Daytona 500 Awesome or Debacle?
Every time NASCAR holds one of its premier events lately something terrible happens. Be it a tire that cannot hold together for more than 10 lap’s pf racing, rain, or the debut of Danica Patrick into one of its series. Every time NASCAR holds one of its Crown Jewel races, something happens that partially or completely ruins the event in the minds of the fans. Really though NASCAR is caught in a tough spot, should they determine a strategy for these races for the hundred thousand or so in attendance, or a strategy that makes the races good for the million who watch on TV each week?
The 2010 Daytona 500 was one the most exciting, unpredictable Daytona races in recent memory. It had everything that a race car could want, a surprise winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr. coming from 10th to 2nd in a little more than a lap. Throw in a couple of wrecks for those that like that kind of stuff, and tons of drama. All that was the awesome part.
Of course many will remember this race as the pothole 500. One pothole turns what was otherwise a great race, into a six hour marathon on TV that was painful to sit through. Six hours is twice as long as any one sporting event should be, and yet the Daytona 500 was stopped twice as track officials tried to fix a big pothole right in the racing groove.
The last stoppage game with about 40 laps to go and NASCAR, under its own rules, could have called the race. They could have ended what became an ordeal for the fans in the stands and the fans at home. NASCAR wants to put on a great show, for both sets of fans, but stuff like this continues to happen and all anyone focuses on it the negative. Not a really great Public Relations strategy. NASCAR needs to find a way to get through one of these premier events without stuff like this happening.