Lincoln, Ala. – “The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading…” and I need to unload on the idiotic decision to go to one green-white-checker (GWC) attempt.
After a wreck on the backstretch with two laps to go, Timothy Peters was declared the winner of the Camping World Truck Series Fred’s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway.
I wasn’t going to do this until after the race weekend, but I’ve seen all I needed after the finish to the Fred’s 250. The choice to go to one GWC attempt was a stupid idea and the race ending under caution is the proof.
The premise that limiting to one attempt enhances safety has plot holes in it. If it’s is based on keeping cars out of the catch fence, then how does it? These cars aren’t up to full speed on the initial lap. As such, the change would’ve only fit that premise if they reduced it to just a one lap shootout.
The drivers have pretty much been unanimous in their praise of this change.
“When we look at these tracks and what is involved in those restarts – especially when you’re coming to the checkered flag, if anyone in this room rode inside one of these cars on a green-white-checkered, there’s no doubt in my mind that every single one of you would say they really shouldn’t do that,” Jeff Gordon said. “It’s insane. It’s a white-knuckle experience. 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.”
Members of the NASCAR media have been divided on this. Pete Pistone of the Motor Racing Network said there shouldn’t be any GWC attempts at all and (and I’m paraphrasing here) “if it ends under caution, it ends under caution.”
Jeff Gluck of USA Today tweeted this.
Hot take: You're not going to like this, but NASCAR did the right thing with 1 GWC rule. There prob shouldn't be any GWCs at plate tracks.
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) October 24, 2015
Now I think very highly of both Pistone and Gluck and this doesn’t change my opinion of them, but I think both are dead wrong.
Jim Utter and Nick DeGroot were on the opposite end from Pistone and Gluck.
GREAT idea .. until it isn't
— Jim Utter (@jim_utter) October 24, 2015
*Sigh* Reduction of green-white-checkered attempts bites the end of the truck race. #NASCAR
— Nick DeGroot (@ndegroot89) October 24, 2015
Now say what you will about Utter and DeGroot, I find them to be good writers as well.
Have we not figured out by now that eight times out of 10, when the drivers like it, the fans won’t. Leading up to the decision, the fans made it clear that they didn’t like this change. Now I’m not one of those people who argue against change because I think everything has to stay the same. I totally understand that changes have to made as time goes on. I really do. But I also believe that when you make changes, they’ve got to make sense. Otherwise, you’ll end up putting a scene in your movie in which the prison camp for earth benders is one that’s surrounded by the Earth.
In conclusion, I think scaling back to one GWC attempt was a bad idea and I hope NASCAR reverses course on this by the time we get back to Daytona in February. While I could argue that two attempts would be better, one is just too few.
My plane is about to take off, so I need to wrap this up. Until next time, I’ll leave you with this fact. Nine out of 10 lightning strike victims survive their encounter.