Brent Leach wrote:
Here's my take on it. Notice in the picture the top row of the grandstand with the gentleman with the yellow sweatshirt on, I sit a few seats over from him on the right in this picture.
I was watching Lance coming for the checker and never saw the mess down the backstraight until that was almost done and the 48 was at a stop.
The starter was watching Lance coming down the front straight to take the checkered flag which was being unfurled and being waved as Lance was just about at the flag stand.
At that same time, the assistant starter was pulling the red flag from it's holder and trying to hand it to the starter in his left hand so he could put it out. I believe there was a second where the starter had no clue what was going on down the back but there was a flag being stuck in his left hand. If you look real close, that flag is not out over the hand rail, it is still behind the hand rail at this point. It is a little confusing since they are also wearing red officials shirts, but that red flag has not yet been put out and Lance is clearly past the finish line at this point.
That's my take on it and I'm standing firm on it.
So you agree on racing back to the flag? The red or at least yellow should have been out LONG before this. Is that the green light still on below the flagstand? They were late all night long throwing cautions. Are they trying to move the show along swiftly by throwing "caution to the wind"?
My opinion on it is no, I do not agree on racing back to the flag. But, under the conditions we had Friday night, I believe the call is correct. I believe that the starter's name is Glenn, so I would say that Glenn and I along with others were watching Lance racing down the front stretch towards the checkered flag. I know that's what I was watching. In this instance, I am in a good visual location behind and above the flag stand to watch the finish. I did not even realize that there was a crash on the back stretch till I saw the assisant starter trying and fumbling to give Glenn a red flag, at that point I was looking and thinking what's going on?
Yes, that is still a green light under the starter's stand. The assisant starter probably should have switched it to red, probably even before he was fumbling with the red flag.
I do not believe that we should be racing back to the flag. Problem with this case is that the green lights are still on, the red flag has not been waved as it's still on the wrong side of the railing, therefore, still has not been put out. Lance has already crossed the finish line under the checkered flag. Sorry, this race is over.
With the belief that you do not race back to the flag stand, Knoxville instituted a rule for the drivers to quickly and safely come to a stop asap so that it is safe for rescue teams to get on the track and tend to drivers involved in the crash. You do not quickly slow or stop, you are dq'ed for the night. I personally call it the "________" (I have left it blank as Mods here could construe it as "bashing") rule, ever watch him on a red or yellow, he never stops quickly. Sorry, they have push trucks and will push you to the area when it is safe to do so. I have seen him drive through many crash areas well after the fact while safety crews are trying to get to the accident. He claims that he does not want to get run over from behind. Personally, I don't believe it, just stop.
Back on topic, I spent many, many years on the DIRT circuit watching the best and extremely respected Dave Farney flag racing in NY. This type of finish happened one night in NY and Dave himself admitted that he never got the red out in time as the leader was approaching the flag stand with the checkered flags (he always uses two checkered flags) waving, he never got the red over the hand rail which was his determining factor for deciding that the race was over.
I think this race fits the criteria of a completed race.