NASCAR

Giving away laps isn't good for sport

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Darrell Waltrip

Darrell Waltrip — winner of 84 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and a three-time champion — serves as lead analyst for NASCAR on FOX. He was selected for induction into the prestigious NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2012. Want more from DW? Become a fan on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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A little too free

Matthew from San Antonio, Texas: Do you think NASCAR needs to review the free pass or "lucky dog" rule? The rule should allow drivers to make up laps with the cautions if they are the first car down, but they should have to make up one lap on their own if they go multiple laps down during the race. Darrell Waltrip: After seeing Jeff Gordon get three laps back at Indy and then seeing Kyle Busch get five laps at Watkins Glen, you should have to be in touch with the leader. If you're on the back straightaway and the leader is at the start/finish line, you shouldn't get the lucky dog. On a short track, it's a totally different scenario, but you should be within a certain distance of the leader to be eligible for the lucky dog.

It's wrong to give lap after lap after lap after lap to a driver if he's not in touch with the leader, and you should only get it a couple of times in one race. The Michigan race was a lot of caution flags interrupted by a little bit of racing. These debris cautions and all of the things that are creating cautions registered another record at Michigan. If NASCAR continues to allow cars back on the lead lap, it's detrimental to the sport and not a good way to race. The sanctioning body needs to take a long hard look at it. I've never been a fan of the dog, and I think they need to tighten it up a little bit. Quit being so free with giving laps back, particularly over and over again to the same guy.

Great unknown

Kathy from Huntington Beach, Calif.: Is it really fair to move David Gilliland and Stephen Leicht up to Cup so soon? They have done a great job so far in the lower series, but it seems like if they don't perform immediately in Cup, they will be out. Nothing against either of them, but I think they should get more experienced before being thrown to the wolves.

Ask DW

Darrell Waltrip: David Gilliland in the No. 38 car just kind of shows me that car owners today are a whole lot more willing to take a chance on what they don't know than what they do know. When you have commodities and drivers that have track records, it looks to me like sometimes owners say, "OK, we know what that guy can do. I'm going to take a chance and go with somebody else, even though we don't know what they can do." To me, that could be a little dangerous.

Doing the Dew

Ray from Saint Peter, Minn.: Hi DW, I remember seeing you run the Dew car at Riverside way back then. Brings back fond memories. Thanks. Darrell Waltrip: So many people commented about the Mountain Dew car that Brian Vickers drove in the Busch race at Michigan. It was great to see that paint job out there. Brian did a great job in the car. It sure brought back some neat memories for me so I appreciate all the e-mails I got responding to the car.
Tagged: Jeff Gordon, Stephen Leicht

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