The overtime line is one of NASCAR’s newest rules, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was instrumental in the rule change.
Now, Earnhardt Jr. wants to modify the rule after watching how teammate Jimmie Johnson won in overtime at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.
Johnson took the lead on the overtime restart at Dover, and he later won the race under caution after several cars crashed behind the leaders. Johnson had just passed the overtime line when the wreck occurred, though the announcers on FS1 had some difficulty discovering whether he had passed the line or not.
Earnhardt Jr. posted a live video on Periscope following the race, and he addressed the overtime line.
“I kind of helped come up with that idea, so this is going to be kind of strange, but I think they should get rid of the overtime line at all the racetracks except for Daytona and Talladega,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I think we should race it out everywhere.”
“And no overtime line, just keep on doing green-white-checkereds until you get it right everywhere. And then at Daytona and Talladega, you probably can do something different.”
The new overtime line rule means the leader has to pass the overtime line before a potential caution flag comes out for it to be considered a clean restart. If a caution flag comes before the leader passes the overtime line on the first lap under a green flag, it isn’t considered a clean attempt.
If Sunday’s race had occurred before the new overtime line rule was put into place, Johnson wouldn’t have won the race at that moment. He would’ve had to line up with the rest of the drivers for a restart.
Earnhardt Jr. thinks the new rule should still be in effect at Daytona and Talladega, and he thinks those two tracks could use a single-file restart in overtime.
Earnhardt Jr. maintained his belief that the new overtime rule is good for racing overall, but perhaps NASCAR could adapt a provision to change the rule for certain racetracks.
The rule made a significant impact in the outcome of Sunday’s race, and it will be intriguing to see if other drives feel the same way as Earnhardt Jr.
(h/t Sporting News)