Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Monday, July 9, 2012


by Tammy

Two races this weekend finished under yellow (were there more? the two I watched did), the ALMS race at Lime Rock and the IndyCar race at Toronto. In both cases, there were terrific battles taking place for key positions. In both cases, accidents happened with only a handful of laps/minutes to go in the race, and the races went full-course-caution.

Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth from disappointed fans who watched a safety-car parade to the checkers, instead of last-lap battles.

So here's the question? Should other racing series adopt NASCAR's green-white-checker rule?

For those who don't know what it is, in brief: NASCAR makes one attempt for the race to finish under green, no matter the lap count, by throwing a green flag for cars, then a white the next time by, then the checker. If there's a caution on that first lap between green and white flags, they try again. If there's a caution after the white flag waves, the race is over (aka, once the white flag waves, the next flag ends it).

Gimmicky? Perhaps. But it does combat the disappointment of teams not fighting it out until the end.

Problematic? Possibly, especially for the ALMS, which is based on time, not laps. But that could probably be surmounted.

What do you all think? Should more series adopt the G-W-C?


  1. We can start with the ALMS if there is a caution with 10 min's or less extend the race by the amount of time it took to clean-up the caution.As for Indycar if there is a caution with 10 lap's or less extend the race by the amount of lap's it took to clean-up the caution.If need a splash and go only!! you get the same position back.I do not have high regard for this G-W-C carnival trick.

  2. I basically agree with you, Ken. I don't care how, but I'd rather see racing to the checkers than not.

  3. Call me old-fashioned, a traditionalist, curmudgeon, or whatever; but I'm vehemently opposed to GWC finishes. A race goes the specified distance/time (or less if a result of weather, track degredation, etc.) and that's it. Whatever happens, happens.

    I don't like treating cautions or restarts in the late laps differently than those in the early or mid parts of the race. For those races that finish under caution, well they finish under caution. Fans got to see battles for position all race long, including the lap that decided the outcome. That deciding lap just came a little earlier than expected.

  4. I think you just wave the checker and the yellow together--it says the race is under caution and it's finished. No gimmicks please.