Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jul 31, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Dale Earnhardt Jr. before the Verizon 200 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend’s races at Circuit of the Americas was the first road course weekend of the 2023 NASCAR season. A new rule for the season is that during a road course race, NASCAR won’t throw a caution at the end of the first two stages. Drivers still get stage points, but due to the amount of time it takes to do a lap under caution, the decision was made to keep it green.

One supporter of this rule change was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who, after seeing the rule in action, praised NASCAR for removing stage cautions.

Earnhardt tweeted, “Thank you NASCAR for getting rid of stage cautions at these road courses. Great decision! I’ve really enjoyed watching today.”

It was a popular rule change among fans and drivers, but there was a small fear it would bring unintended negative consequences. Without stage break cautions, that might result in more commercials during green flag racing, a big issue among fans. In addition, a long green flag run carries a risk of someone pulling away to a massive lead and potentially hurt the entertainment aspect of the race.

Instead, things appeared to go well with this new rule. Teams implemented different strategies, and until the final few laps, the Cup race progressed nicely. It will be a rule for the other road course races this season.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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