Kyle Busch Wants a Restart Change for Chicago & Indy

Kyle Busch

Getty Kyle Busch has recommended single-file restarts.

Respect and restarts have been topics of conversation after a triple-overtime finish at Circuit of the Americas. Now, Kyle Busch has weighed in with support for single-file restarts.

The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion made the comments during a press conference at Richmond Raceway on April 1. He explained that the first turn at Indianapolis Motor Speedway leads to drivers trying to go from four-wide down to two-wide or single-wide entering Turn 1. This leads to these pileups that have become commonplace at certain road courses.

“The same kind of thing happens at COTA and the Chicago road course,” Busch said, transcript courtesy of Team Chevy. “Who knows what the hell is going to happen there? If somebody gets turned sideways in one corner, it’s going to be a track block. That’s going to be interesting. Single-file for Chicago, I think there’s no question that you can’t go without it. You have to go single-file.

“It would probably help a little bit just to spread some out. You’re still going to get some guys that dive-bomb and go three-wide if they’re at least relatively close enough because the car allows you to do that. The car allows you to take that chance of throwing it in on somebody and knocking into them and you don’t care.”

Chicago Won’t Have Run-Off Areas

Denny Hamlin

GettyCup Series drivers go off the track at COTA.

The aggressiveness at Indy and COTA leads to pile-ups in Turn 1, as well as drivers spinning through the grass or gravel. However, those that escape the turn cleanly can continue racing.

The situation will be different during the first-ever street race in Chicago. The reason is that there won’t be run-off areas. NASCAR will have to construct the track on the streets of The Windy City, which will require walls.

With drivers being unable to drive around each other on pile-ups, it is more likely that there will be incidents that completely block the track. Aggressive moves in the turns will potentially lead to multiple red flag delays.

Will this restricted layout lead to more respectful racing? It’s possible, but Busch did not sound overly optimistic during his press conference. Similarly, there have been drivers such as Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin that have made comments about how racing cleanly just leads to getting used up by aggressive drivers.

Hamlin Also Voiced Support for Single-File Restarts

Denny Hamlin

GettyDenny Hamlin waves to fans at Circuit of the Americas.

Busch is far from the only driver that has voiced support for single-file restarts late in road  course races. A former teammate also discussed the possibility during the “S*** Show With No Respect” episode of the “Actions Detrimental” podcast.

“I’m going to go out on a limb here and say maybe we should explore single-file restarts,” Hamlin said on his post-COTA podcast. “Listen, don’t act like our series is not afraid to change the rules in the middle of the race. It did it during the dirt race a couple of years ago.”

Hamlin continued and said that “we can’t be trusted” in reference to the Cup Series drivers. He emphasized this point by referencing a conversation with 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen in which the driver of the No. 91 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet called the race “bumper cars.”

“There’s something that we need to do for the road courses on these restarts,” Hamlin continued. “Because more than likely, if you are listening to this, your driver probably got spun or wrecked at the end of that race, and you’re probably tired of it as well.”

Read More