Restart Rule needs help
Nascar urgently needs to rethink their restart rules. It encourages too much funny business by the drivers and leaves too much of a gray area upsetting fans because some think a restart was legal and some don't.
The front row drivers are strapped into their safer seats with pads surrounding their helmets on either side, and they can barely see what's next to them. They have 20 drivers behind them with 850+ horsepower each. When they enter the restart zone, the leader hits the gas and the second place driver quickly follows. From that point on, what does Nascar expect the 2nd place driver to do? He's busy trying to not spin his tires, watch his tach, shift, watch his mirrors for drivers trying to pass, and plan his line into the quickly approaching next corner, all while possibly being bumped by the guy behind him. But wait, Nascar wants him to divert his attention to the 1st place driver next to him, and pedal his throttle to make sure that the other guy keeps his lead all the way to the start finish line, by just a nose? What if the leader spins his tires? Now the 2nd place driver HAS to botch his restart also, to make up for the other guy's mistake? What about the cars behind him who are focused on nothing but getting as many spots as possible on the restart? Do you think they are lifting? No! All of this is leading to a huge safety risk as they head into that first corner. It's promoting 4-wide situations that lead to massive wrecks, costing the teams hundreds of thousands of dollars in trashed cars. The alternative, giving the spot back sometime in the first lap, is not realistic either. Faster cars behind will be all over this guy who is "trying to do the right thing", bumping him, possibly getting him loose and wrecking him. All of this for the guy that actually had the best restart and should now actually be leading the race.
All of this could be fixed by a simple rules change. Eliminate the "leader must lead at the line rule". The leader gets lane choice AND the choice of when to accelerate in the restart zone. If that's not enough advantage, then that's too bad. If he screws up and spins his tires or misses a shift after he's exercised his decision on when to go, it's on him. Don't penalize the second place driver for doing what he's out there to do- race.
Again a result of changing the way racing was set up by Big Bill France. Nascar says FANS wanted a double line restart, what fans?? the NEW fans?? LOL, did you learn something this weekend Nascar, IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT.
NASCAR needs to be consistent with how they handle restarts. Edwards should have been penalized and does not deserve the win. NASCAR is definitely losing fans because they are not following their own rules.
Bottom line is that rules are rules. Edwards passed the leader well before the start finish line, and the rule is that the leader of the race takes the green flag. (And if you go back and watch the video, Edwards was already in the gas before the green came out) Moving forward, if Nascar choses to change the ruling on the restart, then so be it. But as for this restart at Richmond, Edwards was at fault, and should have been penalized. Nascar needs to keep an even playing field for everyone, but they choose to favor the marquise drivers. If the roles was reversed, Menard would have been penalized.
They did the same thing in 2008, Talladega race with Smith and Stewart. Because the situation was with a marquise driver, they leaned more towards that driver. The ruling is that you can not pass beneath the yellow line, UNLESS a driver is forced below. Smith was forced, but choose to go with the decision to give the marquise driver the win.
So, back to the ruling, if the rule right now states that you can not pass the leader until the start finish line, Edwards should have been sent to the tail end of the lead lap cars....
I totally agree that the restart rules have become a joke. I thought that the leader was suppose to pass the line first. That was not even close Saturday night in Richmond.
I think its great that Nascar put Ryan back in the chase, but why was Gordon left out when the same scenario was used to put him out and Joey in to help Martin. These were the two that was mostly affected by the deal.
I know that I am only one fan that watches weekly and attends 2-3 races in person every year, but I am just about fed up with the Nascar and their new direction. I will still go to the Martinsville race since I already purchased the tickets. If Nascar leaves things as they are they can count me out from watching, attending, and spending my money.