When Ross Chastain’s bold move up the middle resulted in he and Austin Cindric spinning into the infield, the final lap of the Daytona 500 was just about to begin.

NASCAR waited a moment and as Cindric’s car slid back up the track, NASCAR made the decision to throw the caution. Per NASCAR rules, a caution flag on the final means the field is frozen and the race is over.

Alex Bowman, who was the pusher in Chastain’s fateful charge, carried the momentum forward and pulled alongside his Hendrick Motorsports teammate as the caution flag few. After much speculation, NASCAR posted the following explanation on social media:

After taking the white flag, @WilliamByron was the leader at the time of the final caution.

This photo was used to determine the finishing order and Byron’s victory in the #DAYTONA500. pic.twitter.com/b0d0UfRaLN

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 20, 2024

Added Mike Forde, the Managing Director of Racing Communications for the sport: “NASCAR uses all available resources at the end. Here is the aerial photo at the time of caution. You can also see the No. 2 car [Cindric] coming back up the racetrack. That’s why the yellow was called. Had hoped it would have stayed down on the apron like the 1 [Chastain] did and end under green.”


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