IndyCar racer dies at age 37 following wreck RELATED: Stewart lends support to Wilson's family IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died Monday evening from head injuries sustained Sunday during a race at Pocono Raceway . He was 37. During Sunday's race, Wilson appeared to be struck in the head by debris from a late-race crash involving Sage Karam in the first turn at the 2.5-mile track. The Andretti Autosport driver's car then veered left off the racing surface, where it bounced off the inside wall. Wilson was part of the winning team for the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2012 with fellow drivers AJ Allmendinger , Oswaldo Negri Jr. and John Pew while competing for Michael Shank Racing. He had 17 career starts in GRAND-AM/ALMS/IMSA events. NASCAR drivers and others in the industry took to Twitter to share condolences with Wilson's family and to post remembrances of a fellow racer. Ur my boy forever. Love you @justin_wilson . One of the best ever. On and off the track. pic.twitter.com/kDZxxfj0jN — AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) August 25, 2015 Life isn't fair sometimes. We lost one of the great ones today. One of the best ever. I know ur up there being a Wheelman JW. Ur amazing!!! — AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) August 25, 2015 Thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and to the @IndyCar family. #RIPJustinWilson — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) August 25, 2015 So sad to hear that we lost Justin Wilson today. Thoughts & prayers to his family and friends. — Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) August 25, 2015 Very sad to hear the news of Justin Wilson's passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) August 25, 2015 Didn't know Justin but I did know he was a unbeliever person and a great car driver. So sad.. #RIPJustinWilson pic.twitter.com/YI6HdSaCYz — Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) August 25, 2015 Terrible and tragic news. Prayers to his family and friends. We are all family. #RIPJustin — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) August 25, 2015 Wow. Heart is torn for the Wilson Family. Prayers to all. — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) August 25, 2015 Thankful to have known @justin_wilson & honored to have shared a seat with him. He was a Great Man and will be missed pic .twitter.com/vgRS4iEzsm — Michael McDowell (@Mc_Driver) August 25, 2015 Wow, what a sad day. @justin_wilson was a good man. A great man. I had the pleasure of knowing him and pray for his family. — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) August 25, 2015 My heart breaks for Justin's family and friends. https://t.co/QpJldzyc2n — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) August 25, 2015 A trust fund has been created for Wilson's children. Donations may be sent to the address below. Wilson Children's Fund C/O INDYCAR 4551 West 16th Street Indianapolis, IN 46222 pic.twitter.com/lIiFGnL78y — Max Papis (@maxpapis) August 25, 2015
A statistical look ahead to the 17th race of the Sprint Cup season DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida going into the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola on July 5 (7:45 p.m. ET on NBC). DAYTONA-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 CHEEZ-IT Ford) · One win, three top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 19.2 · Average Running Position of 17.1, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 81.8, 12th-best · 85 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 4,132 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.161 mph, sixth-fastest · 1,978 Laps in the Top 15 (52.7%), ninth-most · 2,382 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 12th-most Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota) · Three top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 15.5 · Average Running Position of 17.5, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 84.0, 10th-best · 82 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 3,939 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.212 mph, second-fastest Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · 11 top fives, 14 top 10s · Average finish of 17.5 · Average Running Position of 15.8, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 90.5, third-best · 71 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 3,864 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · 2,161 Laps in the Top 15 (60.9%), sixth-most · 2,724 Quality Passes, seventh-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota) · One win, five top fives, six top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 19.1 · Series-best Average Running Position of 12.8 · Series-best Driver Rating of 96.2 · 85 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 4,023 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.207 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 2,488 Laps in the Top 15 (70.1%) · 2,869 Quality Passes, fourth-most Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet) · Three wins, 12 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 13.1 · Average Running