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NASCAR could change restarts

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Sunday, May. 31, 2009

DOVER, Del. - NASCAR could implement double-file restarts - with all lead-lap cars up front - as soon as next Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono, The Observer and ThatsRacin.com have learned.

During Sunday’s prerace drivers meeting, NASCAR officials distributed a proposal for double-file restarts to every team to seek their input and suggestions.

The proposal could be adopted in time for next weekend’s Cup race, multiple sources said Sunday. However, it is unlikely to be immediately put in place for NASCAR’s Nationwide and Trucks series.

The proposal distributed on Sunday outlines a procedure that would be used at all tracks and include: (1) all restarts being double-file; (2) the race leader would have a choice of lanes to restart the race; (3) the third-place car would always start in the inside lane; (4) and no changes would be made to the awarding of the "free pass," in which the first car a lap down gets that lap back during every caution.

In addition, under the proposed policy it is unlikely there would be any cars trapped on the end of the lead lap and taking the green flag before the actual race leader.

On Saturday, NASCAR’s vice president of corporate communication, Jim Hunter, said the issue was on the “front-burner,” but offered no timetable.

Several Cup drivers, some of whom attended NASCAR's state of the sport meetings in Concord, N.C., last week, said they believe double-file restarts would be among the quickest changes to come in NASCAR.

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