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Lucky Dog or Free Pass Rule


In 2003, in an effort to increase safety for the drivers, NASCAR banned racing back to the yellow after the caution is displayed. While this has increased safety (safety crews are able to respond more quickly) the rule contains a special "Lucky Dog" provision which greatly sacrifices the integrity of the sport.

What is the Lucky Dog rule?


NASCAR's Lucky Dog rule states that the first driver one lap down automatically gets his lap back when the caution comes out.


Some clarifications and exceptions:


If the driver is a lap down because of a NASCAR penalty he is not eligible for the "Lucky Dog" pass.


Drivers who are a lap down because of mechanical problems are not eligible for the "Lucky Dog" until the leaders have lapped at least one car on the track.


The driver that causes the caution he is not eligible to receive the "Lucky Dog" pass during that yellow.


The "Lucky Dog" rule does not apply during the last ten laps of the race.


The "Lucky Dog" Rule was first used at Dover in September of 2003. One of the drivers to receive the "Lucky Dog" during that first race was Ryan Newman. Newman took full advantage of his free pass and went on to win the race.

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Another fun fact


When you're at a race, why do some of the cars sound a lot louder than others as they race by?


Placement of the exhaust pipe. Some of the teams elect to have the exhaust pipe run out of the drivers side of the vehicle, while others run the exhaust out the right side. The cars with the exhaust running out the right side will sound a lot louder to the spectators, than the cars with the exhaust running out the drivers side.

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What Is The Difference Between NASCAR Nationwide And Sprint Cup Racing?


For the new fans to NASCAR racing, I am sure this is confusing because the cars look the same to the average fan. Some of the names are the same, some are different, sponsors are different as well as the numbers the drivers use. So why the two different Series? What makes them different? These two Series can be compared to other sports; Nationwide is the Triple A club compared to Sprint Cup racing being the pro's of baseball, the college football teams to the big boys of Sunday. Basically Minor League vs the Pro's of any sport. Yet there is more of a twist in NASCAR.


The biggest difference is the car, they are different in terms of lengths, widths, performance ratios as in engines and fuel capacities. Sprint Cup racing is running the COT (car of tomorrow) where as Nationwide is not but will be soon in the future.


The point system is also different in each Series. The Nationwide Series follows the old Cup Series format where the driver with the most points at the end of the season wins, but in the Cup Series as of 2004 the top 10, now 12 drivers after 26 of 36 races are locked into the "Chase". Drivers were initially set with 5 point differences but as of 2007 are now set with equal points (5000) with only 10 bonus points for each win in the first 26 races separating them. After this, like the Nationwide Series, the driver with the most points at the end of the Chase wins the Championship.


Why do we see some of the Sprint Cup drivers in the Nationwide? There are several reasons for them to "step down". Some drivers like to get the feel of the track which more times then not is the same for both Series. This is good for the less experienced drivers of Nationwide to get the experience of what it is like to run up against the Pro's. Some drivers just have the love of racing in their blood and seem to grab any race they can. Also we have to look at the evil side of money. Sponsors are more apt to toss money to teams that have a top name handling the car. They want the recognition and who better to put them in the spotlight other then a noted, experienced driver? The motivation of getting top sponsors who are willing to pour dollars into a team is just too lucrative to pass up. Equipment and salaries have to be paid for and how else is a team going to survive without it?


One other difference you will see is that in the Nationwide Series qualifying is held sometimes an hour or two just before the race. The Cup Series boys will never qualify on the same day of their race.

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They said there is weather in the area. LOL That is true everywhere isn't it!!!


I'm sure they mean rain may be rolling in but I got a chuckle out of that comment. Here isn Michigan we sort of having a saying that if you want to see a weather just wait a few minutes and it will happen


This possibility of rain may change the strategy

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Lap 153 -- LEAD CHANGE: Jeff Gordon takes the lead on pit road with Jimmie Johnson's stall at the beginning of pit road.

• Jeff Gordon with two tires

• Jimmie Johnson with two tires

• Tony Stewart with two tires

• Kurt Busch with two tires

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Jimmie is about 2 seconds down from the leader gordon


Lap 164 -- Jimmie Johnson gets loose and Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr. pass him for fourth and fifth.



Lap 162 -- Drivers are reporting rain in Turn 2 but officials say the track looks fine.

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Doesn't look like any injuries. 9 other cars with damage. My guy is out :D


Lap 175 -- RED FLAG: The race has been stopped to clean up the track.



