Carl Edwards shook his head as he thought of umpire Jim Joyce's bad call that robbed pitcher Armando Galarraga of a perfect game this week.
"My brother showed me that clip on the internet," Edwards said. "That was heartbreaking."
Edwards can relate in a small way. It wasn't as big of a deal as a perfect game, but when Edwards was an up-and-coming driver racing in the Truck Series, he was denied a win thanks to a bad call by NASCAR.
It was at Charlotte in May 2004, the year before Edwards came to Cup racing full-time. He was leading the Truck race by "a mile" when he saw Chad Chaffin blow a tire down the backstraightaway.
"I saw the yellow lights come on," Edwards recalled. "I mean, I watched them – they came on. So I start slowing down, loosening my belts, caution's out and Dennis Setzer goes screaming by me. Vroom!
"I thought ‘Why is he going so fast? Caution is out.' So I look up and the lights were green. I was like, 'Holy...I've just seen something, you know?' Or imagined it or something."
Edwards immediately sped up and went back to racing, but as hard as he drove, he was only able to finish second. It turned out later, when NASCAR looked at in-car cameras, that the caution light had indeed come on momentarily by mistake.
Still, even though he correctly responded to the light, Edwards wasn't awarded the win.
"I'm telling you, I was more heartbroken and frustrated with that than I have ever been with any other outcome of a race," he said. "I don't know what they did in that baseball player's situation, but Mike Helton talked to me about it and they actually issued a press release that said, 'We inadvertently turned on the lights, we apologize to Carl Edwards.'
"That meant a lot that they did that, but that was tough. I didn't get the trophy or anything. That is just part of any sport where you have to enforce the rules and there are going to be mistakes, but it was a hard pill to swallow."