(photo by Leon Hammack)
NASCAR has heard the fans loud and clear!
There has been much speculation about this subject ever since the All-Star race last month at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Today NASCAR has officially announced that the double file restarts will be in effect starting this weekend at Pocono for the Cup Series. Brian France stated earlier, “We have heard the fans loud and clear-‘double file restarts-shootout style’ are coming to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This addition to the race format is good for competition and good for the fans”. The double file format will be added to the Nationwide Series and the Truck Series in the near future.
Under the new format, the leader will have the option whether to start on the inside or the outside of the front row. The second place competitor would then move to the appropriate lane, depending where the pole sitter wanted to start on the front row. All other competitors would line up in their allotted position. The leader would still control the tempo of the starts/restarts for the race, as always.
There is also a change to the “free pass” or the lucky dog” rule. There would still be the ability to get the free pass on yellow flag restarts. However, a new change would allow the free pass to happen throughout the entire race on all restarts. Previously there were no “free passes” issued with 10 laps or less remaining in the race. This new change removes the possibility of lapped cars being behind the pace car, the leaders in the middle of the pack, and thus allowing the leaders to take the green flag unimpeded by lapped cars. That is the new change to restarts in a nutshell!
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