At a time when NASCAR's desperate for a breath of fresh air, the move to sanction double-file restarts for lead lap cars is guaranteed to shake things up a bit. With the change taking effect in time for this weekend's racing at Pocono, here's four quick reasons why the rule will lead to better competition:
That scenario has often allowed the lead car to get an advantage, using the lapped car as a "pick" as he clears him going into turn 1 with the second place car being forced to fight side-by-side for a lap or more. Especially with the CoT, by the time that second-place car gets in clean air they've fallen at least one second behind, and then they pick up the dreaded "aero push," an aerodynamic disadvantage that tightens up the car and makes it all but impossible to pass.
However, with a double-file restart, that type of scenario simply disappears. It's next to impossible for the leader to get a jump on a guy who's been close to his equal the entire race. Meanwhile, the lapped traffic will have its own open space in front of them to battle for the "free pass" position out of harm's way.
Such a scenario would have helped
Clearly, one rule is not a fix-all for the overall health of the series, and there are some questions about how it'll be implemented moving forward. But this rule -- combined with the expansion of the "free pass" car for the entire race -- will lead to more drivers finishing on the lead lap. And the more of those there are, the better the competition generally is around the NASCAR circuit.
"We've heard the fans loud and clear: 'double-file restarts -- shootout style' are coming to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO
There are still things that fans have reason to be worried about -- for example, coverage of lapped cars could now be non-existent with them being thrown at the back in the pack. This move does nothing but increase competition and excitement across the board. Yes, it's untraditional; but with declining TV ratings and fan interest, the last thing NASCAR needs is to stay the course.
Early indications are they're changing direction. Now, it's time to see just how far they'll go.
The fan uproar over
No matter what happens in court,