Gas 'N' Go: Is It Time For Timed Races?

NASCAR

Is it time for NASCAR to have some timed Sprint Cup races? Dustin Long and Pete Pistone debate that topic. (Photo: Getty Images)

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The pits are open again and, MRN.com's Pete Pistone and Dustin Long each answer this week's featured question in "Gas 'N' Go."

Would it be good to have timed races in NASCAR Sprint Cup?

MRN Staff

Answer

Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

We've heard talk about the "format of the future" and perhaps it's time for timed races to fit that bill.

A Sprint Cup Series race that featured an opening 75-minute segment, a halftime break and a closing 75-minute segment would accomplish the goal of fitting into a three-hour window. Fans would know the green flag flies at 1 p.m. ET with the checkered flag coming right at or near 4 p.m. ET.

The midway break allows teams a chance to better their cars for the run to the finish while at the same time creating a built-in intermission for fans at the track to visit the concession stand, helping a promoter’s bottom line.

Television audiences also could step away for a snack or restroom break without missing on-track action. The idea may also provide networks a chance to run advertising and alleviate some of the commercial breaks later in the race that rob viewers of precious race time.

Additional nuances could include a mandatory caution flag after 50 consecutive green flag laps, stopping the clock for caution flags inside the last five minutes of the race or during red flags and even the possibility of overtime should a caution fly before the checkers, even on what may have been the final lap of the race.

It's radical for sure. But in today's world what's worked in the past is proving not to be 100 percent right in several instances. Why not try something that addresses many of the challenges the sport faces in 2014 and beyond?

Dustin Long
Dustin Long

I like the idea of 400- and 500-mile races, but just as there are various types of ovals and even a couple of road courses on the Cup schedule, maybe it’s time for some timed races.

I’d be willing to have timed races last 2 hours and 30 minutes. Not sure if it would be good to shorten a race more than that, but I would be willing if enough people were for it.

Since the number of races on the schedule isn’t going to change, maybe it’s time to shorten some races to create more of an immediacy with some events. Seven of the season’s first 20 points races (35 percent) lasted more than 3 hours, 15 minutes. Is that really necessary?

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Netwo

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR

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