Kyle Petty, 48
Jeff Green, 34
Joe Nemechek, 32
Casey Mears, 32
Robby Gordon, 32
Bobby Labonte, 30
Dale Jarrett, 28
Sterling Marlin, 28
Brian Vickers, 28
Ryan Newman, 26
Scott Riggs, 26
Elliott Sadler, 24
Michael Waltrip, 24
Dale Earnhardt Jr., 23
Kasey Kahne, 22
Ricky Rudd, 22 [skipped 2006]
Jeremy Mayfield, 20
Greg Biffle, 19
Dave Blaney, 19
Terry Labonte, 18
Kurt Busch, 17
Jeff Gordon, 17
Jamie McMurray, 17
Tony Raines, 17
Kenny Wallace, 17
Matt Kenseth, 16
Ken Schrader, 16
Mike Wallace, 16
Ward Burton, 14
Kyle Busch, 14
Carl Edwards, 14
David Gilliland, 14
Kevin Harvick, 14
Kevin Lepage, 14
David Stremme, 14
J.J. Yeley, 14
Jeff Burton, 13
Jimmie Johnson, 12
Paul Menard, 12
David Ragan, 12
Reed Sorenson, 12
Martin Truex Jr., 12
Denny Hamlin, 11
Travel Kvapil, 11
Scott Wimmer, 11
Clint Bowyer, 10
Tony Stewart, 10
Rusty Wallace, 9
John Andretti, 9
David Reutimann, 8
AJ Allmendinger, 7
Mike Bliss, 7
Bobby Hamilton Jr., 7
Mark Martin, 7
Kirk Shelmerdine, 7
Brendan Gaughan, 6
Jimmy Spencer, 6
Ricky Craven, 5
Johnny Sauter, 5
Derrike Cope, 4
Bill Elliott, 4
Hermie Sadler, 4
Johnny Benson, 3
Staurt Kirby, 3
Stanton Barrett, 2
Larry Gunselman, 2
Bobby Hamilton, 2
Carl Long, 2
Aric Almirola, 1
Andy Belmont, 1
Geoff Bodine, 1
Chad Chaffin, 1
Larry Foyt, 1
Mike Garvey, 1
Mario Gosselin, 1
Andy Hillenbug, 1
Shane Hmiel, 1
P.J. Jones, 1
Randy LaJoie, 1
Morgan Shepherd, 1
- First driver ever to get a 'Lucky Dog' pass / lap back?
#54-Todd Bodine at Dover in Sept 2003
- How Many 'Lucky Dogs' have won a race since the rule started at Dover in Sept 2003?
1) #12-Ryan Newman, Dover, Sept 2003
2) #6-Mark Martin, Dover, June 2004
3) #12-Ryan Newman, Michigan, June 2004
4) #24-Jeff Gordon, Martinsville, April 2005
5) #5-Kyle Busch, Phoenix, Nov 2005
6) #2-Kurt Busch, Bristol, March 2006
7) #9-Kasey Kahne, Michigan, June 2006
- Most Lucky Dog Passes used in a race?
#5-Kyle Busch, 5, Watkins Glen, August 2006, finished 9th
#61-Kevin Lepage, 4, Charlotte, Oct 2005, finished 21st
#43-Labonte, 4, Talladega, Apr 2007, finished 20th
#38-Gilliland, 4, Talladega, Oct 2007, finished 27th
- Lucky Dog Pass 2007 Update: the Lucky Dog rule won't change this year. One limit that's been implemented involves drivers who have been penalized. If a lead-lap car is involved in an accident with another driver, and NASCAR makes a discretionary call that it's rough driving, they will hold that driver for a one-lap penalty. For the remainder of the race, the driver can't make up that lap by virtue of the free pass. The driver would have to make up that lap by driving by the leader on the race track under green. If the driver goes another lap down, they can make up that lap with the Lucky Dog.(FoxSports)(2-2-2007)
- Lucky Dog Update: when asked about the Lucky Dog/Free pass being used at Infineon Raceway this past weekend, Larry McReynolds answers: "NASCAR installed the free pass back this year. It was not something that they did just before this race. They made that decision over the winter with the four road course races, two in Busch and two in Cup. But you're right. Last year, they did not have the free pass on road courses."(FoxSports)(6-29-2005)
- CHANGES? to my surprise....the Lucky Dog / Lap Back rule was used at the road course at Infineon Raceway. In 2004, the rule was NOT used at the road course, however, I guess that changed and was not announced [for some reason]. No where did I see this mentioned before hand that is was changing, even Fox said there would be none, then started reporting it. Was told by some of the TV/Radio broadcasters, they were not told, it just 'happened'. I have the 'official' list and it is now posted.(6-27-2005)
- No More Lucky Dog? NASCAR is contemplating dropping the so-called "lucky dog" rule implemented last season after racing back to the start-finish line under caution was outlawed. The rule allows the first driver a lap down when a caution comes out to get back onto the lead lap. NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said the rule has created confusion among fans and, at times, the competitors.(USA Today)(11-16-2004)
- Yellow Rule Change: NASCAR made another slight adjustment to procedures under caution, announcing during Sunday's prerace drivers meeting that pit road would remain closed the first time by under each caution. The rule will take effect immediately and for all three of NASCAR's top series - Nextel Cup, Busch and Trucks.