Position of 14.1, second-best · Driver Rating of 91.9, second-best · 89 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · 4,353 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.086 mph, 10th-fastest · 2,475 Laps in the Top 15 (66.0%), second-most · 2,968 Quality Passes, second-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AXALTA Chevrolet) · Six wins, 13 top fives, 20 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 16.6 · Average Running Position of 14.3, third-best · Driver Rating of 88.0, fifth-best · 4,157 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · 2,274 Laps in the Top 15 (60.6%), fifth-most · 2,709 Quality Passes, eighth-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota) · Four top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 18.7 · Average Running Position of 15.4, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 87.7, seventh-best · 82 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 4,018 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.154 mph, seventh-fastest · 1,901 Laps in the Top 15 (56.1%), 12th-most · 2,444 Quality Passes, 11th-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet) · Three wins, 10 top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 17.5 · Average Running Position of 14.6, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 87.9, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.067 mph, 12th-fastest · 2,378 Laps in the Top 15 (63.4%), third-most · 2,753 Quality Passes, sixth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips-Shark Week Chevrolet) · Two top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 19.4 · Average Running Position of 16.6, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 83.3, 11th-best · 71 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 4,572 Green Flag Passes, second-most · 2,001 Laps in the Top 15 (53.3%), seventh-most · 2,825 Quality Passes, fifth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 DeWalt Made In The USA Toyota) · Two wins, six top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.8 · Average Running Position of 15.3, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 89.9, fourth-best · 80 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · 2,277 Laps in the Top 15 (60.7%), fourth-most · 2,556 Quality Passes, ninth-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · One win, three top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 18.3 · Average Running Position of 16.5, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 85.8, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.144 mph, eighth-fastest Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) · Four wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 18.5 · Driver Rating of 86.6, eighth-best · 76 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 1,958 Laps in the Top 15 (52.2%), 10th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 10 at Daytona International Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 28 1 2 7 12 3 16.2 81.6 2 Martin Truex Jr. 20 1 0 0 2 4 22.5 76.7 3 Joey Logano 13 0 1 3 4 2 18.3 85.8 4 Jimmie Johnson 27 2 3 10 13 6 17.5 87.9 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 31 1 3 12 18 3 13.1 91.9 6 Brad Keselowski 12 0 0 2 3 4 21.8 75.5 7 Jamie McMurray 25 0 2 3 5 8 23.7 79.5 8 Kasey Kahne 23 0 0 2 8 5 19.4 83.3 9 Matt Kenseth 31 1 2 6 14 5 17.8 89.9 10 Kurt Busch 28 0 0 11 14 1 17.5 90.5 * – Based on last 21 races at Daytona International Speedway. Daytona International Speedway Data Season Race #: 17 of 36 (07-05-15) Track Size : 2.5-mile Banking/Turns 1 & 2 : 31 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4 : 31 degrees Banking/Straights : 3 degrees Banking/Tri-Oval : 18 degrees Frontstretch Length : 3,800 feet Backstretch Length : 3,000 feet Race Length : 160 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona Kyle Busch ................................. 96.2 Dale Earnhardt Jr ........................ 91.9 Kurt Busch. ................................. 90.5 Matt Kenseth .............................. 89.9 Jeff Gordon ................................ 88.0 Jimmie Johnson .......................... 87.9 Denny Hamlin ............................. 87.7 Tony Stewart ............................... 86.6 Joey Logano .............................. 85.8 Clint Bowyer ............................... 84.0 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Daytona International Speedway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : David Gilliland, Ford 199.322 mph, 45.153 secs 07-04-14 2014 race winner : Aric Almirola, Ford 130.014 mph, (02:09:13), 07-06-14 Track qualifying record (July race): Cale Yarborough, Ford 203.519 mph, 44.222 secs 07-02-86 Track race record (July race): Bobby Allison, Mercury 173.473 mph, (02:18:21), 07-04-80 AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: History · Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959 – won by Bob Welborn . · The first summer race at Daytona International Speedway was held on July 4, 1959 – won by Fireball Roberts (140.581 mph). · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona. · Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under the lights ever since. · The track underwent a repave in 2010. Starts · There have been 136 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 57 have been 500 miles, 52 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races. · 445 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series July race at Daytona International Speedway; 277 in more than one. · Richard Petty leads the series in July race starts at Daytona with 32. