Jul 6, 2013; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Casey Mears (13), Kyle Busch (18) and Danica Patrick (10) crash on the last lap of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Isn't there supposed to be passing at Daytona?

I don’t get it.

I’ve been watching some of the NASCAR races at Daytona as I study and I just don’t get the appeal to that sort of racing.

All I see when I look at the stock cars at Daytona are packs of cars choked by a restrictor plate to the point where they’re unable to break away from each other or even make a pass. The Nationwide race seemed to be one long parade of follow the leader racing where most drivers seemed content to hold station while waiting for the inevitable caution flags to fly. According to the box score there were nine lead changes in 120 laps, and I think maybe four of them weren’t a result of pit stops.

Yeah, it looked close on paper, and if you just watched the last lap or so it was exciting, but watching the truck race on fast forward on my DVR it largely seemed to be a single-file affair with just two or three on-track lead changes.

A lot of the caution flags in both races I felt were weak. If a car spins by itself, doesn’t make contact with anything and keeps going is that really a valid reason to throw a yellow flag? Are some pieces of rubber well below the established “Out of Bounds” line good enough to stop the on track action? Apparently if you’re NASCAR the answer to both is “Yes, absolutely.”
Okay? Sure? That’s totally not artificial? The unnecessary yellow flags keeps everyone on the same pit strategy and takes any sort of racecraft out of the equation. Out of all the caution flags in the Drive4COPD only one of them appeared valid to my eyes.

It seems to me that NASCAR wants to give their fans a certain product at Daytona and Talladega, and that product is thirty underpowered cars running in fat packs that with less than two seconds separating the leader from 32nd place.

I guess if that’s your thing I can see the attraction. I’m sorry, I don’t get the attraction. I just can’t. Is it watching for wrecks? I don’t see the value to thirty drivers pounding down lap after lap knowing that their position doesn’t count until the last ten laps, and there will likely be a conveniently timed caution flag within the last twenty that will bunch up the field nicely to produce a close finish/massive crash.

I don’t get it. I’m not alone either

 

 

 

 

We have a comment section, so if you see something I don’t feel free to enlighten me.

Update: So I watched to the rain delay and noticed the top 10-15 cars got in single file and stayed there. There was yet another caution brought out needlessly for Kyle Larson’s spin-and-go incident. I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a little predictable.

 

Tags: Daytona 500 Daytona International Raceway DRIVE4COPD 300 Marco Andretti NASCAR

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