Come on, you know you’ve done it, we all have; the NASCAR race has been running and the cars (or trucks) have gotten all strung out and you wished there was a caution flag to bunch them back up. Well NASCAR has given you your wish, well somewhat.
NASCAR is implementing a new program for the Camping World Truck Series where they will set a clock when the green flag waves and if there is no caution flag after 20 minutes of green flag racing they will through a caution flag.
The caution clock will be turned off with 20 laps to go at all events in the series, with the exception of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Pocono Raceway, where the clock will be turned off with 10 laps remaining.
At first look at this it seems wrong, totally against what racing is all about; it is wrong. But in life and sports there are rules. Some rules are there to protect the participants others simply to make it more interesting and still others to help in officiating (game management).
This rule is not much different than the two minute warning in football. It adds some time to the game for all parties to reset, take a breather if you will prior to restarting the action. This will also help, like football; the television partners manage TV time outs or commercials.
Every fan knows that each and every race gets more interesting after a caution flag and the subsequent restart. That is the entire basis for NASCAR implementing this rule.
NASCAR did not provide much additional information. One would think that they should automatically clean the track when one of these cautions is thrown to ensure good racing at the restart. Another thought would be that since there was no debris it would be better to have a quick caution and get right back to it. We will see how this is implemented. This may end up being an option based on what is happening on track throughout the particular race.
In realty the majority of times this rule gets used will be on the 1.5 and 2 mile tracks and may perhaps only come into play one time during a race. Regardless, it can only make the racing more interesting.
One argument that many have is that this adds yet another gimmick to NASCAR racing. It doesn’t. It is another rule for teams to manage. The teams will not only have to manage laps, fuel and tires but also reconcile that with time. In other words this rule only adds to the game it doesn’t take anything away from it.
Feature Photo Credit: 313633 Tom Pennington/Getty Images