Naturally the big headline in the aftermath of Sunday night’s (or was it Monday morning’s?) race wasn’t so much the fact Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race, but that as the clock prepared to strike three the No. 3 car of Austin Dillon struck the catchfence and a fortunately limited amount of debris pelted the crowd seated in the area. While there were no severe injuries this time, had a second airborne car (and what are the chances of that at Daytona? Pretty high, relatively speaking) hit that same area where the fence was torn down, that wouldn’t have been the case.
It’s now been 27 years since NASCAR added restrictor plates to the race cars at Daytona and Talladega as a “temporary” solution. In the ultimate irony, those plates were intended to increase the safety level of fans in the grandstands after Bobby Allison’s near miss at Talladega. Yet somehow, cars have continued tearing down long stretches of the catchfence (and in one instance, even gone flying out of the track and landing in the parking lot) with the proper plates installed as per the rules. Can we all just admit it? Plate racing is stupid and dangerous, both for the drivers and the fans. (And children and all living things.) Perhaps the most accomplished plate racer in the sport’s history, Dale Earnhardt the original, went on record as saying “This isn’t real racing. I don’t care what they say.” The Intimidator had a simple solution. Clear out the lower 20 rows of the grandstands, take off the plates and let them race. Tragically, Earnhardt died during a restrictor-plate race in February of 2001 at this very track.
So yep, it’s time to move the fans higher, take off the plates and let ’em race. Make the teams install a mandatory 4.10 rear-gear ratio to limit top speed but still allow for passing. Logically, drivers are safer running at 210 mph several feet apart with throttle response than they are running at 202 mph inches apart and unable or unwilling to lift off the throttle because it will take two laps to get back up to speed. And if that doesn’t work, tear the tracks down and rebuild them with lower banking as the late Benny Parsons suggested about two decades ago. If they can afford “Daytona Rising” they can afford “Daytona Lowering” too. Meanwhile we can only hope those new escalators are wide enough to accommodate victims leaving the track in body bags.
While we’re on the topic of Daytona Rising, a note to my good bud Mr. Chitwood. Next time, you might want to finish the spotters’ stand first. The spotters are kind of important at the plate tracks. Drivers are often curious as to who is about to run into them.
I’m not a superstitious sort (it interferes with my phobias) but I don’t guess I’d drive a black Chevy rental car with the number 3 on it into the parking lot at DIS anymore.
Fans might have noticed a new light in the rear window of the pace car. When it blinks yellow, the pits are closed. When it blinks green, the pits are open. When it stops blinking, presumably the pace car has landed on its roof. Now, if they could just find someone in the tower to switch off the blinking yellow trackside lights when a race goes back green, we’d really be cooking with fire.
Normally I’m a champion of the green-white-checkered rule. Fans drive great distances and spend bushels full of cash to see a race or at least devote three or four hours of their time to watch a race. To have a race end under caution, well it’s like kissing your sister if your last name isn’t Locklear. But I’d be willing to make an exception to the GWC rule at Daytona and Talladega. A two-lap shootout at a plate track is like tossing an Ozark in the cesspool and sitting back to see what happens. In the end, what did that final restart change? The same driver won. In fact, as best I can fathom, the top five wasn’t altered at all. What that final restart did do was reduce a bunch of good racecars to smoking piles of rubble in a huge pig pile of a wreck that served no purpose. Oh, and it almost killed someone. But other than that…
(I find it interesting that, as this is written, Dillon is credited with finishing seventh in a car that was torn to pieces with its engine tossed so far from the main wreckage it would have taken a sea turtle three days to traverse the span. I guess whatever chunk of the car contained the transponder made it across the start-finish line. How the 14th-place car (Tony Stewart) can pass beneath the seventh-place car is lost on me.
I found some of the quotes from the drivers after the race particularly notable. Jeff Gordon, one of the sport’s most successful plate racers, admitted he was damn glad that he only had to run one more plate race before heading off to the booth to commentate on the carnage rather than participating in it. Second-place finisher Jimmie Johnson was pretty blunt “I’m shocked that Austin Dillon is even alive.” Yeah, there’s a pretty ringing endorsement of plate racing. Denny Hamlin noted that Kevin Harvick got a little too aggressive, saying that they weren’t going to win the race from second or third spot anyway. Really? Then where would you have to restart to have a chance at the win… or is that just the nature of restrictor-plate racing in 2015?
