Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Conscience of NASCAR

I am partial to Tony Stewart- largely because he acts as a sort of conscience of the NASCAR community- albeit slightly crazed. And he is dead right here about the number and type of “debris cautions”.

I’ve railed about this stupid debris caution nonsense for two years now- there was actually one for a glove a year or so ago- which is the key cause of the absolutely never ending increase in caution periods. Worst of all, the end of racing back to the stripe under yellow means NASCAR is now locked forever into a seemingly endless number of additional caution laps required to sort all the lucky dog or “who was in what position exactly the moment the caution flew” debates.

And while I disagree with Tony- I don’t for a minute believe NASCAR is throwing debris cautions for any reason other than what they perceive to be participant safety- the fact remains that safety cautions are getting totally out of hand. And they’re boring and I don’t want to watch them anymore.

Save the blinking yellow lights for real emergencies and feel free to freeze the field then- but for more “routine cautions” let them race back to the flag- and then turn these debris cautions and such into a quick, closed pit, one-lap tidying exercise. With the exception of the green-white-checker rule, NASCAR has spent the past few years taking steps that inadvertently increased caution laps. Now they need to look at rules increasing racing at the expense of parading.

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