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Cautions are a sensitive topic in NASCAR because officials insist they only halt the race when necessary for safety, but some drivers have indicated they believe cautions are sometimes used to reset the race (and thus inject some excitement where it didn’t exist before).
In other words, the timing of the cautions can appear questionable during lackluster stretches of racing. So the caution clock seems like an answer to that, because it ensures the race will never get strung out for too long.
“My gut reaction is to not like it; it’s a bit of a way to manufacture a race,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “But at least you know when the cautions are coming, and they won’t feel as manipulative as a debris caution that we tend to see. At least you can be ready for it, plan for it.”
Brad Keselowski, who owns a team that races in the Truck Series, said the caution clock “is an idea to move the sport forward, to add more transparency to what had before been debris yellows.
“I have a lot of respect for it in that sense,” he said.
NASCAR said it does not view the caution clock as an experiment for Sprint Cup, but most drivers took the rule — along with the new heat race format in four Xfinity Series events — as previews of the future in Cup racing if proven successful.
Kevin Harvick praised officials for implementing the changes in Xfinity and Trucks first instead of trying them in Cup and filtering them downward.
The caution clock, he said, will be “very interesting” in the sense that it will “give a good read on how the fans react to basically having a TV timeout, which every other spor, which drew a response from NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell on Twitter.
“If you are not on board with change, that's ‘ok’ but ask that you give it a chance and let it play out,” he tweeted.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was diplomatic when asked to react to Denver Broncos defensive end Antonio Smith describing him as a "crybaby."
“I love it when the refs throw flags at the defense,” Brady said during his news conference Wednesday.  "It advances our team. That is just part of football.”
Brady and the Patriots face the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. As a follow-up question, Brady was asked about his discussions with officials.

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