NASCAR adopts double-file restarts
NASCAR has announced a change to its race format for Sprint Cup events with the addition of double-file restarts throughout each race. Beginning with this weekend at Pocono Raceway, the first- and second-place drivers will line up side-by-side as the green flag flies for each restart.
“We’ve heard the fans loud and clear: ‘double-file restarts -- shootout style’ are coming to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “This addition to the race format is good for competition and good for the fans.”
Starting with Sunday's race at Pocono, cars on the lead lap will restart from every caution in two lines, without any backmarkers interfering in the order at the front of the field. The format has been used both in the Budweiser Shootout and the All-Star race, providing a better opportunity to overtake for those behind the leader.
“I’m excited about it,” said two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. “The good thing is that when they drop the green, you’re going to be racing with the guys you’re racing for position instead of trying to clear lapped cars.
“Since NASCAR has adapted the ‘free pass’, I think that’s something that now justifies being able to put those lapped cars to the back and let them race with each other, and let the guys who are racing on the lead lap do the same. I’m behind NASCAR 100 percent on this.”
Kevin Harvick added, “This will not only benefit the lead lap cars, but also the cars that go a lap down, so you get the best of both worlds.”
NASCAR said the format will be adapted for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the near future.