During the Toyota Owners 400 at the Richmond Raceway, NASCAR officials noted tape on the front grille of the No. 18 Toyota Camry driven by Kyle Busch. However, it took more than 200 laps to assess the penalty, an unusually long stretch of time when it comes to handing down punishments for violating the NASCAR Rule Book.
The tape appeared on the Camry after Busch pitted on Lap 128. That said, it wasn’t until Lap 345 of the 400-lap race in Richmond that Kyle Busch finally earned a violation for the foreign object on his grille. This delay left fans questioning why it took so long to issue the penalty.
You mean to tell me Kyle Busch’s crew put tape on 200 laps ago and NASCAR officiating didn’t catch it until now?— Darian Gilliam (@BlackFlagMatter) April 3, 2022
Rules are rules but it should have been called WAY sooner. #NASCAR
Earlier today, Cup Series managing director Brad Moran gave some answers. In an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Moran explained why NASCAR officials took so long to penalize Kyle Busch.
According to Moran, the tower learned of the violation during Lap 234. At that point, officials still had to determine how the tape found its way to the grille. “We went back while the race was going on to ensure, first of all, that the team placed the tape on the grille area,” Moran said.
NASCAR Official Explains Tape Incident With Kyle Busch
Unfortunately for Kyle Busch and the rest of the No. 18 team, NASCAR officials found that the team did indeed put the tape on the Camry rather than Busch accidentally picking it up from the track or elsewhere.
“We did go back, found footage. We found what we needed to say, yes, the team actually put it on,” Brad Moran said. “Unfortunately, they had a couple of stops, which they could have pulled it off and we probably wouldn’t even be talking about it today. That didn’t happen.”
ICYMI: @NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director Brad Moran was asked about the @JoeGibbsRacing #18 team’s black flag on Sunday at @RichmondRaceway and offered the sanctioning bodies perspective.@TheMikeBagley | @PPistone | #TMDNASCAR pic.twitter.com/IJU0WKy9Mx— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) April 5, 2022
“We got notification around Lap 234 and it took a bit of time,” Moran continued. “Obviously a lot of green-flag racing at a three-quarter mile track. It takes a while to pull all of that up and we do our due diligence.”
“The last thing we’re going to do is bring a vehicle down and find out later that it was something picked up off the track or they grabbed it on pit road or something to that effect. Once everything was sorted out, we did see how it happened and where it was. The crew chief was notified that it had to be removed.”