Hot on the heels of NASCAR's newly-announced franchise-style team ownership system comes an even bigger change: For the 2016 season, Sprint Cup, Xfinity, and Truck Series races will do away with finishes under yellow flag, instead adding as many laps as necessary to get a green flag finish.
, the new rule, dubbed "NASCAR overtime," establishes an "overtime line" at a specific point, varying from track to track. If the race leader passes the overtime line on the first lap under green before a caution, it's considered a completed last lap and the resulting positions are counted. If a caution flag comes out before the lead car crosses the overtime line on the first lap under green, it's a failed attempt, and subsequent attempts are made until a clean finish can be recorded.
The new rule replaces the current (and controversial) "green/white/checkered" rule, which defaulted to a finish under caution after three attempts at a clean finish.
As complex as it sounds, the new rule has at least one fan in Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage, , "let's line them up and turn them loose, give them a chance to race through at least the first couple of turns and halfway down the backstretch before it's an official race finish. And if they can't get that far before the yellow comes out, let's line them up again and again and again until it's a clean run.
"This is like trying to stuff 50 pounds of excitement into a 10-pound bag. How can any fan not like this?"