By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR officials are expected to address this week the issue of drivers throwing out water bottles during races. During Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, a water bottle was spotted on the apron of the race track during a debris caution, and another water bottle was spotted during an additional caution later in the race.
The water bottle from the debris caution sparked Twitter conversation from a handful of NASCAR drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski.
“No. We all do it. Common practice,” Keselowski (@Keselowski) tweeted.
“Empty water bottles don’t handle the corners very well. Sometimes fall down on the floor boards and cause trouble,” another tweet from Keselowski read.
With water bottles on the track common, Johnson doesn’t think cautions should be thrown for water bottles.
“We all know a caution shouldn’t be thrown for a water bottle. . .,” Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) tweeted.
According to Earnhardt, water bottles should be thrown out during pit stops.
“Totally agree. Keep it in the car. Toss it during a pit stop. Not all that difficult people,” he (@DaleJr) tweeted.
In another tweet, Earnhardt said, “Worse than water bottles are the visor tear offs at the events that start late evening. Folks need to keep their trash.”
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell discussed the water bottle issue during “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday.
O’Donnell acknowledged that drivers throwing water bottles out the windows of their race cars during races.
“Coming off pit road sometimes, you see it down on the apron where some water bottles are discarded,” O’Donnell said.
What O’Donnell said was unacceptable, though, was throwing out water bottles and other items from the race car out onto the track in an attempt to bring out a caution.
“It someone is purposely trying to manipulate a caution, that’s not something that is going to be tolerated, and we’ll have to look into that further as we go and we’ll address that with the teams, also.”
According to O’Donnell, NASCAR officials were unable to determine the specific car from which the water bottle that was seen during the debris caution came.
Landon Cassill took to Twitter to clear himself by tweeting a picture of his water bottle, different from the one on the track during the caution in question.
“For those awake and still interested, here’s a view of my cockpit and where I keep my bottle. Via carbon bottle cage,” Cassill (@LandonCassill) tweeted, along with the photo of his water bottle in his car.
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