Race Weekend Central

Who Exactly Benefits from Saturday Night Races When We’re All Asleep?

Doesn’t rain make you cranky? There we were, ready to enjoy a Saturday night at the races. Pizza party and six-pack were at the ready. Family members piled on the couch. Laughter and jokes about Kyle Busch being the best/worst champion we’ve had in decades were passed around and the sun was just setting. Here we go! It’s gonna be a good one…


Denied! Instead of a timely “boogity-boogity-boogity” we got Jeff Gordon’s inaugural attempt at drawing out nonexistent rain delay topics. Well, crap. At the same time the track didn’t look that wet. Pit road interviews were not being held under umbrellas. It should just be a half hour or so before we got the Duck Commander 500 under way.


Nope. It is a sad state of affairs when I’ve seen the Smokey Yunick special a half dozen times and we’ve only visited six tracks so far this year. Then PRN signed off ready to return an hour later. Twitter went to near radio silence. The clock on the mantle clicked over one more time and my eyes started to close.


Okay, I admit. I’m not the spring chicken I used to be. Somewhere along the line staying up until midnight to watch a prime time special or sporting event ceased to be something to look forward to. All I could think about was the checkered flag was not something I’d likely be seeing in three more hours. I was right.


I tried! I really did! But after only 50 laps, I was losing the battle to remain focused on the flat screen. The hum of the engines and random murmur of Mr. Hoots lulled me toward the land of the sandman. The fact it was not Kyle Busch leading the race, but actually Martin Truex Jr. in his No. 78 just couldn’t grab my attention enough to stave off the promise of dreamland.


One of my last coherent thoughts was very simple: If the aging demographic of NASCAR would rather go to bed than watch the very best competition Daytona can conjure, why is it that Saturday night Sprint Cup races are considered so very attractive to sponsors and track promoters? Is it because they’d rather spend their Sundays rocking on their front porches instead of working? Simple pleasures, right?


Whatever excuse they might use to justify their mantra of “more night races, more night races,” it’s pretty damn clear to me that NASCAR doesn’t have a really good reason. At least as long as they continue to sing the struggles of drawing in a younger viewing audience, Saturday Night remains the company storyline.


Well, good for them. All I know is I got a solid eight hours shut eye and had my Sunday afternoon free to fix up the ceiling and clean up the yard. I guess that makes the Kyle Busch show reruns a win-win scenario for everyone.


See you next week in Bristol, baby. I promise I won’t nap through that race.

Something Shiny

They light up! The latest LED addition to the NASCAR playing field appeared on pit lane Saturday night.  Everybody has illuminated their pit boards!  Pit road during a night race now looks similar to the Vegas Strip with every team’s number flashing in brilliant Technicolor.


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