The overtime line is finished in NASCAR and Talladega has taken it off the track

The overtime line is finished in NASCAR and Talladega has taken it off the track
Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch painted away the overtime line from the Alabama racetrack. (Talladega Superspeedway)

After NASCAR‘s announcement this past week of standardizing the location of the overtime line at the start/finish line of tracks for the remainder of 2017, Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch decided Friday to take matters into his own hands.

With a brush, roller and a bucket of white paint, Lynch showcased his painting skills by giving the most famous backstretch in NASCAR – the 4,000-foot Alabama Gang Superstretch – a facelift by permanently removing the old overtime line so the track will be ready for its Alabama 500 and fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola races – both NASCAR Playoff events – the weekend of Oct. 13-15.

“Good riddance,” Lynch said as the blue line disappeared after he rolled a coat of white paint on the outer wall. “And, thanks to NASCAR for wanting to make the finishes better at all venues. I know our fans here at Talladega are going to be excited. By the way, I am not in the same category as Picasso, but hopefully fans will think I did a good job with this work of art when they arrive here in October.”

Prior to the announcement, NASCAR had typically placed the overtime line on the backstretch near the entrance of Turn 3 on oval tracks (including Talladega Superspeedway). The leader will now need to complete a full lap (crossing the start/finish line) in NASCAR Overtime before a race can be considered complete.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fifth Third Bank Ford, takes the checkered flag to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 7, 2017. Going forward, NASCAR has said the start/finish line will also serve as the overtime line if a race has to be restarted into extra laps. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

If an event goes past the scheduled distance, drivers must reach the overtime line (the start/finish line) under green-flag conditions following the restart. If the leader accomplishes that, the next flag will end the race. If the leader does not reach the overtime line under green, another restart will take place.

The procedure is similar to the previous green-white-checkered restart rules, but there no longer is a maximum number of attempts at the finish. NASCAR’s goal for races is to finish under green; depending on weather, visibility and other unforeseen variables, the sanctioning body can end the race under yellow if it deems necessary.

Both fall races at Talladega Superspeedway – the Alabama 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – will have NASCAR playoff implications, so it is guaranteed to be a pressure-packed weekend. At the drop of the checkered flag for the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola, the field of championship contenders will be reduced from eight to six, while in Sunday’s Alabama 500 (the second race in the Round of 12), every position will be pivotal for drivers to gain valuable points in the championship battle. The Alabama 500 will mark the final scheduled start at the 2.66-mile venue for six-time Talladega winner Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, Oct. 13 with a full slate of practice sessions for both the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola and the Alabama 500. For more information or to order tickets, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call the Talladega Superspeedway’s ticket office at 855-518-RACE (7223).

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