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 22 starts – this weekend will be Gordon’s final start at Daytona. · Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Daytona International Speedway, though none were during the July race: Tony Stewart (2/14/99), Casey Mears (2/16/03), Kasey Kahne (2/15/04), Brendan Gaughan (2/15/04) Danica Patrick (2/27/12), Alex Bowman (2/23/14), Michael Annett (2/23/14). Poles · Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole for the July race at Daytona in 1959 with a speed of 144.997 mph. · 38 drivers have Coors Light poles at Daytona for the July event, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough with eight. · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in Daytona July race poles, with two. Gordon started first in 2007 due to qualifying being cancelled as well. · Three drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles for the July race at Daytona: Cale Yarborough (1970-’71; 1980-’81, 1983-’84), Sterling Marlin (1991-’92) and Dale Earnhardt (1994-’95). · Youngest Daytona July race pole winner: Jeff Gordon (07/06/1996 - 24 years, 11 months, 2 days); all-time track record belongs to Austin Dillon (02/23/2014 – 23 years, 9 months, 27 days). · Oldest Daytona pole winner: Mark Martin (07/02/2011 – 52 years, 5 months, 23 days). · Six active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Daytona International Speedway: Greg Biffle (2/15/04), Kevin Harvick (7/6/02), Jimmie Johnson (2/17/02), Paul Menard (7/5/08), Danica Patrick (2/24/13) and Austin Dillon (2/23/2014). Wins Drivers who have swept both races (Daytona 500 and the July race) at Daytona: Fireball Roberts – 1962 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 250) Cale Yarborough – 1968 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 400) LeeRoy Yarborough – 1969 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 400) Bobbie Allison – 1982 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 400) Jimmie Johnson – 2013 (Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola) 35 different drivers have won the July race at Daytona International Speedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson with five wins. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with four; followed by Jeff Gordon with three. · Five drivers have posted consecutive wins in the July race at Daytona International Speedway, including three consecutive by David Pearson (1972 - 1974). · Tony Stewart (2005-’06) is the only active driver to win consecutive July races at Daytona. · Youngest Daytona July race winner: Kyle Busch (07/01/2008 – 23 years, 2 months, 3 days); all-time track record - Trevor Bayne (02/20/2011 – 20 years, 0 months, 1 day). · Oldest Daytona July race winner: Bobby Allison (07/04/1987 – 49 years, 7 months, 1 day); all-time track record - Bobby Allison (02/14/1988 – 50 years, 5 months, 23 days). · The Wood Brothers have the most wins at Daytona in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 15; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 13. · Seven different manufacturers have won the July NSCS race at Daytona: Manufacturer Daytona July Race Wins Chevrolet 18 Ford 17 Mercury 7 Dodge 5 Pontiac 5 Buick 3 Toyota 1 Eight of the 56 (14.2%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kevin Harvick in 2010. · The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (eight) than any other starting position in the July race at Daytona International Speedway. · 15 of the 56 (26.7%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from the front row: eight from the pole and seven from second-place. · 41 of the 56 (73.2%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Daytona have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Four of the 56 (7.1%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Daytona is 42nd, by Tony Stewart in the 2012 July race. · Four active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Daytona International Speedway; two were during the July race: Trevor Bayne (2/20/11), Greg Biffle (7/5/03), David Ragan (7/2/11) and Michael Waltrip (2/18/01). · Greg Biffle won the July race at Daytona in his first appearance. · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Daytona with 710 laps led in 45 starts. · Tony Stewart leads the series among active drivers in laps led in the July race at Daytona with 369; followed by Jeff Gordon with 318 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 243. · Fewest laps led by a July race winner at Daytona are one lap led by Jimmy Spencer in 1994. The fewest laps led by an active July race winner at Daytona are three laps led by Jamie McMurray in 2007. Additional Finishing Position Stats · Buddy Baker leads the series in runner-up finishes in the July race at Daytona with five; followed by Richard Petty and Sterling Marlin with four. