At Richmond International Raceway, the finish in the Federated Auto Parts 400 came down to “balls and strikes” on Saturday night.
As questionable as the timing of Clint Bowyer’s spin on Lap 393 — which NASCAR announced Sunday that it's investigating — so was the final restart with three laps remaining in the race.
Technically, race leader Paul Menard should have crossed the start-finish line first – controlling the restart. But eventual race winner Carl Edwards was nearly a full car length ahead at the line.
When NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton addressed the teams in the pre-race drivers meeting, he promised competitors that while many “may have some questions on restarts tonight” the sanctioning body reserved the right make “a judgment call on. OK?”
“There are balls and there are strikes. Sometimes you don’t like the call; sometimes we don’t even like the call we have to make,” Pemberton said. “I just want to remind everybody: Do not put us in that position where we have to make the call. Because more times than not, it isn’t going to be in your favor – and we don’t want to do that, OK?”