Do Cautions Really Breed More Cautions?

Anyone who has watched a bit of IndyCar racing on TV has probably heard an announcer say something to this effect after a caution period at one time or another: “You know what they say, cautions breed cautions.” It’s unclear who “they” are in this sentence, but we can take it to be the conventional wisdom in racing. The announcers are saying that after a caution flag has been thrown, it’s more likely there will be another caution during the ensuing restart from the caution period. Some explanations for this are that the cars are all bunched up together, some cars will have come to pit while others didn’t, and it’s a prime overtaking opportunity. c

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