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch lead all active drivers with two each. · NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in top-five finishes in the July race at Daytona with 13; followed by Richard Petty with 12. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven. Additional Finishing Position Stats · David Pearson leads the series in top-10 finishes in the July race at Daytona with 19; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 18. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 11. · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Daytona with a 9.926. · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Daytona with a 13.065. · Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Daytona without visiting Victory Lane at 28. Female Competitor Stats · Five female drivers have competed in the July event at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Christine Beckers, Lella Lombardi, Patty Moise and Shawna Robinson. Below they are ordered by best finish: Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 29 8 7/6/2014 Danica Patrick 11 14 7/6/2013 Shawna Robinson 27 40 7/6/2002 Patty Moise 35 39 7/1/1989 Patty Moise 33 26 7/2/1988 Janet Guthrie 36 11 7/4/1978 Christine Beckers 37 37 7/4/1977 Janet Guthrie 20 40 7/4/1977 Lella Lombardi 29 31 7/4/1977 Janet Guthrie 33 15 7/4/1976 Track Event Stats · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway for the July race was the July 7, 2007 race won by Jamie McMurray over
Annett, DiBenedetto helped to care center after 5-hour ENERGY 301 RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings LOUDON, N.H. – Following Sunday's race, a pair of drivers were taken to the infield care center to receive treatment for heat-related issues. No, this wasn't the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in the middle of July, it was ... New Hampshire? MORE: Dale Jr. 'had to drive real hard all day long' After relatively cool -- but somewhat expected -- temperatures for practice and qualifying sessions Friday and Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sunday's 5-hour ENERGY 301 was run under steamy, Daytona-like conditions. Humidity spiked, thermometers rose and drivers drooped. Michael Annett and Matt DiBenedetto each had to be helped to the care center after the checkered flag dropped, spending about an hour and a half receiving treatment before being released. AJ Allmendinger also needed to be tended to in his hauler before leaving the track. I'm fine. Had strep throat all weekend. Was warm in the car. Nothing a little water and ice after couldn't fix afterwards. All good here. — AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) July 19, 2015 Brad Keselowski , Sunday's runner-up, looked paler than his white No. 2 Team Penske Ford when he was in the media center and all but needed to cut his press conference short just to regain his breath. "Ready to go home," Keselowski said. "Ready to go home." "It was hot out there," Dale Earnhardt Jr . agreed. DiBenedetto was feeling better after being treated later tweeting "Thanks for the concern everyone ... I got dehydrated and sick but the infield care center gave me fluids and I'm a little better. It was hot!" It was abundantly clear that heat was the overlying theme of the race, as several drivers made a point to say how much the temperatures affected them and their race cars. Hottest race of the year so far today. I drank 100oz of electrolyte fluids in the car (5 bottles), and another 60oz after. Still behind. — landon cassill (@landoncassill) July 19, 2015 "That was a tough one for sure. It was hot out there. We worked hard," said Austin Dillon . "The heat of the day kind of threw us for a loop and we just weren't very good," explained Ryan Blaney . Even super-athlete Jimmie Johnson , who has battled heat exhaustion before, noted that, "It was toasty for sure. It's weird how much hotter we are in the cars at Dover and Loudon." An added condition that Allmendinger was battling was the dreaded mid-summer cold, too. "I wasn't as my best today either," said Allmendinger, who finished 13th. "I've been battling strep throat. It was very hot today and I got frustrated at times because I wasn't feeling good." One driver who was able to brave the elements and come out on the other side healthy -- and in Victory Lane -- was race-winner Kyle Busch . "I'm definitely warm," said Busch, who needed to fill up his water bottle and take long sips from it before answering questions in his post-race press conference. "I'm still trying to cool down right now, as cold as it is in (the media center). You get that brisk when you walk through the door but then after that you're like ‘OK, I need more.' "It's warm. This is one of the warmest days I think I've ever remembered up here in this part of the country. Fortunately for me, I was all good. I've got a really good team of guys that work on my seat for me and I've really been nitpicking them this year to try and get more comfortable each week and it's really paying off. Hopefully now that they see us winning some races and I'm thankful to them for giving me the right cooling and everything." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Vice Chairman: XFINITY race 'example of unintended consequences' NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton warned drivers about blocking in Sunday's Coke Zero 400 (7:45 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM), addressing the 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pilots during the drivers' meeting at Daytona International Speedway. Following a video highlighting the rules for the 160-lap, 400-mile race, Helton discussed the evolution of the double yellow stripe, which is in place at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway. "The rationale behind that came from the evolution of actions and the equipment on the race track gave you the ability to move around," Helton said. "It got to a point where the drivers , you, were comfortable enough to make moves that ended up putting the rest of the field or many other cars in jeopardy. "So those actions, over time, we tried to figure out how NASCAR would respond to that, and we created that double yellow line that's only in Daytona and Talladega. "And I point to that because blocking is kind of creeping that way here and in Talladega. Last night's race, I think, was an example of the unintended consequences that can come from a blocking move." Late in Saturday's Subway Firecracker 250 , leader Brian Scott moved down the track to block Elliott Sadler , sending both cars into the outside wall on the backstretch and leading to a 10-car pileup. "We were definitely in the catbird seat there going down the back straightaway there; we had Joey Logano pushing us and had a lot of momentum coming off Turn 2 and were making our way to the front," Sadler said. "I think either Brian or his spotter made the block too late; I was already up to his right rear tire. He made the block to late and wrecked us. It was nothing intentional, it's just racing." RELATED: Scott blocks Sadler in Saturday's race Ryan Newman asked Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck what constituted going below the double yellow line, and Buck responded left-side tires on the inside of the inside line. Helton noted he was "not telling you how to drive the race cars ... but drivers , be conscious about the moves that you're making on the race track, particularly when it comes to what we call blocking. So just think about that tonight in the race." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
RELATED: Complete lineup for Bristol night race " Drivers' intro songs BRISTOL, Tenn. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck made a point to reiterate restart rules in Saturday's pre-race drivers' meeting at Bristol Motor Speedway, leading to a spirited discussion among drivers and car owners alike. The comments came just hours ahead of the annual Irwin Tools Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM), and three days after Ryan Blaney was black-flagged for jumping a restart during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the .533-mile track. "Starts and restarts: We need everybody's help tonight to tighten up the starts and restarts," Buck told the group. "That means nose-to-tail, door-to-door. It's a small restart zone, we all know that, so we need everybody's help. The leader is the control car and it's his responsibility or her responsibility to bring the field down at the caution car speed and restart at the restart zone." The reminders sparked a question from team owner Chip Ganassi about whether brake-checking and other forms of gamesmanship would be ruled a penalty. Buck replied that the leader (or "control car," in race officials' parlance) would have the ultimate responsibility for restarting the race in the designated zone. That led to three follow-up questions from Carl Edwards , who referenced Austin Dillon pulling away from him on a restart during last weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway. Buck said that while he applauded Edwards' enthusiasm, race officials have the ultimate say. "We also have multiple resources and multiple people that watch that, OK?" Buck said in response to Edwards' question whether race officials could determine if the leader had pressed the accelerator. "As Chip's question alluded to, there's a lot of gamesmanship going on, but we need you guys to do to be nose-to-tail, door-to-door, be in line when you come to the start. The control car's responsibility is to restart in the restart zone or we will restart it. If there's a judgment call that has to be made, we will make that." Denny Hamlin , Edwards' teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing then asked whether NASCAR officials could revert to the previous rule for double-file restarts, when second-place cars were not allowed to beat the control car to the start-finish line. "That's a longer discussion that we can have," Buck said. "OK, we appreciate the input, but it is the way it is today." Clint Bowyer added the final voice from the assembled crowd, questioning why -- in his opinion -- restart penalties were only called in the Camping World Truck Series. Buck's response: "Trust me, we'll reinforce the rule and I hope you are not it."
