SIMPLER ALWAYS SEEMS to work better in racing.
Anytime issues in NASCAR get bogged down in the wording and interpretation of rules and regulations, generally confusion reigns and competition gets lost in the shuffle.
The rules unveiled for this season’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race seem headed in that direction.
The motivation behind the change is a good one — encourage drivers to have a reason to win one of the four 20-lap segments by offering to those who win a “reward” heading into the final 10-lap segment, which decides the winner of the $1 million payout.
The method — making segment winners the first four cars to pit prior to the last segment — doesn’t sound bad on the surface, but in effect has the potential for complications.
The rule works great if four different people win the first four segments. But how often does that happen? Answer: Rarely.
Then comes the tricky part. If the winner of Segment No. 2 is the same as Segment No. 1, the runner-up in Segment No. 2 gets the pit reward. If the same driver wins all four segments, you end up with one true segment “winner” and three other runner-ups getting the reward.
Please don’t ask what happens if in the above mentioned scenario the Segment 2 runner-up ends up winning Segment 3 or 4. Is that driver now a “true” segment winner or does he remain locked into his runner-up “win” from Segment 2?
Who can follow that from the stands? Who can follow that watching on TV? Oh, but Charlotte Motor Speedway will have it all spelled out on its giant HDTV.
But that begs an even bigger question: Should events like the All-Star Race have to come with a follow-along instruction booklet?
Again, I think the concept here was laudable: Reward winning. The easiest way to do that would be to say if you win any of the first four segments, you move to the front in the final segment (regardless of pit stop and only true “winners” of the segments).
One additional benefit this year is the elimination of the 10-minute break prior to the start of the final 10-lap showdown.
That’s great. Hopefully that time will not now be spent figuring out who starts where to win the $1 million.
Jeb Burton to make NASCAR debut
Jeb Burton, 19, the son of former Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton, will make his NASCAR debut in Saturday’s Truck Series race at Martinsville, Va.
Trip Bruce, who won the Truck championship in 2008 with driver Johnny Benson, will serve as crew chief for Burton’s No. 27 Chevrolet.
“There has been a lot of preparation for this over the past few years with me racing Late Models,” Burton said. “My father has been the one to really give me the support I have needed and the knowledge and advice he has provided for me from his own experiences have been instrumental in my development.”
Pastrana to make second K&N start
X Games star Travis Pastrana will make his second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start on Saturday at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. He finished 12th in the series opener two weeks ago at Bristol, Tenn.
Vickers returns to MWR
Brian Vickers makes his second Sprint Cup start for Michael Waltrip Racing on Sunday at Martinsville. In his first race in the No. 55 Toyota at Bristol earlier this month he finished fifth.