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NASCAR changes course and will bring stage breaks back for Charlotte ROVAL

NASCAR has opted to reinstitute stage breaks for the remaining road course weekend in October at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.

In other words, a caution will wave after the first and second stages for both the Cup and Xfinity Series races in a reversal of policy from the start of the season when the sanctioning body responded to fan feedback for a more traditional style race.

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The combination of a NASCAR Cup Series car that still struggles to produce action on short tracks and road courses alongside a lack of cautions and restarts led to NASCAR reversing course. That decision was articulated on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday morning by senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer.

Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

“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.”

– Elton Sawyer

In other Charlotte ROVAL news, NASCAR is also moving the restart zone in a similar fashion to adjustments made for races at the Chicago Street Circuit and Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The changes were made to give drivers more space in the first turn-on starts and restarts.

The restart zone will be moved to the exit of the front stretch chicane at the ROVAL.

“That will give us a little bit of separation in the first two or three rows as they head off into Turn 1,” Sawyer said.