Check out the best in-car audio from a wild Coke Zero 400 including in-car audio from cars involved in the crazy last-lap wreck.
Debate raised after Austin Dillon's crash at Daytona RELATED: NASCAR poring over data from Dillon's Daytona wreck SPARTA, Ky. -- Jamie McMurray couldn't see much. His No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet propelled wildly across the start-finish line under a shower of debris after being collected in the last-lap wreck that sent Austin Dillon ’s airborne No. 3 into the catch fence in Sunday's midnight Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Judging by restrictor plate track history, McMurray expected that the steady rhythm of drafting was about to hit a sharp note in the race's final whirl around the superspeedway. "When we came off Turn 2, there was a huge pack of cars and you're gently pushing the guy in front of you and pushing him into the guy in front of him," McMurray recalled at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday. "And I think all of us knew heading into Turn 3 that when we came into Turn 4, it would not be gentle anymore. You're just going to mash the gas and shove the guy as hard as you can and hope that you make it through the wreck because all of us knew there was going to be a wreck either before the finish line or afterwards." But this wreck's severity may have been a tad more than McMurray and the rest of the field anticipated. Brad Keselowski experienced a firsthand look at the scene outside his window net, as his spinning No. 2 ride smacked hard into Dillon's upside-down vehicle seconds after the rest of cars cleared. It's a difficult subject to talk about for the 31-year-old driver, as his Team Penske Ford slipped in oil around 200 mph, allowing driver control to fall to the wayside. "Kind of the sad part is that I was honestly embarrassed that I hit Austin that long after the wreck," Keselowski said at Kentucky Speedway Thursday. "… There was just so much debris that even being as far behind as I was, you couldn't slow down at 200 mph. And that was frustrating. I felt very, very lucky when I got out of the car, went to Austin, saw that he was OK. "… Race cars are very, very well-designed and built for high impacts. They're not ever going to be very well-designed for multiple high impacts. So, when I hit Austin the second time, yeah I saw his first impact and when I knew I was going to hit the second time, his odds were a lot lower walking away." With the cars' tight drafting and high speeds, the "Big One" has become synonymous with restrictor plate racing at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway. And with the startling images of the wreck emblazoned in the minds of spectators and drivers alike, Dillon's wild ride resurfaced the ongoing question: are restrictor plate races' speeds safe enough? For fellow Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle , whose No. 16 ride was also caught up in the final lap frenzy, driver/spectator welfare is -- and has been -- the first priority. Despite Keselowski's testimony that he wasn't able to slow down in time to avoid hitting Dillon, Biffle doesn't believe that slowing down the cars will mitigate the wrecks. Rather, he raises the point that the style of restrictor plate racing itself is what manifests into multicar melees. "Your first reaction is that these cars are really safe," Biffle said on Thursday at Kentucky Speedway. "… These cars, when you get bunched up and one guy gets jammed underneath the other guy and you're pushing these cars, they're gonna get upside-down or flip up in the air no matter what speed we're going. If we're going 125 miles an hour when you jam a wedge underneath another one, it's gonna pick it up in the air." MORE: Dillon discusses how he is feeling " Exclusive video of wreck, 88 crew reacts To Biffle, Dillon's mangled No. 3 Chevrolet and smashed catch fence serve as proof of safety rather than a cause for alarm. Rather than shaking a finger in disapproval, the Roush Fenway Racing driver applauded the efforts of the industry and its strides to making the sport safer. "It's just a testament to how safe our sport is," Biffle said. "NASCAR has done an unbelievable job with SAFER barriers, and run-off areas, and paving areas. I think about how dangerous Pocono was and how safe of a race track it is now with all of the paving