TALLADEGA, Ala. -- As Carl Edwards spun on the final lap Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR didn't throw the caution, and maybe the only person he knows who lifted off the throttle was his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth.
While Kenseth said he was "dumbfounded" there was no caution, Edwards was more upset at his competitors following the Geico 500, which Dale Earnhardt Jr. won for his sixth career victory at Talladega.
The decision to throw the caution on the last lap has been a judgment call for NASCAR, which wants races to finish under green but, as it did in the Daytona 500, it will throw the caution on the final lap if it feels the need to dispatch emergency vehicles immediately.
"Because there was a wreck at the end of the Daytona 500, I slowed down, and it cost us a bunch of positions," Edwards said. "I guess some people would say, 'Well, hell, your job is to stay on the throttle and go race,' but, man, we're all out here and we're all human beings.
"You've got a guy wrecking, you can't just lay into his door. That's pretty dangerous."
No one actually hit Edwards in the door, but he obviously felt the potential was there for him to suffer a serious injury. He said he believes Justin Allgaier went by him at 160 or 180 mph.
"We make every effort to try to finish under green flag conditions," NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck said in a statement. "We believe the circumstances that occurred allowed us to do that today."
Some drivers will keep the throttle to the floor until told there is a caution and also won't lift in the hopes that a spinning car in front of them will spin away before they make contact.
"Generally, if someone is spinning in front of you, you slow down a little bit, so if you do hit him, you don't break their legs or hurt them," said Edwards, who saw a potential top-10 finish turn into a 32nd-place day. "I don't want to rant too much about it, but I was frustrated with that."
Kenseth, who lost some spots and finished 25th, also left frustrated.
"I had to lift so I didn't send Carl to the hospital," Kenseth said. "I'm just dumbfounded that NASCAR didn't throw a caution. We were driving past wrecked cars for half a lap at 180 mph. It was a crazy ending."