Stage breaks. The NASCAR community doesn’t seem thrilled to have them. They can cut the tension of a race by spacing out the action and add a general sense of malaise to the whole ordeal.
In an effort to relieve frustrated fans who actually like more racing in their races, NASCAR Vice President Steve O’Donnell suggested that caution laps might take a back seat in 2018. To give perspective, almost 5 percent of laps so far this season have been eaten up by the yellow.
The stage breaks are easy to interpret as cash grabs, they allow for NASCAR to make room for commercials without skimping on the racing action, and they keep folks at home from missing any big moments, probably mostly crashes, people really want to see those crashes.
The caution laps during those breaks generally just eat up laps from the final race, making for a less exciting overall experience. Not counting the ones in the breaks will allow fans to continue being assaulted with commercials without missing any action, but ensures that less of the race is eaten up by a monotonous parade of cars circling the track.