By Jared Turner
Ending The Season At Daytona Would Be Disastrous
It has been suggested a few times in recent years that NASCAR give some consideration to both starting and finishing its season at Daytona International Speedway. As recently as last week, a fan asked Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Twitter about the possibility, and NASCAR’s most popular driver admitted he doesn’t “hate this idea at all” despite the fact that many of his peers would be against it. Let’s certainly hope it never happens (there are no strong indications that it will) because such a move would turn the season finale into little more than a glorified demolition derby. As we were reminded with Saturday night’s all-too-familiar multi-car melee that incurred damage on roughly half of the cars in the 40-car field, the “Big One” is prone to strike at any time at Daytona, and there’s literally nothing that can be done to prevent it – short of NASCAR requiring drivers to remain in a single-file line the entire race while coming within no less than six feet of each other. Can you imagine four drivers competing in a winner-take-all championship race at Daytona? All four could easily get taken out in the same wreck and finish the race behind the wall with a torn-up car. Do we really want to risk our champion having a car so damaged that he is forced to walk to Victory Lane on foot? The answer is painfully obvious.
Saturday Night’s Race Was Short On Drama
Other than a big multi-car wreck, which is virtually a given at any restrictor-plate race, Saturday night’s showdown at Daytona was relatively short on drama when compared with many races held over the years at the legendary 2.5-mile superspeedway. While 13 drivers led, one driver – race winner Brad Keselowski – led 115 of 161 laps, including the final 17. That’s pretty tame by Daytona standards.