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NASCAR gives drivers further instructions on restarts

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SYLVANIA 300

LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 27: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Ditech Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field to a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 27, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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DOVER, Del. - NASCAR clarified how they’ll judge restarts, beginning with today’s race at Dover International Speedway.

NASCAR reaffirmed that relinquishing a spot gained by jumping the restart will not avoid a black flag.

This comes after NASCAR penalized Brad Keselowski last weekend for jumping a late restart at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and after series officials announced earlier this week that they were expanding the restart zone.

Here’s what Richard Buck, managing director of the Sprint Cup Series, told competitors in today’s drivers meeting about restarts:

“Restarts, the restart zone has been extended toward the start/finish line. It was extended from 70 feet to 140 feet.

“Restarts, reminders, the leader is the control car and has earned the opportunity to restart the race. The leader must maintain caution car speed (45 mph). The leader cannot restart the race before the double red line that defines the beginning of the restart zone.

“If the leader does not start the race by the single red line that defines the end of the restart zone, the starter will restart the race.

“There have been some questions about the giveback on the restarts. With the extension of the restart zone, going forward to help clarity and officiating, there will be no giveback.

“If either of the front rows accelerate before the restart zone, that will be considered a restart violation.

“If the second-place car accelerates in the restart zone before the leader, that will be considered a restart violation.

“Throughout the rest of the field, avoiding a missed shift, etc., this will be considered a judgment call. You can handle it if you should, or leave it to our judgment call. There will be no warning.’’

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