New gimmick alert: NASCAR Trucks gets 'caution clock'

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    NASCAR continue to lead the way in the world of motor racing gimmicks, and has now announced that its Trucks series will have a full course yellow caution period at least once every 20 minutes, except during the last 20 laps:

    Starting with the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 19, Camping World Truck Series races will use a 20-minute timer that begins counting down at the start of each green-flag run. If no caution period occurs before the 20-minute limit elapses, the yellow flag will fly, giving teams the opportunity to make pit stops and adjustments under caution.

    NASCAR say the rule was inspired by basketball, “with its shot clocks and regularly scheduled TV timeouts” but were also quick to point to a historical precedent in the championship: “it also makes a slight nod toward the trucks series’ infancy, when shorter races used a halftime break”.

    A smart means of livening up the show? Or a gimmick too far? I’m obviously in the latter camp…

    Adam Blocker

    This is the worst gimmick in motorsports history. The most exciting part of any oval race (for me) are long green flag runs. Long green flag runs allow for more strategy, tyre conservation, fuel conservation, and they allow for each race to be unique. This gimmick will essentially make every race have a similar plot.

    Cookie-cutter races on cookie-cutter tracks? That’s not for me.


    And F1 fans think they have it bad… looked at some NASCAR forums and the response has been utter despair. It’s quite well known than NASCAR throw debris cautions arbitrarily to tighten the cars up, but what I don’t understand is why the races are so long if they’re going to get reset every 20 minutes. Truck races are still fairly long, usually longer than a Grand Prix. But if NASCAR prefers short burst of racing, why not have a multi-race format like the BTCC?


    I’m speechless. Well, almost…

    To put this decision into perspective, this means there will never be a situation where cars pit under green. This also means that no one, ever, will attempt to break away from the pack. This means that every single team will run at the slowest possible pace for 95% of the race. This means that the driver leading the last lap of the race will be unlikely to be the one leading at the end of the lap. This means the death of the sport, because for all the money, time and effort spent, it matters for naught, because what counts is perhaps 5% of the race distance and the lottery of jumbled up car performances in the death of the race.

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