Nascar announced a revision to its finishing procedures, allowing a maximum of three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish before calling the race. Should a driver take the while flag and a caution flag occur, the field will be frozen and the race will end. The three attempts can only occur if the yellow flag comes out before the white flag on a green-white-checkered finish.
The rule will be implemented starting at the Gatorade Duels, and will apply to all three of NASCAR’s major series, the Camping World Truck Series, the Nationwide Series, and the Sprint Cup Series.
NASCAR’s vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said:
We want to do all we can to finish our races under green flag conditions. The fans want to see that and so do the competitors. We felt that putting a cap at three attempts to finish the race under green is the way to go. It gives the fans what they want and it also gives the teams a better opportunity to prepare for their end of race strategy.
Richard Childress Racing owner Richard Childress said:
It’s going to be good for the fans. It can get costly for the owners. The biggest thing is I’d like to know if the cars are in turns 3 and 4 and there is a wreck right behind them, do they throw the caution or do they let them come on to the white flag?
I would think, based on how NASCAR has handled it in the past, they would be hesitant to throw the caution in the final laps of the race. If the accident is blocking the track or poses some other sort of safety issue, I think NASCAR would throw the caution. But, I think they are reluctant to do so.
Overall, I believe this change will be positive for the sport because, as a fan, it’s disappointing to travel to a race and watch 400+ miles only to see the race end under caution. I know drivers are saying that it increases the chances for wrecks. But, truth be told, wrecks are a part of the sport and what they’re paid to deal with. Drivers wreck in practice, when nothing is at stake, so they should be able to deal with it when a chance for a better finish is at stake.
I also like that it makes it harder to gamble on fuel. Don’t get me wrong, fuel mileage races are exciting to watch, too. But, too many fuel mileage races gets boring, and annoying.