"We're going to leave pit road closed and it's purely to make the environment safer and at the same time keep it fair competitive-wise," NASCAR President Mike Helton said. Helton said the move would help prevent the drivers from feeling the need to speed and catch up with the car in front of them, so as not to lose a competitive advantage when heading to pit road.
"If it means we have to leave it closed two laps, like at Darlington and Bristol, then we'll do that," he said. "So, if we bust you because we think you're going to fast (under caution), then you can't point back at us."
NASCAR also gave the drivers another warning regarding inappropriate language, citing a recent radio station's fine for airing profanity on a talk show. "If those things happen in our sport, we will not pay the fine. We'll pay it, but then we will come collect it," he said.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-14-2004)
- 'Lucky Dog' rule....explained NASCAR President Mike Helton on Sunday issued a stern warning to drivers not to race back to the caution and clarified the sanctioning body's position on allowing a lap back to the first car not on the lead lap. "I'm warning you drivers, crew chiefs, owners, spotters and whoever else has a role in this, if we are under the impression that you are racing back or still hauling it when the yellow comes out, then we're going to put you on pit road," Helton said at Sunday's pre-race drivers meeting. "When the yellow comes out, you don't race back. You don't have to worry about looking in your mirror and wondering if a guy is going to come around you. If they do, we're going to get them. If we get them, they'll end up on pit road and be black-flagged and I don't know yet how long they'll stay there." Last season NASCAR eliminated the practice of allowing cars to race back to the caution flag, enacting a rule freezing the field when a caution is displayed. Helton also announced a clarification for circumstances that unfolded in Saturday's Busch race, when NASCAR decided to put the car receiving a lap back under caution to the tail end of the lead lap, rather than the tail end of the longest line, which it had done previously. Helton said after a review that officials decided they will place that car at the tail end of the longest line, regardless of the circumstances of the caution. "Yesterday we had a couple of cases of cautions coming out during green-flag stops. A lot of it has to do with circumstances," Helton said. "There is a car that will get a free pass and move on. That car is determined when the caution comes out. What happens after that doesn't make any difference. We did that a couple different ways yesterday and I apologize profusely." Helton admitted there may be times when putting the car receiving its lap back at the tail end of the longest line may appear to allow that driver to gain positions on the track. Those instances, he said, are the result of cars pitting, not from the mere instance of putting the affected car on the tail end of the longest line.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-7-2004)
- OFFICIAL - no racing back to the yellow flag [and THE RULES]:
Rule procedure revisions that eliminate racing back to the yellow (caution) flag and modify pit road entry for the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will go into effect beginning this weekend, NASCAR officials announced Thursday.
The revisions will be in place for the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series races at Dover International Speedway and for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at California Speedway, all of which are being held this weekend.
The new rule will not permit any passing once the caution flag is displayed. Other aspects of this procedure revision as well as the pit road entry modifications will be outlined to the NASCAR Cup and NASCAR Busch Series competitors at a combined meeting scheduled for 10:30am/et Saturday in the garage area at Dover International Speedway.
The Craftsman Truck Series will have the revisions outlined in their scheduled driver/crew chief meeting scheduled for 1:45am/et Saturday.