I’m going to have to admit I don’t know what the solution is when making the calls during a lengthy rain delay like the one at Daytona Sunday night. To the best of my recollection (and recall I was in fact watching Dead concerts all weekend and they weren’t my first), I can’t recall a Cup race ever starting or ending that late. Clearly the race is going to be a major TV ratings disaster for NBC, but I offer no sympathy for self-inflicted wounds. They’re the ones who wanted to run the race on Sunday night after all, the dirty rotten… Why I ought to…. But there was a good-size crowd on hand at Daytona (or maybe it just looked that way because they tore out two-thirds of the seats) and a surprising number of them stayed during the three-and-a-half-hour rain delay.
Though the vast majority of race fans at home had to work Monday and thus staying up until 3 a.m. wasn’t an option for most, just about all of us are now blessed with DVRs. Unlike those first-gen VHS machines that always defaulted to blinking “12:00” several times a day, modern DVRs are simple to use. If you can’t figure out how to set your DVR, well then buddy you’re too dumb to duct tape. (And those are fighting words in Dead Mule, North Dakota). The only challenge was trying to figure out when the race might end. So we’ll give the nod to the fans who actually spent vast sums to get tickets, find lodging, and pay for transportation and meals out who might not have been able to see the race at all had it been postponed to Monday.
But once the race concluded (and their injuries had been tended to in some cases) those same night owls had to hit the road and start a long trek home. I’m surprised there weren’t phone calls to the Daytona Police citing an imminent zombie invasion with the un-dead at the wheels of RVs. (Think Stephen King’s Dr. Sleep.) So, moving forward, can we all agree that no Cup race should have be started if there’s a likelihood it can’t be run to its conclusion by 1 a.m. local time? Those heading to races have been forewarned. Make arrangements with the boss and your hotel that will allow you to stay an extra day if the weather turns gloomy in Gitchu Gumee. A lot of us are getting old and won’t be around if they can’t stop racing until a quarter to three. Now if you can squeeze the race in by midnight, everyone will be as happy as they can be, dancing the night away.
Sometimes the universe shows its benevolent side and tries cleaning up our messes for us. Call it the Boulder Pelican-Goldfish Principal. Obviously NBC didn’t want to have to run the race opposite the Women’s World Cup game, and the weather delay meant the winning U.S. team was probably back in its hotel before NASCAR even had Brett Bodine give Junior a lift around to get his opinion on the track surface. On a more personal note, I was otherwise engaged Sunday night, but had the race on my tablet so I’d be able to start the DVR rolling just in case. Thus, I can report that the race started during the midst of the drum solo in the Dead’s second set, just three songs and two encores from the end of the gig. In fact, Dead percussionist Mickey Hart had just sounded a train whistle as the cars started rolling. (Those looking outside at that moment might have thought that they were seeing the Northern Lights, or perhaps the universe applauding the start of the race with all her children singing and the birds providing harmony. What you were in fact seeing was the collective positive energy of all those Dead fans around the globe, young and old alike, veterans of hundreds of shows and the newbies, all funneling our positive karma together in hopes that Mickey wouldn’t do that again because it was quite annoying.)
I stuck around to the end of the concert, and then, by fast-forwarding through the commercials, was able to catch up to the race live before midway. Yep, for anyone secretly hoping to see the soccer, the show and the race, all scheduled to run concurrently, it was indeed possible; you just had to stay up real, real, late. (To be honest I can’t recall the last time I was awake at 3:30 a.m., or if I was getting out of bed early for Carlisle or going to bed at the time. Getting older has its challenges, but it beats the alternative.)
Boy-howdy! What a week. It started with NASCAR saying they didn’t want fans flying the Confederate flag. (At least one pundit had a brain-freeze and discussed NASCAR banning the Connecticut flag rather than the Confederate one.) That’s a hot button topic with strong opinions on both sides of the fence, but I think we can all agree we don’t want cars flying into the grandstand. Perhaps NASCAR should concentrate their focus on the flying cars and not the flags.
Do you think that Monday morning crash was bad enough that someone called Brian France at home, woke him up and told him what happened?
