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NASCAR overtime line needs to go

I’ve never been a fan of the overtime line rule recently instituted in NASCAR’s national divisions to replace the green-white-checker rule. It’s always struck me as a knee-jerk reaction to a problem that, for the most part, wasn’t even there. It was the answer to, for the most part, one restart on which NASCAR didn’t really like the perceived monkey business it thought it saw. Well, I guess it also was an attempt to make late-race restarts at the restrictor plate tracks of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Super speedway safer after multiple instances of cars and or car parts flying int he grandstands and injuring fans. I’m all for safety, especially fan safety, so how’s this for compromise? Let’s just drag out this overtime line thing at Daytona and Talladega. Let’s go back to more traditional green-white-checker finishes everywhere else.

After the controversy at the end of Sunday’s Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway relating to a late-race wreck on an overtime restart, just before the overtime line, and the caution not coming until after eventual winner Kasey Kahne passed the overtime line, I’m ready to call for a scrapping of the overtime line.

No, I’m not having a knee-jerk reaction to the finish of one race. What happened Sunday has happened before, bringing a race finish into question. The Brickyard incident is just the most recent, and as a result, brought the controversial overtime rule back into the spotlight.

Heck, even NASCAR has been contemplating amending the rule to move the overtime line to the start/finish line, according to public statements made by NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell. And let’s get real here, and call such a move what it would, essentially, be — a return to the green-white-checker rule that, for the most part, hardly anyone had an issue witch.

Bad finishes aside, a negative side effect of this overtime rule is it feeds the conspiracy theorists. And, really, I get tired of hearing those folks’ idiotic gripes and grumbles. For example, the latest conspiracy theory du jour claims NASCAR waited until after Kahne crossed the overtime line so the race would be official. NASCAR’s claim is that, yes, the wreck came before the overtime line, but by the time the decision was made that a caution was needed, Kahne had already crossed the line. I can buy that, and no, that’s not because of some kind of gullibility. Besides, it’s not like the race could’ve restarted, anyway. After time for track cleanup, it would’ve been too dark to safely return to racing.

Still, let’s get rid of the overtime line. My preference would be a return to the previous green-white-checker return. My second choice — a return to just running the scheduled distance, whether that ends under green or yellow. Sure, races didn’t always end under green under the green-white-checker rule, but, somehow, green finishes just seemed more likely than with the overtime rule. One thing’s for sure, finishes seemed less controversial.

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Posted by on July 25, 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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