Subway Fresh Fit 500 Pit Lane Problems
Avondale, Arizona was the place to be Saturday night as racing fans were treated to a entertainment feast that was Kyle Busch loose the race by a mere fraction of a mile per hour, a spectacular and gladly ultimately painless crash by Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Mark Martin managed to make it out of the pit in time to beat everybody to the checkered flag and take the trophy and check.
Dale Earnhardt’s downfall brought on the final caution flag of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 with a mere 12 laps to the finish line, with the race order standing as Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch. They all new the final pit would be the telling tale of the race and that the team that got their car out of the pit first would likely win the race.
All four pulled away from the pace car and turned up pit road, and pulled into their assigned slots, with Mark Martin being just out of view of the other drivers around the bend. The pit crews went to work for thirteen or so seconds to top up the gas and attach four fresh tires, and then they all pulled out of the pit lane, with Kyle Busch seemingly in the lead in the race to the line at the end of pit road.
Kyle’s excitement was short lived though, as time-lapse video recorded Martin as beating Kyle Busch to the line by the smallest of margins, and pit road officials notified Kyle Busch’s team that Kyle had been recorded as being just over the pit road speed limit and would therefore be penalized by being dropped back behind the lead cars, leaving him in 17th position.
Instead of being in the lead and possibly winning the Subway Fresh Fit 500 he ended up in 17th place, the position his penalty placed him in after the last pit. NASCAR and all racing are often called a sport of split second victories or disappointments, and after Saturday night Kyle Busch would surely agree.