After helping lobby for the creation of the overtime line, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is ready to dump the method for ending green-white-checkered finishes.
“I kind of helped come up with that idea, so this is going to be kind of strange, but I think they should get rid of the overtime line at all the racetracks except for Daytona and Talladega,” the 14-time most popular driver said on Periscope after finishing 11th Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson won at Dover by taking the lead from Kyle Larson on an overtime restart. A caution for a multicar wreck occurred just after Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet passed the overtime line in the backstretch.
If the yellow had been thrown before that, NASCAR would have attempted green-white-checkered finishes until the leader crossed the line under green.
“I think we should race it out everywhere,” Earnhardt said. “And no overtime line, just keep on doing green-white-checkereds until you get it right everywhere. And then at Daytona and Talladega, you probably can do something different.”
NASCAR has changed the green-white-checkered rule multiple times since its 2004 debut, adding three attempts at a finish in 2010. The overtime line was introduced before last season, stemming from a controversial finish at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2015.
Earnhardt said the solution at Daytona and Talladega might be to “keep the overtime line or don’t have a green-white-checkered finish at that racetrack.
“Oh well. It’s a damn shame. It’s the way they did it for 50 years, so I think that people would be OK with it. It’s just green-white-checkered at those places are kind of crazy.”
He also offered a few other options.
“Get rid of the (restrictor) plates,” Earnhardt said. “Change engines to a smaller size but no plate. That way cars would get spread out so the green-white-checkered wouldn’t be too bad.
“Or you could have single-file restarts at Daytona and Talladega for green-white-checkered. There are a couple of things you could do. The overtime line was a good idea, but I don’t know about doing it everywhere.”
“I didn’t like the way it drove,” he said. “It handled really good, but after five to 10 laps, it felt like my tires would bounce like basketballs. I really hate that racetrack. I’m not looking forward to going back to Dover, unless they pave it before then, which I don’t think will happen.”
Earnhardt also advocated repaving Bristol Motor Speedway, the other concrete surface on the Cup circuit.