Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where have all the cautions gone?

   Has anyone else noticed what has not been occurring lately, particularly since the Chase for the Sprint Cup started?

   First of all, there have been fewer wrecks of late but also far fewer cautions in general. At Richmond - which set the field for the Chase - there were three. Last weekend at New Hampshire, there were eight. But Sunday here at Dover, there were four.

   The common denominator seems to be it takes a piece of debris the size of a car to get a caution called of late. You don't think NASCAR has gotten sensitive to all the complaints about "phantom cautions" do you?

   The long green-flag runs give teams with problems little chance to fix them and I believe that's why you are seeing a lot of good cars falling off the lead lap more quickly. With fewer pit stops under yellow, there is much less time to work on cars without losing position on the track.

   Perhaps all the drivers and fans complaining about “phantom” cautions got exactly what they asked for – at a price. Like it or not, cautions actually help produce better racing in many respects.

   Don't get me wrong. I'm all about fast-paced races and certainly on long green-flag runs the best in the field rises to the top.

   But I go back to that old saying, "Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it."