ASA SCORING IS OFFICIAL AFTER SCORING GLITCH IN KY by Bob Dillner & Jeremy Troiano
It Confused Fans, Drivers & Even Officials
Not too long after the start of the BFGoodrich Tires 125, race leader Bryan Reffner was shown with a decent lead. The next lap however, he didn't have the lead at all. Did he blow up? No. Did he pull down pitroad? No. Wow. The scoring system even claimed Reffner was five or six laps down and was in 30th position or so. What the heck happened?
In this world where we rely way too much on computers, this was a lesson to be learned for all of us. The Kentucky Speedway scoring system, which utilized transponders placed on each ASA car, was malfunctioning. ASA officials never gave up and in fact, did it the old fashioned way during the race, by utilizing “at the line” and “flop-clock” scoring to record the event.
“It was pretty confusing at times,” said ASA Race Director Dan Spence. “We had good people working on it though. We kept comparing what we had in the tower with the individual scorers with the flop clock and with the people that were doing the line scoring in the tower.
“What was even more confusing to the fans was that the scoreboard was never right. We kept trying to correct the scoreboard and they could never get it right. They just stayed a lap behind almost the entire time. We finally just told them if they can't it right, turn it off. It would have been less confusing.”
It made for a confusing time for fans in the stands and those watching on TV because they rarely knew who was on the lead lap. But just think if you were a crew chief or a driver for that matter, how could you know who to race in a moments notice?
The scoreboard showed Mike Garvey in second place, but he knew that wasn't right. (51 Photo)
“I looked at the board and they had me in second and I was thinking 'Yeah I know that's not right because I'm not second,” said veteran Mike Garvey with a smile. “We just tried to pass everyone we could out there and figured it would fall where it did.”
“I kept asking (my crew) why we weren't on the scoreboard, but they were saying that they 'knew where we were at,'” said Toby Porter.
“I'm glad I was running up front because I’ve been in the back when that stuff happens and you can get screwed,” said Bryan Reffner, who was in the top-5 all night. “When
The official results still show Scott Lagasse Jr. (#20) the race winner, but other positions did change. (David Allio photo)
you are up front, you always have an idea of where you are. If I would have been a few laps down, it would have been real confusing.”
In fact, shortly after the race, Scottsman John Dalziel was listed as several laps down, when indeed he just came off his finest run of his brief ASA career.
“Unfortunately all the scoring is screwed up and apparently I am four laps down,” said Dalziel after the race. “I have no idea how that is. We reckon we lost one laps and that was on the last lap. It is disappointing not to have the true results. Half of the grid is talking to ASA about their positions.
“He is right, he was only one lap down,” said Spence of the Dalziel situation. “We have gone back over the score cards and compared that with the person's sheet in the tower who does nothing but keep up with the lapped cars and what lap they go down on. He is not four laps down and we know that. But having said that, Ross (Wellman) and some of the guys are going to sit down in the office and they are going to take the score cards and video and reconstruct the race and make sure the positions are right.”
Of course, the biggest incident came when race leader Wade Day didn't know he was racing Scott Lagasse for the race win coming to the checkered flag and was passed for the win before the line.
“We just had to NOT depend on the computer,” explained Spence. ““We were feeding the spotters and everybody that was monitoring race control the lead lap cars from the mid-point of the race on. We ran extra caution laps near the end of the race to make sure we had all the lead lap cars in order; just to make sure everybody was on the same page.”
“The guys with Kentucky Speedway seem to think it is where we have the transponders mounted, yet we've run almost six hours of testing, practice and qualifying here and never had a glitch with them. I don't know what the deal was. Machines break. You have to be able to rely on that backup.”
And although a lot of people were complaining about not having a finishing order or points as late as Tuesday afternoon, you have to give ASA a lot of credit. Solving something like this is a difficult task. On Monday, several series officials recreated the race using scoring sheets, which resulted in the proper finishing order. It was a lot of hard work, but like Spence said, at least they have a back-up.
John Dalziel (#06) had the run of his ASA career, but the team didn't know it until ASA officials released the official results on Tuesday. (High Sierra Photo)