NASCAR has changed yet another of its rules at the behest of its fan base.
Starting at Sunday’s I Love New York 355 at The Glen, the start-finish line will serve as the overtime line at every race, NASCAR announced Wednesday. The distance from the restart zone to the line currently varies from track to track, as it’s placed at the entry of Turn 3 on oval tracks.
“NASCAR has been looking at the overtime procedure for quite some time,” NASCAR chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said in a statement. “After many discussions with key figures throughout the industry, we recognize that having the start-finish line serve as the standard overtime line position will benefit the race — and, most importantly, our fans. We are implementing this immediately, starting with this weekend’s races at Watkins Glen International.”
The line, which was introduced in 2016, is the point on the track which the lead car must cross before the caution comes out on an overtime restart for a race to be deemed complete. NASCAR’s revision to the rule means that the leader will be required finish an entire lap under green flag.
“Much like the original placement of the overtime line, the industry had a voice in this decision. It was certainly a collaborative effort between NASCAR and the industry,” Scott Miller, NASCAR’s vice president of competition said, via NASCAR.com. “We’re all working toward the same goal, and that’s been the case for awhile now.”
Although the overtime line has been a hotly debated topic within NASCAR for some time, the debate really picked up steam after the Brickyard 400. Kasey Kahne won that race after narrowly making it to the line on what essentially would have been the last restart, as the sun already had set.
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