Drivers applaud decision to limit GWC attempts at Talladega
NASCAR announced earlier this week that if Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is pushed into overtime, the field will make just one attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.
The move was made to balance the excitement of finishing the race under green-flag conditions while maintaining the safety of the competitors and fans alike.
The decision is a popular one among the drivers.
"Is there a way to get a rule where there’s none? I’d be in favor of that, too," veteran Jeff Gordon said with a smile. "There is a balance between the excitement and entertainment to give the fans what they came here for and putting drivers at risk.
"It’s insane. It’s a white-knuckle experience," Gordon added of green-white-checkered restarts at Daytona and Talladega. "If anyone in the garage says it’s not, then they’re not telling the truth. It just is. You’re holding your breath. It can make for some amazing moments and highlights. I don’t know if you need to put any added risk out there to do more than one."
Much like his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is pleased with the move to just one green-white-checkered restart, saying the previous rule that allowed up to three was too much.
"I think the green-white-checkers are a way to give the fans an opportunity to see a race end under green, but how many are too many attempts?" Earnhardt said Friday at Talladega. "Even with three attempts, that’s not a 100-percent guarantee that you’re going to finish the race under green, so when do you end it? I thought three was a lot. It still think three is a lot; anywhere at any race. One attempt was kind of the ‘norm’ if anybody ever did that in racing in the last 100 years. One attempt seemed to be plenty."
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski said he does not believe the one attempt at a green-white-checkered will be a big deal in Sunday’s race, but he is concerned how the fans will take the change.
"The hard part for me is when you let the cat out of the bag and you do three attempts, it’s hard to go back," he said. "I think some would say that’s part of the value proposition for our sport for some of the partners and stakeholders or fans. So it’s hard to put the lid back on that, put the cat back in the bag, whatever metaphor you want to use, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
"I support it, but I guess it would really depend on what the fans think at the end of the day. But I doubt there will be any meaningful impact."
The new policy is in effect only for the restrictor-plate tracks of Daytona and Talladega only, with the three-attempt policy remaining in place at the other tracks.