Op-Ed – Daytona 500 isn’t about the fastest car or driver

As many of you that listen to our podcasts know, we are not too big on NASCAR and it’s primarily left turn only championship.  However there are always exceptions and the Daytona 500 with its historical significance is one of of those.  The “Great American Race” isn’t what it used to be though.  With the advent of restricter plates, template car bodies, and other strict regulations, it doesn’t matter if your car is a little bit faster than the other guy anymore.  The draft more than makes up for most differences in horsepower and minor differences in driver ability.  The key to being able to get up front has more to do with team strategies and consistently quick and reliable pit stops.  That is the reason I will watch the Daytona 500 today, because to me it is not about celebrating the fastest car or the best driver, but about the crews and the strategists that support the race from behind the scenes.  The last 10 laps will likely be the standard mayhem of accidents and yellow flags with primarily good luck going to the victor that avoids the chaos.  However while some will celebrate the winning driver, I’ll be toasting to the crews that helped put them in the position to potentially get the win.  Those are the guys that deserve most of the credit in restricter plate racing anyway.

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One Thought to “Op-Ed – Daytona 500 isn’t about the fastest car or driver

  1. Personally, I’m mostly ambivalent about NASCAR.
    It’s motor racing, sure. But it’s so obviously a 500-mile advertisement with soap opera-ish dynamic attached. The Kurt Busch issues are far fro positive, but it brings interest in NASCAR and the Daytona 500.

    That said, the atmosphere at a Sprint Cup race is entertaining and enjoyable.
    The rules, championship format and personalities get silly to the point of annoyance.

    Admittedly, I’ll be following a bit more closely this year, following Jeff Gordon’s swan song season.

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