As the owner of the Old School Racing Motorsports League, I’m often asked, “Why single file restarts?” I think the better question is, “Why would you ever want double file restarts in the first place?” But, to answer the question in the most simple terms:
- Until 2009, nobody was doing double file restarts. We are “Old School,” so we will do single file restarts unless someone can come up with a valid reason to change.
- Double file restarts cause wrecks. They were instituted in NASCAR in 2009, and other sanctioning bodies followed suit quickly, including the IZOD IndyCar Series which adopted this open wheel insanity in 2011. The reason they were adopted is because it’s what the fans wanted, so the promoters bowed to the fans. Fans can deny it all they want, but fans want to see bumping and banging, and even wrecking and carnage. It makes racing more exciting. The only ones who suffer are the racers.
When NASCAR first adopted the double file restart rule, Carl Edwards said, “It’s going to be crazy. The fans will get their money’s worth and we’ll be completely stressed out.”
Jeff Burton in 2009: “I’ve wrecked four weeks in a row off of these restarts. I had to go look back to see if I’ve never done that in my career. Now I’m 42 and I’ve wrecked at four races in a row because of it.”
“It just comes down to every week we have these double file restarts and everybody’s head just gets all ridiculous. Everybody loses their head and drives like idiots. It just doesn’t make any sense. … It’s just stupid, it’s uncalled for.”
Matt Kenseth: “I think it will be a disaster for everybody on the outside. It’s unfair for the guys on the outside and a huge advantage for the guys inside.”
Jeff Gordon: “The restarts bring a lot of intensity, but that also bring a huge potential for disaster. They can make you or break you.”
Martin Truex in 2010: “It just comes down to every week we have these double file restarts and everybody’s head just gets all ridiculous. Everybody loses their head and drives like idiots. It just doesn’t make any sense. … It’s just stupid, it’s uncalled for.”
NASCAR’s double file restarts led to some of the most controversial crashes and some of the biggest feuds in NASCAR history.
Here’s a video playlist highlighting 127 NASCAR Sprint Cup crashes that were a direct result of the institution of the double file restart rule.