NASCAR driver Kyle Busch sparked several conversations on March 5 when he took part in a Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He got a flat tire during the final stage of the race and then spun out on his way to pit road. The maneuver brought out the caution flag and created questions about whether Busch would receive punishment from NASCAR.
The reason for the concern is that many fans and analysts wondered if Busch had purposely spun out to bring out the caution flag. He avoided slamming into the wall at full speed after his tire went flat and navigated down to the apron. Busch remained out of harm's way but spun as he was driving at a much slower speed. He was able to get new tires and secure a second-place finish behind John Hunter Nemechek, who drives for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
*Happy rest of the field noises* pic.twitter.com/ga3IyHd8qi— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) March 6, 2021
Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass asked Busch if he wanted to discuss the spin after the Las Vegas race, but the veteran driver simply said "nope" multiple times. Pockrass later said that he understood why Busch didn't want to go into details. There are some future issues that could arise based on his answer.
If Busch had confirmed that he spun on purpose to bring out the caution flag and get a new set of tires on his truck, he could face a fine. NASCAR previously docked Bubba Wallace $50,000 and 50 points after he purposely spun during a race to bring out the caution flag. Pockrass said that "it's a serious issue" to bring out the caution flag on purpose, but it could also be considered part of the sport.
Wallace is not the only driver to openly admit to bringing out the caution flag and receive a penalty. Back in 2004, Dale Earnhardt Jr. did so as well. He spun out on purpose during a race at Bristol Motor Speedway and then later said that he did so on purpose. NASCAR docked him $10,000 and 25 points.
Drivers bringing out the caution is nothing new, but the latest incident involving Busch may be the catalyst for change. There are discussions taking place now about how the sanctioning body will approach similar situations in the future and how it will police the issue.
"Those are tough calls. That obviously came up again this weekend," said Scott Miller, NASCAR's senior vice president of competition, during an appearance on The Morning Drive. "It's hard for us to know what is going on inside the car. We have our [Tuesday] competition meeting, and I'm sure there will be discussions on the particular one that prompted that question. We'll kind of review it.
"What we can't let, and what we will probably be more inclined to do moving forward, is having a flat tire and trying to get back to pit road is not an excuse to spin out. If we have to crack down a little bit harder on those things happening so that doesn't become a trend, we will certainly react to that."