Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

The true culprit behind overtime, Nashville chaos

CONCORD, N.C. -- Austin Cindric spinning brought out the caution that sent last weekend's Nashville race to overtime. However, there was another culprit responsible for the incident that led to a historic five overtime attempts.

"I had a right-rear tire down and I didn't even know," Cindric told media members Tuesday morning. "(Noah Gragson and I) obviously had slight contact, but course of events, I had a right-rear tire down and we touched doors off the corner.

"Yeah, surprised me too."

The incident occurred with two laps remaining in last weekend's Cup Series race. Cindric raced door-to-door with Noah Gragson before he suddenly spun from 22nd. This brought out the yellow and erased Denny Hamlin's lead over the field.

The initial belief was that the contact with Gragson sent Cindric spinning through the infield. And while the contact played a role in the incident, Cindric has now provided more information.

Overtime is nothing new in NASCAR, but last weekend's race was wildly different. Multiple drivers tried to stretch their fuel runs, and they stayed out on the track even though their teams had concerns about running out.

This gamble paid off for race-winner Joey Logano, who went 110 laps on his fuel run. It did not work for Kyle Larson, Chase Briscoe, and others who ran out of gas at the end of Sunday's race.

Larson, in particular, ran out from the front row at the start of the third overtime attempt. This caused a stack-up as Kyle Busch crashed behind Larson.

A crash involving Josh Berry disrupted the fourth overtime attempt. Logano was in sight of the white flag, but the caution came out and sent the race to the fifth and final overtime attempt.

The Nashville Cup Series race had a scheduled distance of 300 laps and 399.9 miles. The drivers ultimately completed 331 laps around the 1.33-mile race.

"There's a point (in the race) where you're just like, 'What are we doing?'" Justin Haley said Tuesday in a sitdown with media members.

"'I could have been home an hour ago with a 10th-place finish and been in bed already, but here I am pacing under caution and saving fuel. My leg hurts from pushing the clutch in.'"