NASCAR officials' decisions regarding these new procedures will not be subject to review or appeal.(NASCAR.com)(9-18-2003)
UPDATE: As part of NASCAR's new procedures that prohibit racing back to the yellow flag, the sanctioning body announced Saturday at Dover International Speedway that one car will get a lap back during each caution period. NASCAR officials held a closed-door meeting with Cup and Busch Series teams Saturday to outline the new procedures. Media was not permitted, but NASCAR issued a statement. One of the main rule changes was to allow the first car not on the lead lap to regain a lap. Previously, the leader of the race would sometimes slow to allow one or two cars back on the lead lap. Under the new procedure, the first car not on the lead lap would automatically regain a lap, regardless of where the car was in relation to the leader. NASCAR announced Thursday that racing back to the caution flag would no longer be permitted. Other parts of the rules change are:
----Once the yellow flag is waved, all drivers must immediately reduce speed to a "cautious pace" and get in a single-file line behind the leader.
----Drivers who pass while reducing speed will be given the chance to return to their original position immediately. If they do not, "NASCAR will intervene."
----Drivers who do not "maintain a reasonable speed" during the yellow will lose their track position.
----Any driver involved in the incident that caused the caution will restart in the position they are able to return to the race without advancing their position.
And the Pit Rule: NASCAR also made a small alteration to its pit road rules. All cars will be required to come on to pit road single-file, and any passing must be made to the right. Passing to the left would result in a penalty of restarting at the end of the longest line for a caution penalty or a pass-through on pit road for a green penalty.(NASCAR.com)
NOTE: drivers interviewed before/during TNT's coverage of practice at Dover say the rules are a 'work in progress' and could even change depending on how the rule works in the Busch Series race today, which starts at 1:00pm/et and be televised live on TNT.
ALSO - TNT aired NASCAR President Mike Helton makeing the announcement and this rule applies for the white flag lap also, if a caution comes out during hte last lap, the field is frozen, no racing to the checkers.
NOTE II - another bullet: mentioned during the Busch race at Dover: During the final ten laps of the race the first driver a lap down does NOT get their lap back during a caution.(9-20-2003)
- Lucky Dog now gets one pitstop: NASCAR is amending its "Lucky Dog" rule, which allows the first car one lap down to get the lap back when there is a caution. Starting Sunday at Atlanta, a driver who gets a lap back because of the rule can't make a second pit stop during that caution to top off with fuel. Ryan Newman used that strategy in his September win at Dover.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)
- What happened to the Lucky Dog Pass? NASCAR announced Sunday it was eliminating the use of the "free pass" - allowing the first car not on the lead lap to return to lead lap under each caution - for both road course events this season. Generally the length and slow speeds of a road course make it unusual for cars to fall off the lead lap. NASCAR officials also cited the length of time to bring the car around the field as a reason not to use it on the road courses.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-28-2004)
- Mid Season 2004: the Lucky Dog pass is now awarded the moment the yellow flag is thrown and the cars are lined up in their proprer running order, the free-pass/lucky dog, is allowed to pass the field. leader and pace car and must maintain responable speed [determined by NASCAR at each race] and obey proper pit procedures set forth by NASCAR.
Q&A from NASCAR
Q&A about new pit-road and racing-back-to-the-yellow-flag procedures
John Darby Winston Cup series director
David Hoots Managing event director
Jim Hunter NASCAR senior VP for corporate communication
Sept. 20, 2003 Dover International Speedway
Re: How will a car be repositioned in the lineup when it gets a lap back?
Darby: The way that procedure'll work is number one, everybody needs to understand that it's the highest scored position not on the lead lap. It won't be the car closest to the leader. In other words, if there's 21 cars on the lead lap, the competitor that'll be affected by receiving that lap back will be the 22nd on the scoreboard, okay? Now the way that will be done, is that lineup will be compiled and that position will be decided before pit road opens, so that if that competitor is a lap down, he still pits with the lap-down cars and exits with the lap-down cars. Before we resume the race, we will move that competitor around the pace car and to the tail end of the lead lap. He will not be able to advance any scored positions. What'll happen is he will receive one lap back. And that competitor may two laps down, may be four laps down. It'll be the first car not on the lead lap.
Re: Why is NASCAR allowing one car back on the lead lap?
Darby: For 53 or 54 years, the competitors in Winston Cup racing, one of the elements that they've found useful and have been able to take advantage of through that time period is the ability to gain a lap back once the caution's displayed. As everybody in here realizes, that has evaporated a lot, probably in the last couple of years. But it was still an element of Winston Cup racing that the competitors could take advantage of from time to time. Because of that and to help soften that blow, we will move one car every caution period around one lap. With the exception of the last 10 laps of the race, where all of the current 10-lap rules will apply.
