Cautions Breed Cautions If not Artificial Cautionization

Cautions Breed Cautions. If not, Artificial Cautionization

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.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for

Feature Photo Credit: 313633 Tom Pennington/Getty Images

7 thoughts on “Cautions Breed Cautions. If not, Artificial Cautionization”

  1. So green flag pit stops may be a thing of the past. No need to manipulate action with contrived interruptions to the natural pace of the race. Too bad NASCAR saw fit to go this way..Bad decision

  2. What a crock. Talk about selling the soul of the sport.
    Well at least they won’t have to pretend the cautions are legitimate anymore.

  3. This is NOTHING like the 2-minute warning. This is EXACTLY like throwing out the entire first 58 minutes of the game, then resetting the scoreboard to 0-0 so that they can cram in another commercial and have an “exciting finish”. It is so wrong on so many level…

  4. When I go to a race I go to see a race not a manipulated show. Guess no more truck races for me just like no more Nationwide races at Dover either with the stupid change made to it also.

  5. The truck series has been struggling for years and this might be the fatal blow. It gives more reason to ignore all but the last 10 lap dash. Even if I was interested in a truck race, there is no reason to watch any of it except the last dash for cash at the end.

  6. The reason is increasing revenue via more commerials. It has no benefit to the racing, the teams, the fans

  7. I used to be a huge baseball fan. I don’t watch much baseball anymore. I used to be a big football fan. I don’t watch football at all anymore. I am gradually becoming less and less a NASCAR fan. Everything they’ve done lately is wrong and a caution clock is the most ridiculous thing they have thought of yet. I wish some TV network would cover USAC Sprints and Midgets and AMA flat track racing. Those are about the only forms of real racing left.

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