Controversial restart zone will be doubled at Dover

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NASCAR announced Thursday the size of the restart zone will be doubled for Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

The zone in which the leader can accelerate will be increased from 70 to 140 feet. Some drivers, such as Jeff Gordon, recently have lobbied NASCAR to expand the zone through a series of recent controversies involving restarts.

Brad Keselowski was black-flagged last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when NASCAR deemed he accelerated in the zone ahead of leader Greg Biffle. The rule is the leader must restart the race during the zone, which is marked by painted lines. No one is allowed to accelerate before the leader.

The length of the restart zone has been based off the pit lane speed limit. NASCAR has doubled the speed limit to set the number of feet in the zone. For example, the pit speed at Dover is 35 mph, making the previous length of the restart zone 70 feet. This change quadruples the pit speed to set the length of the restart zone.

It’s expected that NASCAR will use longer restart zones over the final eight races of the season. The exact lengths could vary according to the size of the tracks.

NASCAR made changes to monitoring restarts before the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway, positioning officials in the pits near the restart zone and using one of its pit cameras to watch the area.