Jeff Gluck, united states of america today , WCNC 9:15 AM. EST April 29, 2016
TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 25: cars ruin on the ultimate restart all through the NASCAR dash Cup series CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 25, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (picture with the aid of Brian Lawdermilk/Getty images) (photograph: Brian Lawdermilk, 2015 Getty images)
as the NASCAR neighborhood reassembled in valuable Alabama on Thursday, it become difficult no longer to mirror to its most fresh consult with in October. lovers and drivers alike left with a sour style in their mouths after the race at Talladega Superspeedway ended beneath dubious instances.
Kevin Harvick instructed his vehicle into Trevor Bayne's vehicle, which brought on a race-ending caution. That an awful lot is indisputable. even if or now not Harvick did it on purpose still is up for debate.
We might rehash the incident right here — it appears even worse in hindsight than it did that day, seeing that it finally charge Dale Earnhardt Jr. a spot in the championship race — but the more essential query is whether the loophole Harvick may additionally have exploited has been closed.
TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 25: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 eating regimen Mountain Dew Chevrolet, reacts on pit road after the NASCAR sprint Cup sequence CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 25, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (photograph by means of Sarah Crabill/Getty images) (photo: Sarah Crabill, 2015 Getty pictures)
may someone intentionally manipulate the conclude of a restrictor-plate race below nowadays's rules? possibly, nevertheless it would be a lot extra complex.
that is due to the new NASCAR time beyond regulation rule, which was a mixed effort of officials and the drivers' council before this season. There can be more angst and hand-wringing over the conclude of plate races at Talladega and Daytona international Speedway than anything else NASCAR does in its race tactics, so whatever needed to be completed to take an extra step toward fixing a complicated issue.
at the moment last yr, the Talladega race had the knowledge to conclusion with three makes an attempt at a eco-friendly-white-checkered overtime finish. The idea turned into that fanatics deserved to peer an exhilarating ending after sticking it out for 500 miles — which at plate tracks often comprises a lot of riding round for hundreds of miles this present day as a result of drivers don't need to possibility getting caught in a single of these noted multi-automobile crashes.
however after Austin Dillon's terrifying spoil at Daytona closing July, everyone accurately regarded in the replicate and asked themselves whether it turned into really price bunching up the box at the craziest moments of a race, as a consequence increasing the chance of a severe injury or worse for drivers and enthusiasts.
The answer was no, so NASCAR tried fixing the coverage. as an alternative of three attempts at a green-white-checkered in the October Talladega race, officials ruled there could be one.
That created a problem. One effort readily meant taking the green flag. So when that took place and the container automatically wrecked, NASCAR decided it couldn't conclusion the race like that. So officials ruled the effort wasn't in reality an attempt, and the field turned into reset.
What came about next — the Harvick/Bayne incident — became even worse, since it became accompanied via the darkish cloud of feasible race manipulation. This time, a quick caution did end the race and created an unsatisfying result for virtually everyone.
The answer got here a couple of months later — NASCAR extra time. In each race to this point this season, there's been a line painted on the music (at Talladega, it's 250 yards wanting the turn three crossover gate). There's only one attempt at beyond regular time if the chief reaches the line; if she or he doesn't, and there's a brief crash like the two at Talladega in October, they'll are trying once again.
So what does that imply? For one, the Harvick/Bayne incident wouldn't have ended closing year's race. it will have persevered with one more attempt unless the beyond regular time line become reached.
That new rule doesn't guarantee fans will see a good finish. however via nine races, it's meant the better of both worlds. lovers have an opportunity for some race-ending pleasure (in other racing sequence, the race without difficulty ends as soon as the scheduled distance is reached). If it doesn't work out, at the least the drivers don't get assorted options at full speed to create a disaster.
What came about at Talladega final 12 months become gruesome and unlucky. anything first rate emerged from it, though, and that rule may support give lovers the finish they deserve here Sunday.
observe Gluck on Twitter @jeff_gluck
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