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CARS Tour race director says not penalizing Bubba Pollard for Hickory spin was a mistake

Pollard won his second straight CARS Tour race but only because series director Chris Ragle missed a penalty …

Matthew Bishop | STS

Bubba Pollard caught a break on Saturday night in the CARS Tour Super Late Model race at Hickory Motor Speedway.

He capitalized on the opportunity to win the MTP Tire 300, his first at the Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars … but probably shouldn’t have.

With 40 laps remaining in the race, Josh Berry spun while making a pass to the outside on leader Brandon Setzer. Pollard checked up to avoid Berry and was also spun from behind by defending champion Jared Fryar.

Berry was sent to the rear since he was the cause of the incident, while Pollard was allowed to retain his position, despite doing a full 360-degree spin while remaining on the throttle.

In the moment, CARS Tour race director Chris Ragle determined that Pollard had spun deliberately, without contact from behind, which would have meant he wasn’t technically involved in the incident per series regulations.

Thus, Pollard was allowed to return to second-place and eventually out-dueled Setzer for the win.

Typically, Ragle has instant replay capabilities in race control but they were not available to him on Saturday night.

While making an appearance on Race22.com Radio on Monday night, Ragle admitted that it was a mistake to have not sent Pollard to the rear.

“(Berry) tried to stay off of (Setzer) after making a little contact and looped it around,” Ragle said on the show. “What I initially thought I saw was everybody jamming on the brakes, the 26 of Pollard jamming on the brakes to avoid it.  Same thing Josh did but Josh obviously was the reason the caution came out.

“So, my initial thought was that (Berry) was what caused that caution and everybody else either stopped, spun, grabbed a gear, go, slowed down, didn’t really stop and hit anything.  Everybody did a phenomenal job.  Nobody hit the wall.  Nobody hit anyone else.  Hey let’s go back to last completed lap except (Berry) who caused the yellow.”

Ragle saw the replay on Sunday and admitted that it was a missed call.

“Looking back now that I have the ability to replay, (Fryar) dumped (Pollard), so there was that contact there,” Ragle remarked.  “Looking back, (Pollard and Fryar) should have went to the rear for contact and being in it and being the yellow as well.”

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Raef

    March 26, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    So the rule is: if you spin out on your own to avoid contact you don’t go to the rear, but if somebody takes you out you through no fault of your own that you do have to go to the rear? If that’s the rule, that’s the bigger mistake here. You should either go to the back for every spin, or you should be in whatever position you end up in after the spin. The only exception to the consistency of that rule, whichever rule is used, should be if a driver spun someone and it was ruled deliberate. Send the offending driver to the rear and the spinee retains previous position. All inadvertent spins, contact or no contact, should be treated the same.

  2. Mike

    March 29, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    That is correct. Everyone involved should go to the rear. This should include the car that moves another car who inadvertently spins. Both to the rear. That’s how it used to be. Now every race you see there is always drama due to the inconsistent practice of allowing one guy to stay while another goes to the rear based on someone’s interpretation. Everyone to the rear. Every time. Everywhere. This will also over time, make people think twice about the bump and run.

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