Finally, NASCAR listens to its fans and does something to make the sport more exciting. Something to boost ratings and keep viewers tuning in every week as the season approaches the mid-way point. This is one of many changes in the modern era of NASCAR racing. A change with which all fans may not agree. Some may even try to rebel and even boycott the sport. But overall, I think this change is helping steer NASCAR back in the right direction.
The big question about it is: Why do you choose to implement it at Pocono of all tracks??? Are you trying to boost TNT's ratings on its debut week of the Summer Series? Are you trying to keep us viewers awake for 500 miles at what the majority of fans consider one of NASCAR's most boring tracks (Personally, I like Pocono)? Or, did you realize just how messed up the old restarts were at Dover last week?
The downside of this new rule is going to relate to all of the lapped-down cars. Pretty much, they aren't going to have a chance at getting their lap back unless they win the Lucky Dog. They are going to practically be hopeless.
The lapped-down cars rule though may be part of what Brian France wants. I sort of like the idea of having two separate races going around the same circuit: the haves and the have-nots. It will keep damaged and slow race cars from affecting the leaders. Part of the reason the leaders get so spread out and the racing becomes so monotonous is because the lapped-down cars serve as obstacles. By the time the front-runners finally clear all of them, the leader has already taken off and left the rest of the field in the dust. The double-file restarts will prevent all of this from happening.
I think it is a good idea that they are letting the leader choose whether he wants to start on the inside or outside, just like allow the pole-sitter to do at the start of the race. It wouldn't be fair if the second place car had an advantage over the first-place one.
As you can tell, I am in favor of this rule for now. We will have to see how it goes for the rest of the season and how it works at many different tracks. NASCAR is having to test the waters with a new idea. After a year or so, we will either love it or hate it. Brian France has made some stupid remarks and terrible calls down the road, but for once he may have made a lucrative business decision for the sport we all know and love. All I can say is that All-Star Race sure was exciting...