You Lucky Dog, You Got A Lap Back!

In 2003 NASCAR drivers got a reprieve from unfortunate circumstances when they implemented a beneficiary rule. This allows the highest running car one lap down to recieve that lap back and move to the tail end of the lead lap cars. Only cars that are one lap down count towards this rule. Cars that are two or more laps down do not recieve this benefit. The rule helps build excitement in the sport as drivers that have bad luck early in a race have a chance to regain laps if they have a fast car. It also creates a racing attitude in the tail cars by forcing them to challenge to become the highest running one lap down car. This rule was implemented also as a safety concern in regards to cars racing back to the finish. This occured after a race in which Casey Mears almost clipped a wrecked Dale Jarrett car while racing back to the finish in order to maintain position. By stopping the position advancement and allowing a car to get its lap back cars can slow down and avoid such incidents. This rule is often referred to as a free pass, pardon, or wave around.

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