Most of you will be pleased to know that next year’s Firecracker 400 will be moved back to a more traditional Saturday night date. In fact, it surprised me how few of you knew that the race had been moved until Sunday prior to Saturday night. The race ended up scheduled to run concurrently with the Women’s World Cup game featuring Team USA (and to be honest I didn’t know that there was a Women’s World Cup either) was just a bit of karmic payback.That ended up being karma’s spitball. The cannonball was a three-and-a-half-hour rain delay. Daytona track president Joie Chitwood admitted that the Sunday night time slot wasn’t ideal but was done to accommodate NBC. Referring to NBC he added “When you look at what they’ve done with ‘Football Night in America,’ they are just knocking it out of the park.” Not to mix his sports’ metaphors of course. He added that he hoped NBC could “sprinkle a little bit of that magic” on the race. I checked. I saw no magic sprinkled, though the air over Soldier’s Field in Chicago was full of the stuff.
You have to wonder just how gullible NASCAR thinks we all are. First there was news the International Speedway Corporation might take over running the Laguna Seca road course. Before we’d even been given a chance to digest that, NASCAR announced they might be adding a road course to next year’s Chase. Obviously this is just a coincidence, because ISC and NASCAR are in fact two different entities. They are two different entities that just happen to be run by the same family and headquartered in the same building. ISC owns racetracks. NASCAR doles out race dates. How could anybody sense any sort of conflict there? So road race fans are left to speculate as to what road-course race might be added to next year’s schedule. (Here’s a hint, its Laguna Seca.) The better question is what track might lose their date to add one at the road course. Given that there are a limited number of weekends in a year, declining TV ratings and attendance figures, even NASCAR wouldn’t be stupid enough to add another date to the already bloated schedule. I mean, they wouldn’t, right? Oh wait a second. I forgot who we’re talking about here. So you might want to plan ahead and tell the family you’ll likely be busy next Thanksgiving. Ask Mom if she could reschedule it for Sunday night instead.
The sad reality is, that when it comes to the depths of venality, the France family will drill down towards it is unfathomable. Even Siri on your Apple phone would probably give you a snarky response if you ask. Take a look at the history of the Homestead-Miami track. After Hurricane Andrew pretty much wiped out that part of Florida, and the Air Force base which had been the staple of the local economy was closed, someone came up with the idea if they added a racetrack (funded in large part at taxpayers’ expense), it would revitalize the local economy. That was back during the salad days when holding a NASCAR race was a license to print money. And then it wasn’t. And the fine folks at NASCAR arrived and said, “Oh, you wanted a Cup date too? We can do that. Hell, we’ll schedule this track to be the grand finale for all three of our touring series. Right after you sell it to the ISC for dimes on the dollar. I mean, you don’t want that big old thing just sitting out there with no race dates at all, do you?”
In some cases, you have to look at both sides of an argument. It was announced over the weekend that NASCAR will use new rules packages at Michigan and Indianapolis (a higher-drag package if I’m reading things correctly) in hopes of making the racing better. Add those two tracks to Kentucky next weekend and Darlington on Labor Day weekend (again… on a Sunday night. Seriously? Sigh). But speaking on the behalf of the Driver’s Council, Earnhardt Jr. said they’ll be using this season’s rule package for all of the races in the Chase. On one level that is fair. That’s the rules package the teams arrived with at Atlanta (recall that Daytona has its own unique rules package) prepared to do battle. That’s what they developed and tweaked on during the all-too-brief offseason with the understanding that it was what was going to be used all year. The fact NASCAR has tweaked the rules for four races speaks volumes not just about how bad the racing has been this year, bu about how they’ve trivialized the importance of races not in the Chase at this point of the season.
Traditionally NASCAR doesn’t tweak rules with a championship still on the line. Even in 1998 when the infamous “5 and 5” rules package caused a season’s worth of racing even worse than this year, NASCAR didn’t step in and try something else until after Gordon had already clinched the title. That seemed fair. You can’t penalize one mouse for learning to run the maze faster and better than the rest. On the other hand, with everyone having admitted this year’s rules package has led to some frankly dreadful events posing as auto races, and NASCAR and NBC’s desire to “grow the sport” (I’ve always hated that term. You grow tomatoes, not a sport), they’re going to stand up and tell the newcomers they hope to draw in with the Chase; “And now back to your regularly scheduled monotony! You know they might be showing a football game on another channel.”
