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Nascar By The Numbers writes:
"Phantom Caution & Introduction"
Posted by Nascar Stats Man on November 20, 2009
Viewed 493 times


As the 2009 racing season winds down, I can?t help but think about the race in Phoenix. From my perspective, it was an extremely boring race. Jimmie Johnson led just about every lap, there was minimal side-by-side racing, and there really wasn?t any fascinating storyline that developed. During the last 50 or so laps, many of my twitter friends and myself began to wonder, would there be a caution to tighten up the field and give us a good run to the finish? I find it more than a coincidence that during the second half of 2009, a debris caution flies during the last 20 or 30 laps so frequently. Is the water bottle that has been sitting on the apron since lap 30 suddenly a threat to the safety of all the drivers? Sometimes the television crew will show the debris and sometimes they will not.

This brings up a recent debate I had on twitter with @jeff_gluck, and several other NASCAR friends/writers.

?Should NASCAR throw a caution with 5% of the race remaining in order to give a good show to the fans??

My response is YES, defiantly! I feel like NASCAR already does this in a large amount of the races. The problem is that it is not official. Some races they do it, some they don?t. I find it ironic when one of the big stars of NASCAR is about to go a lap down, that?s when the mysterious caution flies. If NASCAR makes this rule change, we know every race exactly what lap the shootout caution is coming.

NASCAR is all about the fans and the show. I don?t know of any race fans that were on the edge of their seat during the Phoenix race. I?m not saying a caution near the end of the race will guarantee excitement, it will merely guarantee a chance for excitement. NASCAR has set a precedent that they are serious about making racing as exciting from start to finish as possible. What happens when the season got boring in the fall? They throw a caution with 10 races to go and let everyone race in ?The Chase?. What happened when restarts were boring? They doubled them up and called it ?Shootout Style?.
I could also cite that in other professional sports, you get time-outs, half-times, 2 minute warnings and injury stoppage. While these elements will not guarantee an exciting finish to their game, they do guarantee a change at an exciting finish.
I would love to hear comments!
Since this is my first blog post, let me tell you about myself:
I am 28 married and a father of a 3 year old girl. I have been following NASCAR since the early 90s when I was about 10-12.

My favorite driver has been Jeff Gordon since 1993.

I work at a large financial institution as a financial analyst so I will chime in on the economy from time-to-time in my blogs.

I try to keep my blogs positive and upbeat. I think it is a lot more interesting to read positive blogs than ones that just slam drivers/the sport/etc. all the time!

Every blog, I will post a stat that I feel is pertinent to the blog, the prior race, the upcoming race, or a topic that another blogger has talked about.

Follow me on twitter @jshaunburke
Races that had debris caution in the last 10% in 2009: 14 including 5 of the 9 chase races so far!

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