Re: Why arbitrarily give a lap back to first guy off lead lap?
Darby: I think (the) question was why wouldn't we do it by track position rather than scoring. In keeping Winston Cup racing as exciting and as healthy as we can, there's a lot more benefit from our side to affect the person that is the first car off of the lead lap than there would be to, for example, to give a car that was potentially 50 laps down, one lap back.
Hunter: So the real reason is, is whoever's the first car a lap down, even though he's not in the lead lap, he's raced hard to be only lap down.
Re: Is fair to say this new procedure is a work in progress?
Darby: Yes, I can assure you it is a work in progress. There's a potential we may see some situations today in the NASCAR Busch series race that may affect tomorrow's race. We've reviewed and discussed and hammered out just about every scenario and situation that we can imagine, but as everybody in this room well knows, you can come to a thousand of the these races and there's always something new just around the corner. We're willing to adapt, tweak, change and modify as we need to, to help complete this progress.
Re: Was NASCAR considering this change before last week's caution episode with Dale Jarrett?
Darby: I think it's not a secret that we've been discussing options to racing back to the caution flag for probably a year, if not more. We wanted to continue and have all the faith in the drivers that they could still manage the gentlemen's agreement properly. The situation last week at New Hampshire was probably one of the largest reasons why we knew we had to react.
Re: Is there a maximum penalty, and how would it be determined?
Darby: I don't know if we've got maximum penalties for anything. I think that's a situation that's totally in our control. Where those penalties could vary would be if it's a repeated incident. In other words, if there's a single driver that caution after caution after caution fails to abide by the new policy of slowing down and maintaining your position. The first time he's involved in that he may receive a tail-end-of-the-longest-line penalty. The second time he may receive a lap or two-lap penalty. The third, the fourth, the fifth we get to the 10thtime, we'll probably put him on the trailer.
Re: Did drivers express any particular concerns during Saturday morning's meeting?
Darby: Concerns were understanding the new policy and the new procedure to make sure that they weren't making mistakes. Most of the questions from the competitors seemed to circle around, If I'm already ahead of the leader when the caution is displayed, at that point will I have received my lap back? And, If my bumper is six inches in front of the leader, is that being back on the lead lap, or do I have to be ahead of him by six car lengths?' The leader of the race is the one person that we key on real heavily all day long. And those are probably the situations that we'll be looking at and judging more closely than others. If we're going to err, we're always going to try to err in the competitors' favor. Typically at a restart, for example, if a competitor has a fender on the leader at the time that the caution is displayed, then yes, he will be judged as having his lap back at that point. The person that would then be moved, would be the first car not on the lead lap.
Re: How does the new procedure affect race control in the tower?
Hoots: It's going to add some more elements that we're going to have to monitor and make more judgment calls during the event. But I think we're capable of doing that. It's just working through the logistics of it. I don't think it's going to add a lot of new challenges.
Re: Does it clear up any present challenges?
Hoots: I don't see that it clears up any. It's just getting the drivers to understand what we're trying to accomplish.
Darby: Make no mistake about this our drivers still play a huge part in what we're doing, even with the new procedure. And it's for their benefit that we're doing it. So there's still a lot of confidence and responsibilities that we're laying on the guys that are holding the steering wheels to make this thing work right. The extension of this new policy is we're now in the middle of it and we will react and we will assess penalties as we need to, to make sure it works correctly.
Re: Are penalties subject to review and are all calls final?
Darby: I'm going to separate calls from penalties. The calls, it's balls and strikes. Okay? The control tower's going to make the calls and that's going to be the ultimate answer to what's going on. The penalties will be race procedural penalties, which are not appeal-able or review-able.
Re: How will you track car movement with these new procedures?
Darby: For the biggest part of it, and what you're asking me about is technically freezing the field, we don't have a truckload of new whiz-diz gadgets that's going to do that for us. We are adding some scoring staff to the control tower to help up through us. If the ultimate challenge came, there is the possibility that to settle a tie, we would revert back to the previous lap for that position.
Re: Will you use TV as an aid?
Darby: The problem with all the film media is there's nothing on the film media that verifies at what time the caution was actually called for or displayed?
Re: Why didn't you use the contract rule per the truck series?
