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NASCAR America: David Hoots on the chaos of calling a Cup race

Former NASCAR race director David Hoots details what it was like watching the race from home, what he would do with the Atlanta caution, and shares his best Kyle Petty story.

After wrapping up a 30-year career as the race director of NASCAR’s premier series with the 2019 Daytona 500, David Hoots was glued to his TV watching Sunday’s race.

“It was a different experience from watching on television, and I truly appreciate what television does for the races, but it was different and strange in the comfort of the recliner,” Hoots, who had watched every Cup race from the scoring tower since 1988, said in a rare interview Wednesday night on NASCAR America.

The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway featured a chaotic situation -- a caution flag in the middle of a green-flag pit cycle -- that Hoots is intimately familiar with handling. He explained to host Marty Snider what makes those circumstances so tricky.

“The only thing that would have probably added to it would have been a serious accident you were having to deal with that would have created the caution,” Hoots said. “But you’re having to check with both timing and scoring, the pit-out official with the camera, checking the start-finish line camera to make sure all this is right and all the scoring telling you who the free pass is ...

“It’s a very chaotic period that can happen at any time you’re running through a round of green-flag pit stops.”

Hoots, who joked that he wasn’t talking to his TV during the broadcast but was texting with several friends “having a good time and enjoying the race,” also shared a humorous anecdote invovling NASCAR on NBC analyst Kyle Petty and team owner Felix Sabates from years ago.

Watch the full interview in the video above.