Enough Of The Lucky Dog

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Jeff Gordon gets back three lost laps at Indianapolis (two on competition cautions).

Kyle Busch loses five laps at Watkins Glen, only to get them all back — without ever passing the leader — and goes on to finish ninth.

Enough is enough with the so-called “Lucky Dog.”

NASCAR initiated the free pass, pass-back, lap back, beneficiary, or whatever it’s called, to eliminate racing back to the caution flag after the “Gentlemen’s Agreement” went out the window.

One problem was solved, only to create another.

A solution would be to present the Aaron’s Lucky Dog Award only to cars in position to get their lap back. The first car (or cars) with a designated time on the last green-flag lap get their lap back in the event of caution. We’ve got the technology — why not try it to see if it works. NASCAR can announce at the driver meeting that the first car (or cars) one second, two seconds, three seconds behind the leader will get a lap back. Thus, if a car three laps down is running a second or two behind the leader, they would get the free pass, not the first car a lap down if it’s half a lap behind.

Another variation that might help ease the congestion on pit road would be the “unlucky dog.” If no lapped cars are within 1-3 seconds of the leader, then the last car on the lead lap would go a lap down.

Hey, hats off to Gordon and Busch for bouncing back from early problems to get back into contention. However, it’s time to stop handing out passes right and left to teams half a lap behind.

No more “Lucky Dogs.” Make them earn it.

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2006

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