Bad Precedent?

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Taking the white flag in the lead under caution assured Greg Biffle that he won Sunday’s LifeLock 400 at Kansas Speedway. Even if he didn’t take the checkered flag first.

NASCAR rules are that a competitor must maintain a reasonable speed behind the pace car under caution. Many felt Biffle did not do that. Coming to the checkered flag, he dropped down to the apron, allowing Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon to drive by. However, the rule book states “what determines a reasonable speed will be at the discretion of NASCAR Officials,” and, in their determination, he did so. In any case, it was a judgment decision, and Biffle’s victory will stand.

How could the confusion be avoided in the future?

Stipulate that cars must maintain the established “pace car speed” for the event, and if a competitor pulls off on the apron, he relinquishes his position.

Another way to avoid the racing into darkness scenario would be to start the races earlier. Give the command to start the engines a few minutes after the TV start time, rather than have viewers sit through a one hour, 20 minute-plus pre-race show.

If the green flag waved at noon (local time, 1 p.m. Eastern) at Kansas, competitors would have had an extra hour of racing under their belts before the first red flag that waved. Then, the race would have been nearing its advertised distance when the second storm hit, eliminating the need for a two-hour red flag.

At least fans on the East Coast had the opportunity to enjoy Sunday dinner during the long delay.

Edwards Should Clinch at Lowe's
How close is Carl Edwards from becoming the final Busch Series champion?

Edwards leads David Reutimann by 696 points after 30 of the 35 races. If he can leave the next event — the October 12 Dollar General 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway — with a 654-point advantage, Edwards wins the title by starting the final four races. He can clinch the crown outright by leaving the next event — October 27 at Memphis Motorsports Park — with a 585-point margin.

The question is, will Edwards be remembered as the final Busch Series champion, or one of a long list of drivers to win the Nationwide Series title?

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Audition for Meira?
Vitor Meira will join Andretti Green Racing to fill Dario Franchitti’s seat in this weekend’s Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Is this an audition to join the team for the 2008 IndyCar Series season? The defection of the two most recent champions and Indianapolis 500 winners to NASCAR opens two high-profile seats. Ryan Briscoe has the inside line on replacing Sam Hornish Jr. with Penske Racing.

The IndyCar Series will be testing Friday, October 12, at Barber Motorsports Park, giving teams the first chance to evaluate potential road course modifications for next year, including power steering and paddle shifters.

It will also be an opportunity to explore the feasibility of adding the magnificent Birmingham, Alabama, facility to the 2009 IndyCar Series schedule.

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Will Harrisburg Regain Speedway?
Bruton Smith is exploring the possibility of “moving” Lowe’s Motor Speedway from Concord, North Carolina. That might not be as impossible as it sounds. Smith originally built Charlotte Motor Speedway in Harrisburg, but had the track annexed by nearby Concord a few years ago. So, it would be a matter of having Harrisburg take back the land, or finding a new municipality (Mint Hill?) to annex the property. Or having Concord allow Bruton to finish building his drag strip.
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Guaranteed Berth Will Help Franchitti
Franchitti to NASCAR? At least he’ll be in the No. 40, which David Stremme has comfortably (28th) in the top 35 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series owner standings. If NASCAR continues its current qualifying system next season, he’ll get an automatic berth in the Daytona 500 and other early-season races, like Juan Pablo Montoya did this year.

Hornish and ex-Formula One regular Jacques Villeneuve, on the other hand, face the uphill struggle that AJ Allmendinger went through this season — having to qualify on time for every race.

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