Scott Miller, NASCAR vice president of competition, said that NASCAR will learn from Sunday’s race at COTA.
NASCAR didn’t respond well to the weather conditions in the race at COTA which led to crashes that eliminated five drivers. Speaking about the race, Miller admitted that the officials could have reacted faster than they did.
“I would kind of own the fact that maybe we did let it go a little bit too long before we did something,” he said. “It’s a learning experience for all of us. We will learn. We will be better next time. I think probably your original question is would we the pull the plug earlier? Probably so.”
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Harvick was one of the drivers to criticize the officials’ decision and said that he has “never felt more unsafe in my whole racing career. Period” after the race.
“It’s the most unsafe thing I’ve ever done in a race car by a lot,” Harvick said of the conditions. “You can’t see anything down the straightaways. These cars were not built to run in the rain, and when you can’t see, my spotter said, ‘Check up, check up,’ because he thought he saw two cars wrecking.
“I let off and the guy behind me hit me wide-open because he never saw me. It’s unbelievable that we’re out there doing what we’re doing because we’re in race cars that aren’t made to do this, and if you can’t see going down the straightaway it’s absolutely not safe, not even close.”
When asked about whether racing should take place under such conditions, Harvick said:
“We don’t have any business being out in the rain, period. All I can say is this is the worst decision that we’ve ever made in our sport that I’ve been a part of, and I’ve never felt more unsafe in my whole racing career, period.”
Miller responded to Harvick’s comment by saying:
“Harvick has his right to his opinion, obviously. I don’t think that’s probably an opinion that is universally shared among the drivers. We certainly don’t want to put anybody in harm’s way out there.
“It’s a tough job for us to balance — competitive event, a good show for the fans and with the drivers’ best interest. It’s a tough job. I think rain at a race points out the fact that everybody in this business has a hard job. … We have a hard job. The drivers have a hard job. Everybody’s got a tough job.”