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Does NASCAR not want to admit consideration of going back to green-white-checker?

NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell told NBC Sports reporter Nate Ryan during a recent NASCAR on NBC podcast that NASCAR is considering moving the overtime line at all race tracks to the start/finish line for 2018. Criticism of the overtime line, implemented in 2016, picked up steam after a recent race ended under caution after the field passed the overtime line, but hadn’t taken the white flag. In the time since, even drivers who acknowledge being a part of coming up with the overtime line idea have criticized it.

Among those drivers is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt now thinks teams should go back to the previous green-white-checker rule, except for, maybe, at Daytona and Talladega. Actually, restrictor-plate racing at Daytona and Talladega resulted in the now-despised overtime line. But instead, the line rule was implemented everywhere.

Personally, at least at most tracks, I prefer the old green-white-checker rule. And when you get right down to it, isn’t that what we’d have if the overtime line moved to the start/finish line? Instead of referring to the possible change as movement of the overtime line, why can’t we just call it what it would be — reverting back to the green-white-checker rule? Okay, so maybe not as many, or maybe even more, attempts at a green finish would be made under the proposed change, but it would still be a green-white-checker rule, none the less. Wouldn’t it?

Think about it.

Green-white-checker restarts consist of exactly what the name implies — taking the green flag, running a lap, taking the white flag, running the final lap, and then, the checkered flag ends the race. If the white flag waved, and then, there’s a wreck, the race is over, because the leader took the white flag. If said wreck happened before the white flag, there’s a do-over, because the field didn’t take the white flag.

Here’s the scenario with this so-called overtime line at the start/finish line:

The race goes green, one lap is completed without incident, so the white flag waves for the final lap. The next flag ends the race, because if there’s no incident, the next flag would be the checkered. If there is an incident, and the yellow flag waves, the race is over, because the field passed the overtime line. If a yellow comes out before the overtime line, at which the white flag would’ve waved had there not been an incident, that restart was null and void, and another restart is tried.

Sounds like a green-white-checker attempt to me, just with different terminology.

I’m wondering why O’Donnell didn’t just say NASCAR is considering going back to green-white-checker restarts instead of referring to the possible change as a move of the overtime line. Maybe I’m being too nit-picky over nothing more than a difference in terminology. But by referring as the possible change as a move of the overtime line seems to be an attempt by NASCAR to save face. After all, a tweak in the form of a line move sounds better than saying, “We screwed up when we went to this overtime line thing, so we’re going to go back to what we had before.”

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Posted by on July 6, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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