Speeding Headaches At NASCAR Race
Speeding Headaches At NASCAR Race, Changes at the Pocono 400 leave drivers confused as a whopping 22 penalties are handed out. If you were listening to the NASCAR officials’ scanner channel during Sunday’s Pocono 400, no, that wasn’t a bunch of chatter about Vin Diesel and the latest “Too Fast” movie.
While we don’t know for sure that there are any Diesel fans in NASCAR race control — and we sure hope there aren’t — they were too busy announcing a whopping 22 pit road speeding penalties during Sunday’s race, most for exiting the pits in the final timing section on pit road.
Before Sunday’s race, the dominating storyline was Pocono’s new pavement and shorter race distance, and the variabilities they could produce. However, the biggest difference maker turned out to be the scoring system on pit road, something that no one saw coming.
Last year’s pit road at Pocono featured nine timing zones throughout the length of pit road. This year, an additional section was added, and the now infamous “section 10″ — the 70 feet between the final pit stall and a thick, yellow line painted on the track — was the common infraction location. In fact, Jimmie Johnson, along with Travis Kvapil, was even dinged for speeding while serving a speeding penalty.
2011′s two Pocono races each featured four pit road speeding penalties and Sunday’s race was far and away the highest speeding penalty tally of the season. The previous high? Bristol in March. That race featured a paltry seven speeding penalties. Plus, four races so far in 2012 have had just one pit road speeding penalty doled out. It’s safe to say that there was some confusion on Sunday.
“All we can really come up with is – the rule is from yellow line to yellow line,” Johnson said. “They measure from the nose of the racecar back to the transponder [which is located at the rear], so from the yellow line back however many feet is where the timing loop is. So long story short, when we get to the end of pit road, when your nose hits the line you take off. I did that the first time and got nailed and I thought “oh maybe I just overdid it” and the second time I waited until the tail end crossed the yellow line and still got penalized.