According to reports, including one from NBC Sports, NASCAR is looking at further limiting the number of green-white-checker restart attempts allowable in the Oct. 25 race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for safety’s sake. The current maximum is three green-white-checker attempts at all tracks.
NASCAR has hinted at changes since Austin Dillon’s car flew into the catchfence at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, NASCAR’s other restrictor plate track, in July. Five fans sustained injuries from the incident. It was the third time since the beginning of the 2012 season that fans were injured at Daytona across races in NASCAR three national series during extra laps added to race distances by green-white-checker restarts.
Drivers, including perennial Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski and four-time Cup champ Jeff Gordon have all stated that either NASCAR should limit green-white-checker restarts at Talladega and Daytona or that they’d be okay with limits on GWC restarts at the plate tracks.
Another Cup driver, Denny Hamlin, has another idea, though. Hamlin, according to the aforementioined NBC Sports report would prefer single-file restarts at plate tracks.
I’m all for safety of the drivers who risk their lives entertaining us every week. Giiven the choice between the two aforementioned options, I have to go with limited green-white-checker restarts to one.
Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not so sure single-file restarts would help anything, unless I have the wrong idea on what Hamlin’s talking about. If he’s talking single-file as in the old-day restart in format in which lead-lap cars are single-file in one line with lapped-down cars lined up beside them in the inside line, that may make things even worse. With that format, you’re lining up fast cars with cars that couldn’t keep up. You know, there is a reason they’re a lap down.
But then again, if I remember correctly, back in the single-file restart days, late in the race, maybe the last 10 laps, I can’t remember for sure, lapped cars didn’t line up on the inside of the single line of lead-lap cars. Maybe that’s what Hamlin’s talking about.
Still, I’m more for limiting green-white-checker restarts — not doing away with them completely, but maybe cutting back to one possible attempt. According to Hamlin, with double-file restarts, the race leader has the ability to block both lanes. Well, as soon as another line forms right after the restart, doesn’t the leader have the same ability? Of course, I acknowledge that Hamlin knows way more about this than I do. He’s driving a race car. I’m not, so maybe I am missing something, but based on what I do know, I’m on the side of limited GWC.
Some reports had NASCAR making an announcement on the matter as early as Tuesday, while others said as late as Tuesday. Well, it’s Wednesday and still no word, so this may be much ado about nothing.
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