Gander Outdoor Truck Series Opinions

Lazenby: The New Overtime Rules Aren’t in the Fans’ Favor


In 2016 NASCAR overhauled its version of overtime. In the event of a race ending under caution the race will go into overtime procedure. Drivers will have two final laps to battle for the top spot. Over the past decade fans had grown accustomed to races finishing under green flag conditions. Now, with the implementation of the overtime line, fans are no longer guaranteed a green finish.

This year, an “overtime line” has been painted somewhere along the backstretch of each track. Once the leader reaches this line, the race is official and the next flag to be flown will end the race. Make no mistake, this is absolutely NASCAR’s response to the controversial overtime finish at Talladega Superspeedway last October.

There’s no room for confusion or manipulation. The OT line makes the timing of when the caution came out replay-able. From a governing standpoint this new procedure makes perfect sense, but as a fan I am vehemently against it. I want to see drivers racing to the start/finish line.

If NASCAR can make a line for them to determine what a valid restart is then they should also make a line to determine if a wreck is a safe distance from the finish.

Imagine we are racing at a track over 2 miles in length. If a wreck occurs past the OT line on the final lap of the race NASCAR should let them race back to the finish. There would be at least a mile for drivers to slow their stock cars before they enter the debris field. If NASCAR wants to put in a rule that will help teams save money they should also implement a rule that safe guards a fans desire to see a green finish.

This idea probably couldn’t be used at smaller venues, such as Martinsville Speedway, where the NSCS and NCWTS will compete this weekend. This half mile speedway will pose a potential new issue for the OT rules. On such a small track there’s a chance the back of the field won’t have even rounded turn 1 by the time the leaders reach the OT line. If there’s a flaw with these new rules, short tracks may be the place the issues arise.

Maybe NASCAR will wait for that to actually happen, but if it does it will be the first thing to slow the sport’s momentum this year.

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About Camden Lazenby

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