Someone just told me that the Southern 500 is traditionally a Sunday night race. Really? You want to go there? Traditionally, the Southern 500 is run at Darlington, too, and they didn’t mind messing with that tradition for a decade, did they? OK, so now that the race is at least back to the correct track, the Southern 500 was traditionally run in the afternoon. Yes, it can be hot as the blazes in the Carolinas on Labor Day weekend, but that was always one of the challenges for the drivers, their machines and fans alike. It’s supposed to be hot! It’s summertime! Has your central air conditioning really reduced you to that much a wimp? Turn that stupid thing off, get out on your porch and maybe meet the neighbors. They’re been living there five years, you know? Classic cars require climate controlled storage not classic people. And Labor Day of course serves as a warning sign that summertime’s done come and gone, my oh my. It’s back to school, time for the leaves to start changing and soon enough a lot of us will be ass deep in snow shoveling for all we’re worth or listening to the weather lady ramble on excitedly about “wind chill factors,” Yep, give me one more hot weekend so I can cling to that memory come January.
About the author
Matt joined Frontstretch in 2007 after a decade of race-writing, paired with the first generation of racing internet sites like RaceComm and Racing One. Now semi-retired, he submits occasional special features while his retrospectives on drivers like Alan Kulwicki, Davey Allison, and other fallen NASCAR legends pop up every summer on Frontstretch. A motorcycle nut, look for the closest open road near you and you can catch him on the Harley during those bright, summer days in his beloved Pennsylvania.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.
I am in a very different time zone so the matter of time did not bother, that is not to say the absurdity did not go unnoticed. I have always been hard pressed to understand how this type of racing is exciting. Your skill in essence most of the time is not a factor. I can imagine fans hanging out for hours (or up for hours) wanting to see their driver and to be taken out by a basically back marker who had the privilege of a frozen practice field 3 laps in, and it really did go down hill from there. Nascar and many are patting themselves on the back saying their “safety features worked”…really?????? That is not racing, flying cars is not racing, get rid of it. I don’t relish seeing what I saw, and frankly we have seen too many of this bull over the years and Nascar promptly provided vapid lip service. The small amount of drivers interviewed look disgusted and in shock. I am glad nobody interviewed Harvick I might have lost it seeing what garbage was going to come out of his mouth. He indeed was overly aggressive when it was not needed, (really did his ego think he had a shot at the win) and the carnage that ensued was just not worth it. God damn these idiots…
Nascar is as corrupt as FIFA, but with so many making so much money, nobody wants to stop the gravy train. Everybody is comfortable……right now. But hey, folks still buy those PPV wrestling and boxing “fights”.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!? It’s just awesome that Jr. won this Daytona race on NBC. I sure hope Nascar doesn’t test his car and motor too much. I would hate for anything to be found that isn’t legal. Of course the ‘ole “judgment call” has to be factored in.
Gee, I wonder if the lights would have worked if say, a Toyota was leading and Jr., Gordon, and Johnson were behind it. The Yello flag would be ready at attention for that mortal debris on the track to show up. Like a slippery candy wrapper that might cause a wreck. We must but on the best show…….for the fans.
southern 500 being on a sunday is fine. most of the country has off that monday for labor day holiday. i remember when they moved the labor day race to atlanta a few years ago with the promise of different weather. we’re just as hot, humid and soupy as south carolina in the summer.
i found it fitting that gordon said prior to the race weekend that he wasn’t fond of the plate racing.
i don’t understand this rules change. apparently, as reported on some weekday race wrap up show, that the teams were told to bring both set ups, current and new, to kentucky to test.
so 1 race into nbc and we’re watching nbcsp this weekend. ok, i didn’t know it was a saturday night race til i saw it somewhere yesterday.
na$car caters to the new fans that are relative naive about things. now us fans that have followed the sport for more than 25 yrs, they just hate us and don’t care about us any longer. i guess they figure that cause we’ve got grey hair and take a bit longer to hike up to the seats in the upper deck, we’re not worth listening to any longer. we’ve spoken with our cash and not attending races. they manage to recitfy that by tearing down most of the seats from turns 2-4, so the tv cameras catch the crowded front stretch stands, and also having seats colored to look like they’re packed full with just a handful of folks. na$car has gone to slight-of-hand to create attendance.
no plates, no g/w/c at daytona and talladega period. either lower the banking or change the engines for these 4 races a year. i mean, how much higher can they build the fences?
oh yeah, forgot, 4th of july in 2016 will be a monday, as 2016 is leap year. so i guess it’s ok with nbc’s fireworks broadcast to race on saturday night.
