RICHMOND, Va. - Not even a post-race meeting with NASCAR officials helped Carl Edwards understand why he was given a penalty at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night.
"We had to just agree to disagree and that's the way it is," Edwards said.
In contrast, Tony Stewart knew exactly why he lost.
"We did everything we could to throw it away [and] it got taken away," said Stewart, who finsihed third. "I'm pretty ticked off about it."
Both drivers were less than pleased when they left Richmond, where late drama added to Kyle Busch's winning the spring race for the fourth consecutive year. The win snapped a 22-race winless streak for Busch.
But Stewart and Edwards both believed the win was taken from them.
Stewart was upset because a caution for debris - he claimed it was for a bottle of soda or water that wasn't an on-track hindrance - erased his lead with 13 laps remaining.
Edwards complained after NASCAR penalized him for jumping the restart with 81 laps remaining.
Edwards lined up next to Stewart for the restart, and his spotter had told the driver that he was the leader. But NASCAR said Stewart was the leader, and when Edwards sailed past him on the restart, NASCAR threw the black flag.
"Our issue was the confusion about who was the leader and who wasn't the leader," said crew chief Bob Osborne.
The penalty dropped Edwards to 15th. He wound up finishing 10th.