Race Weekend Central

Potts’s Shots: More Reactions to GWC & Double-File Restarts

OK, before we get to the questions and comments, this has absolutely nothing to do with racing, but a little about that earthquake this week. Some folks here in southeastern Kentucky felt it, but I didn’t. And I usually notice those things. Having spent three years in northern Japan more than 50 years ago, I am still sensitive to the ground moving around.

Anyway, it’s my understanding that President Obama will announce that it occurred along an obscure crack in the earth known as “Bush’s Fault.”

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Back to business…

About last week’s dissertation on the GWC finish. Jerome Ranger says, “I have one gripe. I am so tired of hearing that ‘NASCAR listened to the fans’ or ‘NASCAR changed it because the fans wanted it.’ If NASCAR was really listening to the fans, the Chase would be gone.

And Cdakost says, “I’m a NASCAR fan. I like GWC. I wish we could do it as many times as it takes to finish. Most GWC don’t end in ‘crazy wrecks.’ I also like the Chase.”

Well, there’s two separate opinions and that’s what makes this old world go around, in my opinion. It would be pretty dull if we all felt the same way. As to the first comment, I think NASCAR only listens to the fans when they feel like it’s to their advantage. In regards to the Chase, my personal feeling is that I don’t like it. I think the title should be decided over a complete season.

It’s obvious that Brian France or somebody just as dense came up with this gimmick to pump up interest in the championship; after all, it jumpstarts at the same time the NFL begins and the baseball playoffs loom each year.

In regards to the GWC, as I’ve stated before, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. My biggest complaint is with the “Double File Restart, Shootout Style!” philosophy, at least in the last 10 laps of an event.

Anybody who follows this sport and has seen it in action knows exactly what happens. It places a penalty on the guy who is running second.

Think about this – the leader gets to pick inside or outside. Naturally, he’s going to take the side which is most to his advantage. That puts second place on the other side. Whichever the leader chooses, the remainder of the lineup is set with the odd number spots on the inside, even numbers on the outside.

Regardless, this means that the driver running second is alongside the leader, sitting on the least-preferred line, and there is someone who was running third or fourth on the preferred line right behind the leader.

I’ve seen it on short tracks outside of NASCAR as well, and it seems that more times than not, the driver who was second gets shuffled back at least one spot as somebody else follows the leader into the first turn. I really feel that, in the final laps, this situation leads to some really frantic driving and that leads to some of these wild situations that could be avoidable.

As I said last week, we didn’t seem to have this problem with our “last five laps under green” policy in the old American Speed Association.

Could the difference have been that we were starting single-file and the order going into the first turn was the same as before the caution flag flew? I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s worth some consideration.

Do away with the double-file restarts, at least in the final 10 laps, but don’t go back to the policy of putting the lapped cars on the inside. In those final laps, but them on the tail of the lineup. Well, that’s my opinion anyway.

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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