MP No argument there, but to be fair, your quote after the race on NBCSN contradicts the first part of what you just said. You said “If we have somebody who uses less than great judgment when they leave their pit box and we have an incident, then we have to make a statement by penalizing,” which really blew me away.
BB Yeah, and I think it was kind of harsh terminology in the realm of all the emotion that was there at the moment. There was kind of a lot going on and I don't think I was in a calm enough place to be extremely precise with my words. If I had a chance to re-quote that, it would be a little bit gentler with how I stated that. And it would probably be softened by what I just said – the precedent had already been established for similar pit lane violations.
MP During our conversation so far, when I've mentioned the scenario of what took place – the mindset of this stop being potentially the race-deciding moment, or how a driver shares as much responsibility on pit lane as the crew members who are out there – you've characterized those items as being part of the emotions involved with the incident, and should be pushed aside. But I don't see them that way. These are, or should be, considered as black and white items.
BB And those are still facts in the situation. I think to me some of the emotions that had to be shirked away were the considerations to the current position of the No. 9 car in that race and in the championship, which we've already kind of talked about. People can disagree with the call at face value. I have no problem with that. But when you try to drag in championship implications and race leader implications, to me that's considering parameters which just do not establishing a level playing field.
MP Gotcha. Yeah, my issue here has nothing to do with either of those items. I'm still somewhat convinced Power could have gotten by Dixon on pace alone, if we look at how the two ended their stints at Sonoma, so even if the pit incident never took place, the win might have gone to Power without a penalty to Dixon.
Regardless – and I'll pose it again to see if we end up anywhere different – I think the easiest call to make was to assign blame and penalize someone. I think the hardest call, which wasn't made, would have been to recognize the incident was shared, and that dropping the hammer on Dixon or Power individually would be unfair. How did this end up with one side getting tagged?
BB It goes back to the earliest points that I made and just at face value, Travis Law was in his normal routine of activities during a pit stop and he was entitled to that space. And maybe that's some of the emotion stripped out of it in terms of me trying to get in that guy's head and trying to figure out what he's thinking, if there's malice or intent.
I learned long ago in my officiating career, if we sit there and we have as a parameter to determine fault or determine a penalty as intent or malice, we'd probably still be there talking about it trying to figure it out. Because it's just one of those things you can really never know. So it probably just comes down to what we thought was appropriate entitlement of space and him performing his duties within his pit box as he had before, and being struck by a car that should have gone somewhere slightly different.