NASCAR announced Wednesday that going forward the ‘Overtime Line’ will be the start/finish line at all tracks starting immediately.
The Overtime Line is used in NASCAR’s Overtime, or green-white-checkered flag finishes, an attempt to finish a race under green flag conditions, even if that takes the race past the advertised distance. Under the procedure the leader of the race must pass the Overtime Line in order for the restart to count. If an incident happens prior to the leader reaching the line, another attempt can be made.
“NASCAR has been looking at the Overtime procedure for quite some time,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said in a statement. “After many discussions with key figures throughout the industry, we recognize that having the start-finish line serve as the standard Overtime Line position will benefit the race – and, most importantly, our fans. We are implementing this immediately, starting with this weekend’s races at Watkins Glen International.”
The Overtime Line was implemented after a controversial restart at Talladega in the fall of 2015. This season two races ended on an Overtime finish just after the leader had crossed the line, which was near turn 3 at oval tracks. In both finishes, there were some complaints that NASCAR had held the caution until the leader crossed the Overtime Line.
NASCAR said Wednesday that It’s important to note that this is not a rule change. NASCAR Overtime procedures remain in place. If a race goes into ‘NASCAR Overtime,’ and the leader passes the Overtime Line, the next flag will end the race.