Good, fair commentary. Being from Mass., I too would like NASCAR to ban the Connecticut flag from all events. And that sea turtle getting from the car to the engine coulda stopped at Terrapin station on the way, Matt. And even tho’ Mickey’s whistle was annoying, at least they didn’t bring out Donna Jean!
I don’t know when the decision by NBC to air the race On Sunday was made, but my guess is that it was before thewomen’s WC team had made it to the final. What if the finals had been between Bolivia and Turkey? Would folks in the USA have watched? Would a single Nascar fan have cared? What I do know is that NBC would have greatly benefitted by starting their Nascar coverage off with a bang, but instead they aired a race few people stayed up to watch. The Cup race should have been run on Saturday and the Xfinity race should have been run on Friday. That’s not hindsight, that should have been foresight.
Just for the record, according to the NBC announcers (I didn’t verify it), the Daytona race was similarly rain delayed in 2005.
Personally I hate the GWC, period. It isn’t fair to the competitors and it often produces a less deserving and/or arbitrary winner, but I will remind you that the Talladega race that Jeff Gordon won under caution (you remember all the cans being thrown) was the race that spawned the GWC rule. So it’s ironic that You want the GWC in place everywhere except Daytona and Talladega.
I think many fans were surprised about the Sunday night race time because it’s so asinine. We all just assumed the logical, wise place to schedule it during a 3 day weekend was some time besides Sunday night.
Matt, it is good to know there is still one honest man writing about our sport. But yikes, what a week to be a fan!! I can hardly keep up with all the new rules.
Let’s see now…
Do not fly the Rebel flag.
Do not stay at a Donald Trump Hotel.
Do not, EVER, mention the name of Jesus Christ in the invocation.
I, for one, am looking forward to being told what to eat and who to vote for!
Matt – what you watched over the weekend was fun and brought back great memories, at least what I could remember. But all I did was miss Jerry – got past it some I guess.
I’m Gonna Tell Ya How It’s Gonna Be – RIP Jerry
My love is a bigger than a Cad-dil-LACK
I try to pass but I’m at the back of the pack,
It’ll take till the last lap for this race to get real,
I’ll probably end up spitting out oil and steel….
NOT FADE AWAY
Look at the bright side, if NASCAR ran Dead Shoiws they’d probably have made us put restrictor plates on the palm rests of our bongs.
Don’t know if you caught it, but Bobby ended up wearing a let “Let Trey Sing” T-shirt at the end of the gig.
Oh yeah – I don’t usually agree with Hamlin, and he has caused his share of carnage, but he was right about Harvick. The race was over. Drivers like Gordon, and many others, respect and even fear these tracks – Harvick needs too also.
Not a peep in MediaWorld regarding the bonehead move by Harvick that had the potential to kill Dillon. Not that I expected that pansy to man up, but jeeze…seems like he is protected. Look at their panties in a wad regarding Brad at practice and the carage of early this morning..crickets. These people truly suck. I truly see a bunch of hypocrites driving the car and purporting the story. No truth whatsoever…..
The weekend did remind me that I saw not only the last, but the last TWO Dead shows ever played in Atlanta! I may come down from that some day!!
Remember when I said you and I seemingly agree on about 99% of “everything NASCAR” … so much so that people who know me and read your wonderful prose think I was writing your columns in my sleep, etc., etc?? Well … one area where we’ll just have to agree to disagree is on the “Green-Yellow-Green-Yellow-Green-White-Yellow-[no]-Checker” finishes. I am still a believer in a race ends at the “advertised distance.” Trust me … your points are ALL well-taken at my house, too. What is strange, though, is not THAT many years ago a race ended under caution about once every two seasons. If NOT for “G-W-C Finishes,” it seems nowadays nine out of every ten would end under caution. I guess “That’s (Modern-day) Racin’.”
BTW … until THIS race starts EVERY year at 10:00a.m. on the Fourth of July, it will never be the FIRECRACKER 400 again … which was MY favourite race of the season (and I saw every one from 1963 to 1989)! When they moved the start time to 11:00a.m. (1988, I think?) I knew life was over as we knew it!
But … what to do about Daytona and Talladega? I wish I knew how, but I remember some GREAT RACES at Daytona and Talladega when qualifying speeds were in the low to mid 180’s and draft speeds were perhaps 190. Obviously, slow the cars down (but, in almost 30 years they haven’t figured out how). Simple solution? Run the cars on the ROAD COURSE at Daytona! Talladega I know at least — USED to have a Daytona-style road course. Plus … road races where fans in the stands can see the entire (or almost) course! I can’t say that for Road Atlanta! It would be different, but I suspect there would be some good racing!
