NASCAR changes green-white-checker rules UPDATE Eddie Gossage, of Texas Motor Speedway had this to say about the rule change: "The one attempt has been a loophole in the green/white checkered rule and now the loophole has been closed after seeing a great Budweiser Shootout finish in that fashion. From a promoter's perspective, we want our fans to leave our race weekend talking about a dramatic ending to a great race and NASCAR should be applauded for providing the opportunity more than once should the circumstances dictate. NASCAR is listening to the fans on another issue and that benefits all of us in the sport."
02/11/10 NASCAR is extending its overtime period, and will now make up to three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.
The move was announced to competitors in the driver's meeting preceding Thursday's twin 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway. The change will affect all three national series, and follows a Budweiser Shootout last weekend that went to the green-white-checkered finish, but ended under caution nonetheless.
"We want to do all we can to finish our races under green-flag conditions. The fans want to see that, and so do the competitors," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "We felt that putting a cap at three attempts to finish the race under green is the way to go. It gives the fans what they want and it also gives the teams a better opportunity to prepare for their end-of-race strategy."
Previously, NASCAR had made only one attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, and a caution during that two-lap overtime period ended the race. If a caution comes out after the leader has taken the white flag, the field will be frozen and the race will not resume, as was the case with the previous rule.
"I think it's a great idea. You look at what happened in the Shootout the other night, and it was disappointing that the fans didn't get that great finish they deserved," former Truck circuit champion Todd Bodine said.
"I think it's a great idea to have more than one attempt, for the fans and for the TV audience. That's why we're here, for the fans. I think it's going to help a lot."
Rumors of a potential change swept through the garage area Wednesday, and driver reaction was far from unanimous.
"They could do ten green-white-checkereds and we're still not going to make it to the checkered," Jeff Gordon said. "It just needs to be a one lap, take the green and finish after we attempt one green-white-checkered. That would be my best throw at it. I just think that you've got fuel-mileage issues. We're all cutting it real close anyway. And all you're going to do is set yourself up for another wreck. You give us two laps out there under green, and we're going to find a way to wreck."
Denny Hamlin disagreed. "I think it's good," he said. "Me personally, as a fan, I would've thought that the finish was kind of not that great on Saturday night, but once again they can't change the rule right in the middle of the race. Once again, [NASCAR] is doing everything they can to make everyone happy and make sure we have good finishes, and it's just another step in the right direction. It's not anything I disagree with by any means."