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July 23, 2017

Steve O'Donnell

Indianapolis, Indiana

Q. (Indiscernible) when to throw the caution at the end? Possibly you could have thrown it (indiscernible).
STEVE O'DONNELL: So what we have always said, and we've been consistent as much as I've talked about it, we're going to make every attempt to finish the race under green. To do that, you have to see what happened with an incident. In this case, we did that.
Once we decided to throw the caution, when we want to dispatch emergency equipment, also knew there was oil on the racetrack. We threw out the caution and ultimately that's the end of the race.

Q. May not have been enough time to have another restart because of darkness. Did that play into your decision?
STEVE O'DONNELL: It didn't. But we would not have been able to restart that race. There was oil down. It would have been another red flag. I think the last couple cautions or red flags were 15 to 20 minutes with oil. So we were up against it, as well.

Q. What is the rule on that as far as if they haven't made it to the over time line? How does NASCAR judge that? There's some confusion on that issue.
STEVE O'DONNELL: When the leader crosses the start/finish line and a caution comes out, the race is over.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
STEVE O'DONNELL: The over time line, sorry.

Q. With the finishes we had today, does that go into all how you might put together restrictor packages into the Cup Series for next year?
STEVE O'DONNELL: No, like I said, we have to look at the whole weekend in totality, have a lot of discussions with a lot of the teams, kind of look at the data that we see. Certainly a lot of things happened today that we want to go back over. We'll do that and make a decision.

Q. Are you considering possibly an earlier start time?
STEVE O'DONNELL: Have not discussed that.

Q. Why was Castle parked, the 34 car?
STEVE O'DONNELL: Disobeyed a red flag.

Q. Do you know specifically what he did?
STEVE O'DONNELL: I'm not sure.

Q. At the end of the race, was there any decision, when we were under red flag, any decision we might have needed to call the race because it was getting too dark?
STEVE O'DONNELL: On the one earlier?

Q. Yes. Any concerns it would be too dark?
STEVE O'DONNELL: No. I mean, we checked with the spotters. Obviously made sure the sight lines were still good. Obviously if you continued to have, you know, cautions and red flags, that would have been a problem. But we wanted to make every attempt to go back green.
I thought the cleanup crew did a phenomenal job today, and tonight, candidly, to get us back going, all the way through from being able to dry the track as quickly as we did to the hard work from the cleanup crews, enabled us to get back racing.

Q. If you want to finish the race under green, would it make sense to have a quick trigger before they hit the over time line?
STEVE O'DONNELL: No, it wouldn't, Bob, because again, like we've said, we want to make the attempt. But we want to do that under the regular regulations of how we call. So we look at that as our last attempt. We look at each one as our last attempt. If it can play out, it can play out.

Q. Can you provide the video showing the loop of the timing versus where the cars were? Can you do that?
STEVE O'DONNELL: Yeah, we can get that to everybody, yeah.

Q. All the wrecks, the chaos (indiscernible)?
STEVE O'DONNELL: I think you have the two best cars all day long. Once those two were involved in an incident, it kind of was anybody's game. It looked like everybody was going to do whatever they could on a restart. And you saw some craziness happen there on a lot of the restarts. Ultimately the 5 car ended up in Victory Lane.

Q. What can you do to speed up some of those red flag cleanups?
STEVE O'DONNELL: I thought the crew did a phenomenal job. We always look at trying to speed those up. But a lot of effort was put in today.

Q. Are you looking at ways to kind of clear up the confusion with over time line going forward? Any procedure changes we could possibly see?
STEVE O'DONNELL: I think we've talked about the potential to move it to the start/finish line in 2018. But we've been very clear on the rules: once the leader crosses the over time line, a caution comes out, the race is over.

Q. Evaluating the lower downforce package, what are your thoughts despite the chaos in the race?
STEVE O'DONNELL: I think, again, we still got some time to evaluate it. Got to look at the overall weekend. You certainly had some strong cars. It was difficult to catch the leader at times during the race. But you saw a lot of things happen, you know, second half of the race.
So we've got to look at it in totality, look at what happened Saturday, and go from there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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