Elton Sawyer, NASCAR’s VP of Officiating & Technical Inspection stopped by Sirius XM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday for an interview to discuss the unfortunate ending to Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In the closing laps, Spencer Boyd was involved in one of many accidents and suffered a dislocated shoulder in the process. Boyd crashed with two laps to go in the event, and remained stopped at the inside wall on the inside of the backstretch while the field rocketed by at full speed, chasing for the win, on the final lap.
Sawyer stepped up and admitted NASCAR’s error in the situation and explained that while the sanctioning body will make changes so this doesn’t happen again, he’s glad Boyd is okay health-wise.
“First and foremost, we are glad that Spencer is okay,” Sawyer said. “Second, that’s on us. We have to own that as the sanctioning body. We had meetings post-event, to look at our process and procedure, and to look at what we need to do to be better.
“We have more meetings today to put more process in place to make sure that never ever happens again. It was kind of a perfect storm at the end of that race, but that’s zero excuse. We’ll get that fixed and we’ll move forward on it. Again, the important thing is that Spencer is doing better.”
ICYMI: @NASCAR VP Elton Sawyer told #TMDNASCAR the sanctioning body will look at how they handled the @SpencerBoyd incident from Friday night’s @NASCAR_Trucks race. @TheMikeBagley | @PPistone | #TMDNASCAR pic.twitter.com/1MusFwlbLF
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) March 8, 2022
Sawyer, a former NASCAR competitor in his own right, who started 29 NASCAR Cup Series events and 392 races in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, understands the situation that Boyd was in on Friday night, as his racing career took place in the era when drivers were expected to race back to the caution flag.
Twitter user Gavin Jones (@nascargavin8) shared video to twitter from Todd Bodine’s onboard cam from the final two laps of Friday’s race and you can see Boyd crash with two laps to go, and then, with one lap to go, Boyd is still helplessly stopped on the inside of the track.
@SpencerBoyd crashes with 2 laps to go – no caution. Leaders raced hard off turn 2 one lap later while he is stopped on track. Could have been much worse if someone spun down the track on the final lap, like Eckes earlier in the race and Kraus did just before Boyd's crash. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/xYLG396tCi
— Gavin Jones (@nascargavin8) March 6, 2022
In turns 3 and 4 on the final lap, John Hunter Nemechek and Jordan Anderson were involved in yet another hard crash, yet the caution flag remained held to the side in the flag stand and the race finished under green.
Boyd, who was injured in the crash with two laps to go could have certainly suffered extra injury if someone else skidded into his truck on that white flag lap. But just as important, an injured driver had to wait for more than a lap before receiving treatment from paramedics.
This is inexcusable and it’s nice to see NASCAR own the mistake they made on Friday night and that they’ve vowed to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.