Green-White-Checkered Finishes Should Include a Continuous Overtime

Daniel HarmonContributor IJanuary 7, 2010

NEWTON, IA - MAY 17: Drivers #27 Jason Patison and #76 Jonathan Smith spin out in corner number 4 at the NASCAR Camping World Series East/West Challenge Long John Silver's 200 on May 17, 2009, at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by David Purdy/ Getty Images for NASCAR)
David Purdy/Getty Images

The crowd is ready, the fans are pumped, and for a brief moment the ratings are through the roof. The green flag falls as the green-white-checkered finish begins. The cars head into turn one and someone happens to spin at the rear of the field.

That's it, it's all over.

It's the offseason and there is plenty of time for rule changes in the rule book. Hey NASCAR, lets talk about those green-white-checkered finishes. Last time I heard, when they were implemented it was to guarantee fans a green flag finish.

How many times has it happened that the race is declared over after an early caution less than half a lap into the so called "overtime?"

The answer is too many times. If NASCAR wants to give fans a green flag finish, then give them a green flag finish.

A few years ago the NHL would end an overtime period in a tie if neither team scored. That meant that nobody won or lost the game. In my opinion, seeing a tie in hockey is just as bad as a caution flag that ends a race. Now the NHL has shootouts, and they keep going until someone wins fair and square.

In NASCAR, winning under caution is not fair and square.

Some of NASCAR's best racing has come with multiple overtime attempts. The last time those occurred in NASCAR was in a Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway in 2004.

That night, it seemed the race would never end. Every time the green flag was thrown, drivers were bumping and banging their way to another caution. It was true fight to the finish racing, and I, for one, loved it. Nothing keeps a fan on the edge of their seat more than watching drivers beating on each other for victory.

Why can't we have that in every series?

NASCAR has always given its fans only one attempt at a green flag finish. Under this strategy a wreck on the restart between drivers racing for last place could end a clean race up front. Its not fair to the fans to see them robbed of a finish that goes completely down to the wire.

NASCAR takes the position that if they have multiple attempts there will be more wrecks and a risk for the drivers. Well NASCAR, last time I looked these drivers are being paid to take risks in these races. The last two laps is no more risky than the other two-hundred before hand.

If a driver complains that they don't want to risk wrecking their car on a green-white-checkered attempt, they should think about pursuing a new profession because it is a part of the sport.

Yellow flag finishes are irritating, especially when the race is very close. We fans demand to get our money's worth at NASCAR races, believe me they cost a lot. Seeing a race end under yellow is a slap in the face.

Somebody needs to tell NASCAR that "rubbin's racing," and if they are afraid that another attempt to finish under green would produce a caution its no wonder every year fans walk away from the sport.

If you look at many racetracks the stands have big empty sections. Times are tough for everyone, but by giving a guaranteed finish under green some fans may be less hesitant to come to races.

Who knows?

Make them know its never over until the checkered flag waves not the yellow flag. I vote NASCAR allows fans to truly be able to say that in NASCAR it's "Checkers or Wreckers".


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