NASCAR executive explains the need for the double yellow line at Daytona and Talladega
Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway are unique in a lot of ways from the other tracks on the NASCAR schedule.
Due to those unique situations, NASCAR enforced double yellow line around the inner portion of the racing surface. Driver aren’t allowed to pass under that line.
But, why does NASCAR have a double yellow line at Daytona and Talladega?
“It’s just based on those tracks and the nature of superspeedway racing. The grouping of the cars, all together,” EVP, Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell explains to the Morning Drive via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“It really comes from the competitors as well. You know, ‘Don’t let us race below the yellow line. It will create all kinds of issues.’ ”
“Even when you go through the garage right now and you float that idea, ‘Hey, some of the fans are talking about this.’ You get a quick, ‘No.’ ” O’Donnell explains the reaction from the garage area on talks of removing the double yellow line rule.
“Because, if you look at Daytona, it would be crazy going down the back stretch. Some fans may like that. It’s not a popular rule and we understand that.”
In addition, it puts drivers in horrible situations. If a car moves below that yellow line down the backstretch, they can’t make the corner from down there. It causes accidents at corner entry. If a driver dives below that line, they’re going to wash up the hill into turn 1.
As the lead car, he was steady on the double yellow line. He’s as low as he can go, that’s his lane. If he blocks any lower, say he pulls down to the grass, that’s not a real lane. He can’t make the corner from down there. So, without the rule, the lead car has to block two lanes at once.
If a car goes below that yellow line to make a pass, he will push the lead car up the hill in turn 1 because he can’t make the corner. That also isn’t fair to the lead car.
That’s just dirty. Sure, that’s great racing at a short track. But, that’s no good at 200+ mph. If the rule isn’t there, it would happen.
“I think it’s one [rule] that needs to be in place for the superspeedway’s.”
If a drivers passes below the double yellow line, he will be issued a pass through penalty. At superspeedway races, that’s penalty by fire. That team will lose the draft.
However, in certain situations drivers may be forced below the line. Other times, the driver might elect to give the position right back. Or, a driver might need to go below the line to avoid an accident. In those cases, they will receive no penalty.
The rule was created in 2001.