INDIANAPOLIS – Fans were up in arms following Saturday night’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Phoenix International Raceway. They were questioning why a caution was thrown two laps from the end but not thrown several laps earlier.
But, the series confirmed on Wednesday that the caution was thrown for a crash not debris.
The Verizon IndyCar Series said that the race finished under yellows due to a “single-car incident involving the No. 98 Andretti Herta Autosport car driven by Alexander Rossi.”
“Since the incident was not major and took place so close to the end of the race, it was not shown on the NBCSN broadcast.”
“The caution at the end of the Phoenix race was a result of the 98 car making contact with the wall coming off the fourth turn,” said Brian Barnhart, IndyCar vice president of competition, race control. “The incident occurred in front of the leaders and required cars to take evasive action, which made throwing the caution flag imperative.”
The yellow flag for Rossi’s crash was thrown on :ap 248 and caused the 250-lap race at Phoenix International Raceway to conclude under caution. Scott Dixon won the race in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet as a result.
But, fans didn’t know that was the prime reason for the caution as they thought it was from debris off of Ryan Hunter-Reay’s car when the other Andretti Autosport driver made contact with the Turn 4 wall with 10 laps-to-go.
The broadcast caught debris from his No. 28 DHL/Sun Drop Honda on the racing surface on the front stretch, but officials deemed the debris wasn’t in the racing groove.
That’s why they didn’t throw a caution for that.
But, when Rossi got into the wall with two laps-to-go, the broadcast didn’t catch it, so fans thought the yellow was thrown for the debris on the front stretch.
They didn’t get the whole story which is unfortunate.
The ending was unfortunate, but it happens as IndyCar absolutely made the right call. If the TV showed it, they’d never have to be in this situation four days later.