So what kind of racing do we want at Daytona (and Talladega)?
So based on the past couple years, there are only two types of racing we can have at Daytona (and Talledega).
You can have "tandem" two-by-two racing, where there’s a ton of passes for the lead but still somehow it seems boring and scripted until the last 10 laps – and then there’s a big one at the end still.
That was tried, fans didn’t like it, and it was gotten rid of through rules changes.
Or you can have what we saw Saturday night at Daytona – a boring race early with no passing for the lead due to fears of overheating, followed by chaos at the end that will leave most people wrecked and from which someone will emerge (Tony Stewart did this time).
Are these really our only options?
Some people will say the fans are never happy, but I disagree. I think what true fans really want is just good, overall competitive racing that’s also not a guaranteed wreckfest, something that neither of the above provides. I’ve long said that I’d prefer if the plates were removed, but of course the cars would go too fast. So I’ll ask the same question I have in the past: Is there no way to slow the cars down that doesn’t involve restrictor plates and create pack racing? In a sport full of mechanical engineers, I’m sure someone could think of a way.
I’m not one of those engineers, so unfortunately I can’t provide the solution. But I bet there’s someone smart out there who can.
Because honestly, neither the tandem racing we saw last year and what we saw Saturday night is really what fans want to see.
Michigan Cup qualifying moves to Friday
In a schedule move I like, Michigan International Speedway has moved qualifying for the August race from Saturday to Friday.
I really like this move for the fans. When I first started attending races as a fan, going to see pole qualifying on MIS on a Friday was one of my favorite times of the weekend. Cramming it into Saturday morning before Nationwide or Truck races doesn’t do much for the fans, and leaves Friday as mainly a day full of practice with no real highlight.
So fans who show up Friday now will get to see the pole sitter crowned, and that’s a win for the fans who make the trip out to the Irish Hills. Tickets for Gatorade Pole Day on Friday, August 17 are $10. Kids 12 and under are free. Gatorade Pole Day tickets and tickets for the VFW 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are on sale at http://www.MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.
Standings after Daytona look good for Gibbs team
2 of their 3 guys got knocked around in wrecks, but somehow after all the smoke cleared and the standings were settled, all three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers are currently in the Chase.
Denny Hamlin remains in the top 10 despite wrecking (fyi: he said on Twitter he feels fine despite wrecking while his back was injured); and Kyle Busch and Joey Logano both claim a wild card spot at the moment, putting the entire team in the Chase if it were to start today. Logano is barely holding on though, just a hair ahead of Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne for the second wild card.