The Green-White-Checker rule is good. For my own personal reason I would love to see it tweaked.
Ending the practice of races finishing under caution was a good thing. Many times over the years fans have been irate leaving a speedway when a winner drove under the checkered and yellow flags waving simultaneously.
Watching on television, the viewer has given up three to four hours of their life. The fan in the stands spent hundreds of dollars on a day or even thousands on a weekend for the big payoff. Which is witnessing a winning moment at the top levels of NASCAR.
Grassroots races had come to terms with this a long time ago. A majority of short track speedways and sanctioning bodies have always had various methods in place that do not allow a race to end under caution.
Cup racing allows for three attempts at a green-white-checker finish. If extra laps are needed to fulfill this procedure outlined in the rulebook, so be it. Good. This fuel strategy makes the races that much interesting for the fans. Granted crew chiefs get gray hair quicker, but that’s racing.
I would like to see the leaders cross under the checkered flag under green. With the current format, after the leader takes the white flag under green, the next flag ends the race. Whether that is yellow or checkered.
On occasion the three-restart rule is used up and a caution will end a race. To me, as many attempts to finish the race as necessary should be applied. If the attempts go past three, that is fine with me. It shouldn’t happen that often. Certainly the proclaimed best stock car drivers around can go around a racetrack twice without crashing. Shouldn’t they?
Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut used to stage a 50-lap feature for the lead modified division. Caution flags counted but the race had to finish under green conditions. Late repeated cautions extended the distance dramatically at times. I recall features into the 70-lap range when the checkered flag finally flew. But it flew while the speedway was green. Cup drivers can obviously be held to a higher standard.
I want the yellow flag cut off to be when the winner races across the stripe. There are an infinite number of scenarios where a caution can be waved on the final lap with the race being either restarted or freezing the final scoring. Safety should never be compromised.
Scoring loops and timed stamp cameras are excellent for organizing a restart lineup. NASCAR has done a very good job in producing green flag finishes.
Let’s make good into excellent and have a winner cross the finish line a full throttle. Every time.
(Patrick Reynolds is a former NASCAR team mechanic who hosts "Motorweek Live" Thursdays at 9pm ET. Listen at www.racersreunionradio.com)
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