and the SAFER barriers they've done on the inside. "I know it takes time for these tracks to react to these situations, but it just goes to show you that the engineering and what-not on that fence is what it needs to be and what it's supposed to be and it did its job. The safety equipment did the job inside the car and the good thing is we can learn from that and try to make improvements if we can." The incident still serves as a call to action for many drivers , as the sport continues to learn from past wrecks and on-track instances. "… You hope that you can learn from it and figure out a way to keep the cars on the ground, contain them from the fans even better than what we have." McMurray said. "You look back in the years in the sport and everything that we have has evolved from something like that. NASCAR has done a really nice job of learning from their mistakes and learning from accidents on the track and hopefully we'll learn from this one as well." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Read the notes NASCAR provides during the drivers' meeting
RELATED: Chase Grid " Chase bubble watch " Chase Fest details A year ago, it was Kasey Kahne . Only two races remained before the start of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , and the Hendrick Motorsports driver was 13th in points. Unfortunately, he was outside the top 16 in the Chase standings. Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin , AJ Allmendinger , Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola trailed Kahne in points. But they were among those that had wins. They had invitations to the dance. At the time, Kahne had managed only two top-five finishes. His average finishing position was 16.8. He hadn't been to the victory lane since midway through the previous season. So he and his team went out and won at Atlanta Motor Speedway . It earned Kahne one of the final Chase spots and the No. 5 team a second chance. It wasn't quite as easy as it sounds. Kevin Harvick , as was often the case, was dominant at AMS. Kahne fell a lap down early. The team battled back. He didn't take the lead for the first time until Lap 303 of the scheduled 325-lap race. Suddenly, he seemed to be on his way to the win. Then cautions appeared, forcing two late restarts. Green, white, checkered late. Kahne's lead was lost on pit road. Yet somehow he muscled his way past Matt Kenseth coming to the white flag, holding on for the win and a spot in the Chase. It's a similar position for the 35-year-old this year. Two races remain -- stops at Darlington Raceway and Richmond International Raceway -- before the field is finalized for this year's 10-race run to determine the Sprint Cup champion. Kahne is once again winless. He is not alone. Teammate Jeff Gordon has finished inside the top five only three times this year. The four-time champion is ahead of Clint Bowyer in the playoff picture, with a wider margin back to folks such as Aric Almirola and Greg Biffle . A year ago Gordon had three wins and a vise-like grip on first place in the points. Bowyer's got a pair of top-fives, but much of the attention around the No. 15 team of Michael Waltrip Racing centers on where Bowyer will call home next season. Paul Menard has a razor-thin lead on Gordon in points, but taking nothing for granted. Can anyone? Matt Kenseth 's blown engine at Bristol last week, leaving the Joe Gibbs driver 42nd in the final rundown, didn't go unnoticed. Things not only can happen, they often do. With 10 drivers already secure -- 11 if you go ahead and give Kyle Busch one of the spots although he's close enough to the fault line that a misstep could make things interesting -- and two races remaining, at least three of this year's Chase spots will be filled based on the points standings after Richmond. It could be five, if no new winner emerges in the next two weeks. Few on the fringes, though, have shown signs of contending for wins. Almirola? One top five and only three laps led this season. Biffle? It's shaping up to be the wrong type of career year for the Roush Fenway Racing driver, with just two top-fives and an average finish of 20th. Austin Dillon ? Kyle Larson ? Both have shown potential. Both are winless. Kahne? Well, who knows? The question isn't can it be done. Kahne's already proven that it's possible. The question is who among those can pull it off?