The White-Zone: Don’t Do Single-File Restarts at Talladega

“The white-zone is for immediate loading and unloading…” and I need to unload about some possible rule adjustments for Talladega Superspeedway.

In case you haven’t heard, NASCAR has been talking to teams the last few weeks about possible changes being made to the upcoming race at the Alabama roulette-wheel of Talladega Superspeedway. Some of these changes include doing nothing at all and limiting the number of green-white-checker attempts down to one or two. Personally, limiting the GWC attempts wouldn’t bother me. I’d personally reduce it to two, but I could live with one.

There’s one possible change, however, that would really bother me. That would be the possibility of going to single-file restarts for Talladega.

This bothers me because I envision the possibility of teams just racing single-file all race long. I know that’s possible even with double-file restarts. Hell, it happened back in May. However, that was the last 30 laps and the race as a whole had been mostly three-wide racing. With the Contender Round ending at Talladega and 10 drivers needing to survive or win to advance, they would have little incentive to race up front all race long. If you can’t get these top drivers, especially at the top plate races, heading the lines on the bottom, middle or top, everyone might be content to race single-file.

We’ve been building this race up to a monumental race for the ages. Drivers have been talking for weeks that everything will hinge on Talladega. Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway, is probably loving all the free publicity the track is receiving. If we go single-file on the restarts, we’re running the risk of this Talladega race falling flat on its face.

Now I understand why NASCAR is doing all this. I’m certain the horrific last-lap wreck at Daytona in July was the catalyst for this discussion. I understand that nobody wants to see drivers or fans get injured or killed. The catch fence did its job and kept Austin Dillon’s car from going into the stands. I completely understand that we have to protect the drivers and fans from unnecessary danger. But at the same time, let’s not neuter Talladega, take the one race that would be next to impossible to botch and manage to botch it.

In conclusion, if NASCAR is going to make changes in order to protect the drivers and fans, let’s not knee-jerk it and ruin the hallmark style of racing that practically sells itself. You don’t have to do much to sell people on Daytona and Talladega. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every race at Daytona and Talladega is going to be the “race of the century,” but eight times out of 10, the restrictor plate races are among the best races of the season. If NASCAR wants to reduce the number of GWC attempts, I’ll be fine with it, but leave the single-file restart idea at the door.

My plane* is ready to load and I’ll wrap this up. Until next time, I’ll leave you with this fact. The probability of two whole fingerprints matching is around one in 64-billion.

*I use the word plane as a metaphor for getting off my soapbox and ending the piece. It’s not an actual plane and I’m not actually about to fly out to “parts unknown” (that’s for those of you who follow pro wrestling).

The opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author and may not reflect the beliefs of SpeedwayMedia.com

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."

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