2013 NASCAR: Should The Flagman Dictate The Restart?

The restart rule in NASCAR has caused some controversy in the past few years. It has lost races for some like Jimmie Johnson earlier this year at Dover when NASCAR said he jumped the restart. Johnson had the best car and was forced to serve a pass through penalty and it cost him the race. With all of the confusion about the restart line would it be easier if we went back to the old method and have the Flagman start the race?

Feb. 27, 2012; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series flagman withdraws the red flag following a two hour five minute red flag following an accident during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The race is being run on Monday for the first time in the 54 year history of the race due to rain. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The current rule now is that the leader of the race is allowed to go when he gets into the “restart zone” which is two lines close to the start finish line. If the leader does not go by that time then when the green flag waves the race is restarted. Also there is no passing allowed before the drivers pass the start/finish line. Both of these rules have caused a lot problems in the recent past with drivers braking both rules. It’s hard for a driver not to pass someone before the start finish line if he gets going faster than the car in front of him. The whole point of the flagman is to tell drivers when to go and when there is a caution (and when its the last lap and when the race is over). So what is the point of having the restart lines? All it does is make the restarts more confusing.

Back in the day this was never a problem as both of these rules were not in place. The flagman restarted the race and no one had a problem with it. That’s what they are there for isn’t is? It makes sense and for some reason NASCAR tried to make the restart fancy and all it has done is cause problems. I’m sure some of the drivers would be more than happy to see the restart zone rule disappear.

So maybe it is time for NASCAR to look at the restart rule and change it back to the way it was. It would make life a lot easier for NASCAR themselves because they wouldn’t have to take the time to look at the restart closely to see if anyone jumped the start. Also they wouldn’t have to take the heat from reporters and fans when they do make the call that someone jumped the restart. It is time to get rid of the restart zone and put the race back into the flagman’s control.

Topics: NASCAR, Restart, Sprint Cup Series

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