Repairs under red flag

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  • #450980
    Frankie Vartanian

    I became a firm believer in not having the discretion of making repairs during a red flag yrs ago. Decades before last Sunday, from what I remember, the Richard Petty team, led by his cousin and head engine builder Dale Inman, were able to change the engine in the car during a red flag for an accident. It took them only 11 minutes(?), but cost some of the mechanics severe burns and probably months of healing. Nascar still allows a team 5 minutes to repair a damaged car, but only under yellow or green flag periods.
    The Mercedes team were allowed to change their front wing, after a first lap communing with the kerbs, while the other cars were stopped out on track under a later red flag. They were a able to greatly, and maybe unfairly, gain an advantage. Not only by correcting the damage done earlier in the race and saving the 0.6 sec disadvantage that they had up to that point, but also by not having to stay stationary for the precious extra seconds that they would have had to spend stopped in the pits under yellow or green flag conditions while the other cars were circulating around the track.
    I’m a huge LH fan, but his the team’s second place finish may not have come had a red flag not come out. This, obviously, had an effect on the team’s results as well as the all important manufactures results. Of course, it also led to permutations in the standings for all other cars teams and drivers. This will, no doubt, by season’s end, effect the team’s bottom line with the prize money as well as the travel money awarded. By this process, it will also cause less money to be awarded to possibly the majority of the remaining teams. While it caused the on track racing to get more interesting, it could have happened to anyone, posssibly changing the results of everyone involved in an even different way.


    Of course, on safety grounds.

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