NASCAR admits “stupid” error caused final caution at Bristol

BRISTOL, TN - MARCH 16: Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kellogg's / Frosted Flakes Ford, takes the checkered flag as he crosses the finish line under caution to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Will Schneekloth/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN - MARCH 16:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kellogg's / Frosted Flakes Ford, takes the checkered flag as he crosses the finish line under caution to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Will Schneekloth/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN – MARCH 16: Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kellogg’s / Frosted Flakes Ford, takes the checkered flag as he crosses the finish line under caution to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Will Schneekloth/Getty Images)

It turns out that human error caused the phantom caution at Bristol Motor Speedway. As the laps wound down in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Food City 500 late Sunday, Carl Edwards had a comfortable lead over second place Ricky Stenhouse Jr.. With only a few laps to go however, the caution lights came on slowing the field and setting up what many thought would be an exciting green-white-checkered flag finish for the win to end a race that had been twice delayed for rain for over five hours.

It wasn’t to be however.

Drivers, crewmembers fans, TV analysts, and even NASCAR officials scanned the track looking for trouble. Seeing nothing obvious people began to wonder just what had happened. Social media began to light up as questions began about a “phantom caution.”MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.