MORE: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Massive Maneuver For Upcoming season Shakes Up the Track

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Moin
Moin
I'm Moin Akhunji, a passionate sports writer renowned for my unique storytelling approach. My expertise spans across various sports, notably NASCAR, F1, and IndyCar. I hold a profound admiration for athletes like Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. When I'm not crafting articles, you'll likely find me trekking in the hills, indulging in my favorite hobby.
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