Buescher Questions NASCAR Penalty
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on February 22, 2014 | 5:47 P.M. EST
James Buescher (99) in the pack before he was penalized for pushing in Saturday's race at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - James Buescher thought he was doing what was allowed. NASCAR disagreed.
Nationwide officials penalized Buescher for pushing during Saturday’s Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. He was the only driver to be penalized for the rule during the race.
NASCAR informed competitors at testing last month that pushing - or tandem drafting as cars had done - would not be allowed.
Buescher, who finished 16th, said he later spoke with NASCAR officials to better understand the rule and thought he knew what was allowed in the season-opening race.
“They said if you bounce off the car in front of you, there’s no call,’’ Buescher said. “As far as I’m concerned, there was only bouncing, never locked the bumper.’’
NASCAR saw it another way.
“We felt (Buscher) was the more aggressor in the situation, that’s why (he) got the penalty,’’ said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition.
A TV replay from the rear bumper of Brad Keselowski’s car showed Buescher’s front bumper bouncing off Keselowski’s rear bumper.
Asked about that, Pemberton said: “It all depends on what lap you’re looking and where you were looking at the lap. That wasn’t the camera we had and I don’t know where on the racetrack that was taken.’’
Keselowski said he remains uncertain on what is allowed.
“I think it is safe to say racecar drivers push the limits of every rule,’’ he said. “That is what we do. We push the limits of ourselves and those around us and the sanctioning body. Yeah, obviously I don’t know where the limit is, but I would say NASCAR made a rule or determination that he was over it and that is what happened there.”
Rookie Chase Elliott, who finished 15th, said he wasn’t surprised to see a penalty for pushing in the race.
“I saw him pushing and there were other people pushing, too,’’ Elliott said of Buescher. “They can’t see everybody, I understand that. They made a fair call right there. They said no pushing, so no pushing.’’