After a late debris caution cost him a likely win at Richmond International Raceway last weekend, Tony Stewart immediately questioned the reason NASCAR called for a yellow flag.
Stewart said the "debris" was actually a water bottle and "it was out of the groove."
"It had been sitting there for eight laps," Stewart said.
A few days later, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton disagreed and said while there may have been a water bottle, there was also a piece of aluminum that appeared to be a crushed beer can on the track – and that was the reason for the caution.
When asked about the debris on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway, Stewart said he believed NASCAR's explanation.
"They picked it up; they know what it is," he said. "It looked like a bottle to me, but the end result is the same thing: It still cost us the win. No matter what it is on the racetrack, you can't have a race car hit it and then have it go in the stands and hurt somebody. You know they did what they needed to do, but you just hate the timing of it and you hate it even happened in the first place."
Stewart said he was not among those who believed the TV broadcast needed to show every piece of debris to viewers, because "I've got the trust in them that when they throw a debris caution, there's something out there."
"I think NASCAR has done a really good job in the last year or so of making sure if there's a debris caution, it's not just a mystery caution," he said. " ... They've got pretty good eyes around the racetrack to make sure there's not stuff laying out there."