With that … they need to slow cars down at ALL the speedways. Charlotte’s best races were when David Pearson was the winning poles at 164 mph!! Same rules package that would slow Charlotte down 30 mph would work at all the so-called “cookie cutter tracks” and would … just MIGHT(!) … improve the racing there! Michigan used to have great races … back when 165 or so would win you a pole! Those days CAN come back!! Speeds at DARLINGTON are even ridiculous for that track! Oh … DEFINITELY move the Indianapolis race to the road course there!
More road races (at the aforementioned venues) … more short tracks … and more Kansases etc. with only one race a year … and a 30-ish race schedule.
Take care of yourself, Matt … … …
… from your Southern Scottish Redneck Subaru-drivin’ “Dead-Parrott-Boss-Head!”
I’m sure the scheduling issue was because NBC had the fireworks show scheduled to be shown on tv on Saturday night, but I agree that scheduling it on Sunday night was a really dumb idea. Even if they had done it Sunday morning (like they used to), they might have got it in, instead it ran on Monday morning albeit in the WAY early hours.
I don’t care for RP racing. I will be very happy when I don’t ever have to worry that a driver will be killed at one of these and now we’ve had several incidents where fans have also been injured. No, I didn’t read Jerry’s column, reading the title was enough since I don’t agree with his premise that the “safety features worked”. They were nominally effective in that the car didn’t get to the fans but the debris from the car shredding (ala when Carl Edwards car was shredded into shards of metal on the catch fence and large pieces of Larson’s car making it thru the fence into the stands).
I also don’t like GWC’s, anywhere, but particularly at RP tracks they are just an excuse to have chaos reign and for NASCAR and whatever tv partner is broadcasting about how “exciting” it was. Some drivers seem to lose their minds and figure that somehow they can drive thru any of the cars in front of them (Harvick, I’m looking at you this time).
I don’t have an issue with Southern 500 being on a Sunday at Darlington – at least Monday is a holiday but Saturday would still be a safer bet and would be perfectly fine with me. For the people who say, well just stay over another day, that doesn’t always work out for people’s schedule and having to pay an extra night in a hotel AND change fares of around $200 for any airline ticket changes, well, the economies of scale say, nope, I guess I just missed it. Many years ago, we had tickets for the race at Darlington and there was one whopper of a rain storm and the race was cancelled on Saturday night and rescheduled for Sunday. Unfortunately we needed to be back to work for the Monday which meant we drove home on Sunday — we listened to the race on the radio. We had travelled 1400 miles total to listen to it on the radio. (sigh) and Gordon won — sometimes the cookie just crumbles that way. These days, with the racing being not all that exciting to watch, I am very thoughtful before I buy tickets and especially before I make travel plans.
Well it will be interesting to see how the rules NASCAR is proposing will work out. Hopefully better than the garbage they have now.
It amazes me how people spend a ton of money to go to races, but don’t have a contingency plan in the event that it rains and postpones the race another day. Considering there is always a possibility of a rainout, why would you travel 1400 miles and not take Monday off? Why would you even entertain taking that risk? If you do, you only have yourself to blame for traveling all that way and only getting to listen to it on the radio.
Well sometimes you can plan as much as you like but if my boss says he needs me back at work on a certain day, I show up as requested. My brother had the same problem.
We drove straight back from Martinsville twice because of the same issue- we got home 24 hrs after we had gotten up for the race. Sometimes there isn’t a way to work around it.
I have missed the last 2 years spring Bristol race due to weather. I have had Mondays off, but my wife had to be back at work. I guess that is the price you pay for quality companionship.
