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NASCAR America: Cautions declining in Cup

Steve Letarte explains how stage racing and the need for points has impacted driving and the need for cautions.

Cautions are continuing their decline in Cup, NBC Sports research shows.

Six races into this season, there have been an average of 5.3 cautions per race — the lowest total since 1999. The Martinsville race featured four cautions, it’s lowest total since 1978.

There have been 32 cautions this season. In 2008, there were 66 cautions after the first six races.

So what has led to the decrease? NASCAR America’s analysts gave their opinion:

Steve Letarte: “I think they’re lower because NASCAR is doing a better job of identifying what’s on the race track and we’re seeing less debris yellows. … I think the drivers have seen what early accidents cause for pain when it comes to points and making the playoffs.”

Parker Kligerman: “I don’t want to say the cars are easier to drive, but the teams have made them better. … This isn’t a bad thing. I think when races play out sometimes, you start to see the best races. You let a long green-flag run to end a race - where one guy is falling back and one is coming - when that happens, it’s the most exciting thing that can happen in the sport at times.’’

Kyle Petty: “Goodyear technology, engine technology, brake technology and car technology, technology has changed the caution.’’

To see more of what each said, check out the video above.

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