Being robbed of a great finish in a race is a bummer, especially when it is shaping up to be a battle all the way to the end. Sunday's Indianapolis 500 was a case and point in that. With its record setting number of leaders and lead changes, the race was hard to turn away from. With the resulting caution from Dario Franchitti hitting the wall just after the race restarted, the race ended under yellow for the 4th straight time.
That sparked a debate amongst fans throughout Social Media as well as members of the media on whether Indycar needs to implement the overtime Green-White-Checkered rule ala NASCAR.
Don't get me wrong, I don't like a race being called anywhere but the start/finish line, but a GWC is not the way to solve the problem.
Despite what purists say that it is the Indy 500 not the Indy 505 or Indy 510, there are reasons why the GWC is unsfeasable.
The first problem with GWCs is it makes the race a crapshoot--everything that the drivers and teams had worked for the last few hours would mean nothing because the finish would be determined by who does best on a restart. No one likes a crapshoot.
The other problem is the GWC tend to bring out accidents. This season's Nationwide Races at Daytona and Talladega are examples of how the GWC led to very bad accidents. It bunched up the field and once the first contact was made, everyone was bunched up tighter than usual and everyone had less time to react, which led to a lot of cars being inolved in the accident. This isn't limited to restrictor-plate racing either, the 2010 Kobalt Tools 500 was forced into a GWC and on the first attempt, an accident involving 7 cars occurred that probably wouldn't have happened if the yellow didn't bunch everybody up.
So what is another solution to a race ending under yellow? Letting the leaders race back to the line if the track is clear may be a good place to start. In this case, the accident occured in turn one and only involved one car. It occured behind the leaders and they could have easily raced back to the line. The same could have happened at the 2002 Indy 500 where Paul Tracy and Helio Castroneves were side by side going into turn 3 when an accident occured on the opposite end of the race track.
If someone is upside down on the track or if someone flies into the catchfence, go ahead and throw the caution, but if it is a single car making contact with the wall, let them race.