Hi there, I’m fairly new to frontstretch but so far I love it. I’ve been a NASCAR fan since I accidentally tuned in to watch kenseth edge out kahne by a bumper at Rockingham. I had always been an f1 fan and had always made fun of NASCAR for being a southern redneck sport(I’m Canadian), but that race blew me away. Now I don’t know what to think, I didn’t even try to watch Daytona, in fact I didn’t even know it was delayed until 930 when I checked my score sports app for hockey news. It’s just not the same even over the short period I have been a fan. The thing that made me post though was this new rules package, correct me if I’m wrong but when they brought in the COT was that not supposed to get rid of specialized cars for individual tracks? So here we are, what,some 8 years later ? And we are back to specialized cars for tracks? So why the hell did we change anything? They should have stuck with the old twisted up aero packages before COT and just made them safer. Maybe my memory isn’t what it used to be but I’m pretty sure the racing before COT was better than after COT. Rant over
Personally, I’m in favor of getting rid of all of this garbage, restrictor plates, GWCs, Lucky Dogs, wave-arounds and double file restarts but I think most of this is sponsors and their $ exercising leverage on NASCAR to get their drivers “up there” in front. Also, let get back to stock body cars. Make the damn individual templates so the cars resemble whats on the street, not look the Can-Am slotcars we raced as kids.
I’ve been to many races where my Dodge guys got lapped, so we just rooted for the Ford guys to blow. Oh and one more thing , can we just leave the smokey burnouts to Alex Zanardi (who created it) and drive into VL with some class? Worked for years
There is something to be said about acting like you expected to win all along after the race rather than tearing up the lower end of your engine and risking shredding a tire to the point it beats the crap out of the body work someone spent a week massaging. On the other hand i was always a fan of the Castroneves spider-man schtick. Why not invite the fans to join in the celebration?
Sometimes those burnouts are to cover up something illegal. Just ask Chad.
And sometimes burnouts reveal that your rear tires will not break loose for some reason, like the time I was at Indy and Jeff Gordon forgot to push a button before the celebratory burnout.
I was going to say the same thing. Back it into the fence, blow up the tires on the burnout. All part of the plan.
Yep and years ago, DW was told to blow the motor because the one they had in the car wasn’t legal.
Yep. But on the other hand I’d hate to see NASCAR get involved in putting limits on how a driver celebrates a win (other than telling Dillon that belly-flop in the grass thing is ridiculously stupid) A lot of you have been around long enough to remember “The fence” in Victory Lane. NASCAR didn’t want drivers getting on the roofs of the car anymore so they had two employees holding what looked like a small post and rail fence above the window opening (why they invariably looked baffled as they tried to figure out where the guy with the “D” was.) It was also intended to keep drivers from knocking those big sponsor props they put on the roof off the car. Recall Jeff Gordon got fined (and I mean a lot of money, more than most race fans probably made in a year) for knocking the oversize sports drink bottle off the roof of his car because he was sponsored by a rival company. I’m not sure whatever happened to the Fence. I guess it was like NASCAR went on a three day corporate bender, woke up to find sheep in lingerie in the boardroom and hollered, “I DID WHAT?” and the device was quietly retired. But mark my word, they still have it stashed away somewhere in case they need it. It’s odd. I think it the Fence that convinced a younger and more naive version of me, “You know the people running this sport might not be too bright after alll.”
Matt, the crash happened after everyone crossed the finish line, so that’s why Dillon was scored in 8th place.
I get why NBC had it on Sunday night. It would have been great ratings if it didn’t rain. I don’t think people are too upset about that, or at least they shouldn’t be, but they did put themselves in a box and starting the race at almost midnight was pretty dumb, although I understand that part of it too, considering they wanted to get the race in for the fans that paid their money. But ending a race at 3 in the morning? Keep in mind a lot of these drivers have young kids and I doubt are sleeping till noon on race day. I’d be curious to know how alert these guys were at 3am
Well here’s the really odd part. If you look at the ratings released yesterday, not for the rain delay coverage (which was up against the Ladies World Cup which got a stunning 15.2 rating) but for the race itself, the number is actually HIGHER than several of the last few races broadcast on FOX in planned TV slots. That would be a ringing endorsement NBC’s promotion of the race and a indictment of just how poorly FOX does the same.
I’ve puzzled this until my puzzler is sore, a 2.8 rating at that hour of the morning? I’m no expert here so I’m looking for some guidance here not trying to state facts. But I’m told that a 2.8 rating means 2.8% of all TV’s in use in a given time slot were tuned to a program. Naturally 2.8% of TV viewers at 2 AM (and what the Hell wee the other 97.2% of folks up at that hour watching? Reruns of the Last Boat?) is a lot less folks than 2.8% of the TV watching audience at 8 PM or even 10 PM. Can anyone explain that to me, or has anyone seen the actual viewer numbers (as in how many people total not what percentage). I mean if these nuimbers are right look for FOX to SCHEDULE some races to start at Midnight next year.