NASCAR explains record-breaking Kansas finish

NASCAR Cup Series managing director Brad Moran has explained why there is a difference between the painted start/finish line and what NASCAR uses to determine the winner of a race.

“They’re very close to the same but we don’t go off the accuracy of a painter that paints a line on the racetrack,” Moran told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday. “It’s for a visual for the fans, for the teams to get a visual, but when we get talking this close, we make sure finishes are right like many other sports. We have a laser line that is pencil thin, and this camera takes anywhere from 4,000 to 20,000 frames per second, and that’s how close it is that we see at the start/finish line.

“There are obviously different textures in the asphalt and concrete and by means is that line – not that it was out by a lot or anything like that – but we obviously have a much tighter tolerance on who wins a Cup (Series) race or any race for that matter in NASCAR.”


Kyle Larson beat Chris Buescher by 0.001s in Sunday night’s race at Kansas Speedway. It is the closest finish in Cup Series history.

However, there was initial confusion over who won the race based off the Fox Sports television camera based on the start/finish line because of how close it was between the two drivers. As more images started to emerge, questions were raised as to why the start/finish line wasn’t completely painted as the white line didn’t extend onto the apron of the racetrack where Buescher’s Ford Mustang Dark Horse nose crossed.

NASCAR released its high-speed camera image on its official X account shortly after the race. The image is created by the frames Moran mentioned. In the photo, the red line is where the painted start/finish line and the black line, which Moran pointed out isn’t far off, is where NASCAR’s laser line is to designate the finish.

“The last lap was the ending to I’d probably say one of the best races in the history of NASCAR from start to finish,” Moran said. “The last lap, obviously, was a great battle coming down to the end, coming out of Turn 4 side-by-side with three or four of them going for the win, and got some contact between the 5 and the 17. A great job by both Kyle Larson and Chris Buescher to keep them straight, keep them going in the right direction.

“We knew it was real close at the line, and when we go to our cameras, which we use for any stage finish, any points-paying finish, or money-paying for that matter, it’s always done off the camera. It showed (Larson) got him by, well, we all know, 0.001s, which is the closest finish in history.”

NASCAR used the same technology to determine Daniel Suarez was the winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway at the start of the season in a three-wide photo finish with Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.

Story originally appeared on Racer