NASCAR May Allow Multiple GWC Restarts
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
and Rick Minter | Senior Writer
Daytona Beach, Fla. – NASCAR officials have confirmed that they may change rules on green-white-checkered finishes and make the changes in time for Thursday’s twin Gatorade 150-mile qualifying races.
The change would allow multiple restart attempts prior to the white flag lap.
The changes, first reported by RacinToday Wednesday morning, were presented to teams during safety meetings. A source said that NASCAR is soliciting driver opinions on the potential move.
If driver feedback warrants, NASCAR officials will announce the change prior to Thursday’s events.
The change would be an attempt by NASCAR to finish more races under green flag conditions.
“NASCAR wants to do everything it can to finish races under green,” the source said. “They want to give that every chance.”
The decision on exactly how many restarts would be left to the discretion of the offiicials in the control tower.
Rules currently allow for just one restart attempt in green-white-checkered conditions. If a wreck or debris or any other circumstance brings out a yellow flag after a GWC restart, the race is declared over.
Such a situation occurred during Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout. After a wreck on a GWC restart, the race was declared over and Kevin Harvick was given the victory.
Driver Mark Martin said that although he expects a change in the green-white-checkered rules this week, he’s against the change, saying the sport needs to mainain a level of professionalism.
“It can get a little bit like a circus, but I can see (changes) coming,” he said.
Two racers-turned-TV-talkers praised the proposed changes, saying NASCAR is doing what the fans have said they want even if it might mean more wrecks.
“It’s definitely going to increase the possibility of more accidents happening,” Dale Jarrett said during an ESPN press conference at Daytona.
Jarrett pointed out that Saturday’s Budweiser Shootout was disappointing because a crash ended the racing prematurely, and the changes would correct that situation from an excitement standpoint.
“It’s a good addition,” he said.”It goes along with everything (NASCAR) is doing. The fans deserve it.”
Former crew chief Andy Petree, also an ESPN broadcaster, said he was personally disappointed that Saturday’s Shootout essentially ended early.
“I felt let down,” he said.”(NASCAR) is listening to the right people. Fans want to see the races finish.”
– Jim Pedley can be reached at email@example.comOne Comment