by kyle tsui
NASCAR has announced a new policy on how race restarts will be handled. Instead of going with the lead lap cars on the outside row and lapped cars on the bottom row, the lapped cars will go to the back. This is a very smart move by NASCAR.
Fans have long been frustrated by the restart policy in NASCAR. The same situation arises time and again. The green flag waves and the first place car takes off to a huge lead. Why? The cars behind him have to thrash around trying to pass back markers who are in the bottom lane.
In theory, this approach is designed to allow the lapped cars to have a chance to get in front of the first place car and back on the lead lap. In reality, it almost never happens. There is, after all, a reason those cars are a lap down!
The recent All Star race was a big eye opener. The lead cars restarted in two rows and the racing was wild. Cars were driving into the gap between the rows. Frankly, it produced the best racing we’ve seen in NASCAR in a very long time. Shockingly, NASCAR appeared to agree and has made the change.
So, how does the new policy work? It is pretty simple. The lead lap cars will line up in two rows at the front of the field. The odd position cars [3rd, 5th, etc.] will be lined up on the bottom row with the even positioned cars on the top. To make the first position valuable, the leading car will be able to choose whether he wants the top or bottom row with the second place car taking the other position.
The new policy is a winner for a couple of reasons. First, it is going to make for far more exciting racing than we currently see. This will be particularly true for restarts near the end of the race. Instead of watching the second place car struggle to drive around the outside of a lapped car, we’ll actually see all the top cars going at it. It will be great!
You should be happy with this change even if you don’t like the new policy. Why? NASCAR is taking action. Television ratings are down over ten percent and anyone watching a race can see all the empty seats in the stands. The only way to rectify this is to make the racing exciting again. This is a big step in that direction and we can expect to see other changes as well. Making wins more valuable from a points perspective would be a logical next step.
Dirk Gibson writes about racing for DCJAutoParts.com – your online home for high performance auto parts and accessories online.