Restarts are unavoidable during races, and one restart can change the outcome of a race.
The strategy involved in restarts can be complicated, and Denny Hamlin is one of several drivers who has been searching for a way to improve restarts.
Hamlin presented the Drivers Council with the “choose rule,” which would allow drivers to choose if they want to start on the inside or outside lane as they pass the start/finish line. The strategy would be different at certain tracks depending on if they’re at a track where the groove is much better.
“I know we talked a little bit about cone choose rule on restarts for some tracks,” Hamlin said according to NBC Sports. “That didn’t come forth this year. I know several of us were hoping so, being that there was such a disadvantage at some racetracks such as (you) happen to come off pit lane in the wrong lane, you’re not going to win the race, and that’s not necessarily fair.
“I think giving the drivers a choose rule would be something good to look forward in the future, but overall it’s status quo on the way the stages went. The cars are relatively the same, so there’s good momentum that we need to build on from last year.”
It’s a possibility NASCAR could revisit the issue next offseason and make the change — especially if restarts negatively impact several races.
It’s an intriguing idea, and it could be something worth considering in the future for NASCAR.