What Auto Racing Flags Tell The Drivers
Back in the old days of racing before there were two way radios and technology, the only way for race officials to communicate with a driver was by waving an auto racing flag. Today, most drivers rely on their teams to communicate to them what is going on during a race. However, drivers know that they must also keep their eye on the flagman who is perched at the top of the racetrack at the start/finish line. At any time a flagman may put out an auto racing flag which is a signal to a driver of something that is taking place. Here are common auto racing flags you may see at a race.
Everyone knows that green means go. When the flagman waves the green flag, racers know that it is time to start the race. Prior to the green auto racing flag being waved, drivers will be on pace laps. This enables the drivers to warm up their tires and engines. However, when the pace car leaves the track and the flagman waves the green flag, it is time to race.
Yellow means caution. This auto racing flag signals to the driver that they must slow down because the track is unsafe. This auto racing flag may be waved if there is rain, debris or oil on the track. The yellow flag is also waved when there is an accident on the track signaling the other drivers to proceed with caution.
Red means stop. If a flagman waves a red flag, all drivers must stop in line behind the pace car. A red auto racing flag is generally waved when weather is too poor for the race to continue, there is significant problems on the race track such as an oil spill or a damaged fence or wall.
No driver wants to see a flagman waving a black auto racing flag. It signals to the driver that he must return to pit road. Drivers may be black flagged if they break a rule or if they have something wrong with their car that makes it unsafe to continue on the race track.
The white flag signals to the driver in the lead that he is on the final lap of the race.
Green and White Checkered Flag
This is a new auto racing flag in the NASCAR series. This flag is brought out after a caution when there are only a few laps left in the race and there has been a caution. When drivers see this flag, they know they have one attempt to restart and run a lap, and then the next lap will be the final lap of the race.
Every driver wants to see this auto racing flag waving in front of them when they cross the start/finish line . . . if they are in the lead. This checkered flags signals that the race is over and that the winner has crossed the finish line.
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