Lap 175 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 8: Martin Truex Jr. spins on the restart after contact with Kyle Busch collecting a bunch of cars. Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers and David Ragan. David Stremme gets the free pass.

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Another caution logano spins--left rear tire cuts


Lap 180 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Gordon brings the field to the green.

1. Jeff Gordon--gets a great restart again

2. Kurt Busch

3. Tony Stewart

4. Jimmie Johnson

5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.



Lap 177 -- Pit road is open but none of the leaders stop. Ryan Newman, Joey Logano and David Reutimann among those to pit.



Lap 175 -- YELLOW FLAG: The track has been cleared and the cars are back rolling.

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Since this lap I have been looking to find out what it means..


Lap 155 -- Ten cars are taking advantage of the wave-around rule including Michael Waltrip, Marcos Ambrose, Elliott Sadler, Robby Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Scott Speed, Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, David Ragan and John Andretti.


Here's what I found


Beginning with Sunday's Pocono 500, all restarts will have cars on the lead lap restarting side-by-side. NASCAR will also allow those cars not on the lead lap during a caution, but ahead of the leaders after they pit, drive around to regain a lap and start at the tail end of the field.

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Did you know this?


Where are the contingency sponsor decals located on a Cup car?


Front fenders. The contingency sponser decals are located on the fenders, whereas the team sponsers are usually located on the quarters, hood, and trunk areas.

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Again gordon gets great restart but


LEAD CHANGE: Tony Stewart passes Jeff Gordon in Turn 2 and takes the lead. (Smile Patti!)



Lap 195 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Gordon brings the field to the green.

1. Jeff Gordon

2. Tony Stewart

3. Kurt Busch

4. Sam Hornish Jr.

5. Mark Martin

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I didn't know this either


Where would you normally find a "tearoff" on a Cup car?


Windshield. The teams use "tear offs" in place of cleaning windshields. A crew member reaches over and tears off a sheet of this transparent film during pit stops, so the driver can see better during their next run. The cars can become very difficult to see out of without the use of these.

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Hey LadyBee4T...stop writing here for a moment and look in the "What is our flight number to Orlando Int."-Cointest...i think there is a surprise for you :D :D


Thanks Dark Elf!! I have 3 windows open watching this race since I can't watch it on TV...

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Here's something I found out about pit stop penalties


Teams will be penalized if the car is serviced outside of the designated pit stall, if the car drives over an air hose, or if any of the old tires are not on the pit wall side (usually left) of the vehicle's centerline before the car leaves. A pit stop for four tires and fuel in the Sprint Cup Series can last 12–16 seconds depending upon any suspension adjustments done and the quality of the crew. If a car stalls, the pit crew may provide a push start, but the car cannot be pushed beyond three pit stalls ahead of its own, or beyond the paddle man at the end of pit road.

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lap 250


Ryan Newman

Michael Waltrip

Joey Logano (the kid)

David Reutimann

Brad Kesekowski


still in cycling during the pits

Tony has a slow pit with a loose lug nut


Lap 250 -- Five cars are left to pit to cycle through and give Jeff Gordon the lead. Those five are Ryan Newman, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano, David Reutimann and Brad Keselowski.

Edited by LadyBee4T
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Nope Newman ran out of gas and had to pit. They can only push it 3 pit stalls and it can't be restarted


Caution is out and Joey Logano is in the lead! He got the Lucky dog last time and maybe he really will be a lucky dog today Looks like some rain too!!


2 Jeff gordon

3 Kurt Busch

4 David Reutimann

5 Tony Stewart

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Can it be the kid's day? They say it is a heavy mist. Joey Logano is the current leader and he is trying to save fuel. Keep the car back and forth etc, cutting everything of that can


Another caution this time for rain

Lap 269 -- Brett Bodine says the track is real close to being lost.



Lap 268 -- Brett Bodine in the pace car says the rain is falling hard on the backstretch.

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Red Flag


The red flag means that all competition must stop. This not only includes the drivers on the race track but also the pit crews. If the crew is working on repairing a car in the garage area then they too must stop work when the red flag is displayed.

The red flag is commonly seen during a rain delay or when the track is blocked due to emergency vehicles or a particularly bad accident.


A red flag is always followed by a few yellow flag laps which allow the drivers a chance to warm up their engines and pit if they need to.

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