Cup Series drivers seeking more consistency from NASCAR in applying the rules they all know - Hindustan Times

Cup Series drivers seeking more consistency from NASCAR in applying the rules they all know

AP |
Apr 07, 2024 04:20 AM IST

Cup Series drivers seeking more consistency from NASCAR in applying the rules they all know

More consistency.

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That's what NASCAR Cup Series drivers want, not only from their pit crews and engineers but also from the governing body and how decisions are made in the race command center.

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After NASCAR said Denny Hamlin jumped the overtime restart at Richmond Raceway last Sunday night and won the race, senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer acknowledged the early start and said had it been earlier, it would have been more closely scrutinized. Instead, there were only two quick laps and a pretty exciting finish.

“Obviously Denny took the liberties of going a little early there. And again, if it's lap 5, if it's lap 10, it's lap 50, if it's lap 350,” he said, NASCAR would have more time to assess whether any penalties should be handed out. “The last thing you want to do is get that call wrong.”

NASCAR tracks have a single line to start the restart zone and a double line to end it, and the race leader has the prerogative to be the first to get on the throttle and take off. Hamlin said he thought Martin Truex Jr., to his outside, was going faster, so he was protecting his advantage.

“He’s not the first person that’s ever taken off before the zone,” Kyle Larson said Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. “So it’s always been a game. And, I don’t know. I don’t really know how I necessarily view it. I can see all sides of it. You know, there’s lines on the racetrack. So you get, you know, those could be your lines that you have to go by. But then also I think, yeah, I mean, as a leader, you need to have, you know, full control of the lead.”

And perhaps, Kyle Busch said, NASCAR is loathe to wipe away a stirring finish.

“They are a lot more prone to let things go when it comes down to the end of the race. We look at bump and runs. We look at dumping runs, right? I mean, a guy flat blatantly takes out another guy and gets to score the win because they’re not going to strip that for rough driving or something else. So I feel like that’s kind of their mentality a little bit, of just not wanting to be involved in a finish that’s stripping a win,” the two-time series champion said.


Hendrick Motorsports' yearlong celebration of its 40 years in NASCAR takes on special significance at Martinsville, where its 28 wins are the most for any team at any track. The first came in 1984 when team owner Rick Hendrick, who was considering abandoning the enterprise, was convinced by driver Geoff Bodine and crew chief Harry Hyde to enter.

Bodine won the race and HMS has gone on to become the best organization in NASCAR.

It's also the track where, 20 years ago, a plane carrying Hendrick's son and brother were among 10 killed when their plane crashed in fog on its way to the race. The race was won by Hendrick's Jimmie Johnson, but once news of the crash came, the postrace was very somber.

Larson, who won this race last year, said there's no additional pressure to win for him or other HMS drivers Chase Elliott, William Byron and Alex Bowman. They've all won at Martinsville.

“I wouldn’t say I feel any more pressure to win. And I don’t think probably any of us four drivers feel any more pressure to win, but we know the magnitude of a win this weekend would mean for the company,” he said.

Larson's Chevrolet has the name Linda Hendrick, the wife of the owner, above his passenger side door.


Defending series champion Ryan Blaney gained a spot in the championship four last year with his victory in the penultimate race of the year at Martinsville. He said he used to come watch his father race at the track, but that didn't mean he had it figured out when he started.

“The first couple of times I came here in a truck, I was really bad. The first couple of times in a Cup car, it was really bad and then it was like the fall race of 2017 when something just kinda clicked,” he said.

It still took him until 2023 to get that first victory.

NASCAR: /hub/nascar-racing

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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