Darby: The number one objective to this whole new policy is to prevent the competitors from racing back to the start-finish line. The contact rule that you're referring to in the trucks allowed a competitor that was in contact with the leader to race back, but nobody else. So, although you would've known maybe the number of competitors that would have been racing back to the line, you still would have had the situation of racing back to the start-finish line.
Re: What about using the contact rule to determine who gets a lap back?
Darby: Unfortunately, competitors that have a bad day, there's a reason they're a lap down to start with. And it's real hard to determine. And sometimes as compassionate as you'd like to be, and to help everybody you can, that takes a big part of what we do away. The only thing we were looking for was a small buffer to help replace that nobody will have the ability to race for a lap back.
Re: Did you consider reverting back to the previous lap for the total field?
Darby: That was discussed in great length. There's a tremendous amount of complications that come with that. If you look at a race from the green flag to the checkered flag, especially when you start to involve green-flag pit stops, there's a tremendous amount of things. Even to the potential of a lead change with maybe two laps to go in the race under caution. At this point and time, we're going to try to stay away from that the best we can and go with the maintenance of position on the race track.
Re: Any consideration given to allow racing back to yellow only on the race's last lap?
Darby: We can't be guaranteed that the same situation that could happen on lap 15 won't be there on the last lap. So as far as the caution being displayed and the cars slowing down and maintaining positions, it's our feeling right now that we need to apply that to every lap of the race.
Re: When exactly does the car that gets its lap back, get scored as such?
Darby: It'll be after the completion of the pit cycle, and before we go back to green. And probably in most cases you'll see it happen on either a two-to-go or a one-to-go type situation. The reason I bring up the two-to-go is there are some race tracks Talladega, for example which is long enough in length that a competitor may have a tremendous amount of trouble getting all the way back around and in line, and still being there in time for the green flag. So the key to it is, is the caution comes out, the lineup is dedicated at that time, so that individual is determined. The crew chief doesn't have to try to decide whether he's the person involved or not, so that they can go on and perform a routine pit cycle like they normally would. And after all the dust has settled, the safety workers have cleared from the race track and everything else is ready to resume the race, that's when we'll move the competitor around the caution car and bring him up to the tail end of the lead lap cars.
Re: How long will it take to determine the lead-lap lineup on a caution?
Hoots: I wouldn't think it would add over one or two laps to the yellow (period), understanding that we're closing the pit road the first lap now until we work through this procedure. So count that lap and maybe one other, and then the normal cycle of the pit road. Right now I'm not thinking it would add but maybe one or two laps to a yellow.
Re: What about on a quick caution?
Hoots: I think to be fair about it, because even under a quickie yellow you're going to have a car a lap back, we'll close the pit road. It'll add a lap and at that point you don't need to do a quickie yellow in most cases.
Re: What if there's no cars one lap down, but only ones that are multiple laps down?
Darby: It'll be the highest-scored position not on the lead lap. In most cases that car will be one lap down. But it could be a situation where everybody was on the lead lap except a competitor that cut down a tire early and lost three laps. At that point he would receive one lap back.
Re: Could that driver continue receiving laps back on subsequent cautions?
Darby: If he had all the rabbits feet in his pocket and the horseshoes were lined up the right way, he could receive a lap for the next three consecutive cautions and ultimately work his way back to the lead lap.
- Don't Like: most comments heard from drivers seem to like these rules, however, two Truck Series drivers do not: Despite their obvious concerns for safety, Gaughan and Crawford believe series officials overreacted in terms of the Truck Series. "I don't believe it's the right way to go, but I do believe there is an issue there," said Gaughan, driver of the #62 Dodge Ram. "I think there's a bunch of interesting people last weekend that blew something that really has been good for all of NASCAR. I think it's going to cause lappers to race us harder; I think it's going to cause lappers to take other lappers out to stay on the lead lap and I believe it's going to make the people on the double-file restarts - who already race hard enough to get a lap back - now there's going to be no more deals. "We all say, 'No deals in racing.' But this gentleman sitting right here (Crawford), I got my first win at Texas because he gave me a lap back. And I was a backmarker in this series for many years." Crawford said the situation should have been "handled with the drivers," not the sanctioning body. "If you listen to the rules every week in the drivers' meeting, it says that the leader of the race, he's the only person that races somebody else to give them his lap back," Crawford said.(ThatsRacin)(9-20-2003)