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NASCAR will bring back stage break cautions for Charlotte Roval playoff races

NASCAR will reinstitute stage break cautions for the Cup and Xfinity playoffs races next month at the Charlotte Roval, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday morning.

It is a change from the procedure this year at the other five Cup road course events. NASCAR announced before the season that it would eliminate the stage break cautions at those road course races to allow the event to flow more naturally.

Without the cautions for stage breaks, the past two Cup road course races — Indianapolis road course and Watkins Glen — each had only one caution. Both events lasted less than 2 hours, 10 minutes.

Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said Tuesday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the change means all the playoff races for the Cup and Xfinity Series will be officiated the same way. The Charlotte Roval was to have been the only playoff race for either series without stage break cautions before this change.

“Probably the most important part of this decision-making was, if you look back at our five previous road course races, although they were competitive, there were some that felt like that were some things we could do differently — obviously going back to the caution stage breaks — that would potentially make our races better,” Sawyer said. “So we had the option to pull that lever.”

NASCAR also announced that it was moving the restart zone for the Cup and Xfinity playoff races at the Charlotte Roval. NASCAR did this earlier this season for races at the Chicago street course and Indianapolis road course. The changes were made to spread the field out more before getting to the first turn.

The restart zone will be moved to the exit of the frontstretch chicane at the Charlotte Roval.

Sawyer said moving the restart zone for the Charlotte Roval will “give us a little bit of separation in the first two or three rows as they head off into Turn 1.”

The Xfinity race at the Charlotte Roval is Oct. 7. The Cup race at the Charlotte Roval is Oct. 8. Both races will be on NBC.