its an interesting conundrum
NASCAR is already one of the most exciting sports in the world and while it doesn’t have the fanfare that it probably deserves, a lot of people still don’t find it exciting enough to watch for four hours a weekend. Of course die hard fans have no problem doing this on a weekly basis, but what can NASCAR do to make 40 cars all competing at high speeds inches from each other on oval shaped tracks more exciting for the casual fan.
One way, at least in some NASCAR drivers opinions, is to change the regular season night race at Richmond into a day race at Talladega Super Speedway and let that decide who will make the playoffs and who wont. It will also be a great way to give every competitor in the field a chance to win the race and put themselves in the playoffs, which would be great from both a ratings and from a fan standpoint.
“It would be the ultimate cutoff race. Not knowing whether you’re in or not until the last lap, that would be the ultimate race. (Talladega) should want it., Denny Hamlin said during an interview this week, ” Even over being in the playoffs itself, (the regular-season finale) is a bigger event. I’m all for changing schedules around, but you really should put the racetracks where I think they’d thrive, and I think a cutoff Talladega race would be amazing.”
While the idea is gaining popularity among drivers and even some NASCAR fans hungry for a more exciting regular season finale, the proposal isn’t without its issues. The biggest of these issues is the fact that Talladega has had a controversial history over the years with being unsafe. It has also been known to injure both drivers and fans and is the reason why Dale Earnhardt JR is leaving the sport with a concussion.
Take 2012 for example when a battle for the lead turned into a multi car wreck that took out over half the field in the closing laps of the race. Of course Dale Earnhardt Jr was running in the top-ten at the time and the collisions he endured resulted in a concussion that left him out for weeks. Unfortunately for the two time Xfinity Series Champion, he suffered another concussion after a wreck the very next season at Michigan.
There’s also the incident in 2009 that resulted from Brad Keselowski spinning out Brad Keselowski in the closing moments of the race and sending him ricocheting into the catch fence that separates fans from the drivers and the track. Carl Edwards car was grinded down as a result of contact with the catch fense and parts of it were laying all around the track after the car had landed back on the track.
The incident also injured multiple fans, included a young girl, who had been a fan of the sport for years. Of course NASCAR appologized by giving her lifetime passes to the tracks events, but it was still a scary time in the sport to see a fan get injured like that. Then there was the 2015 Xfinity Series opener at Daytona International Speedway, where Kyle Busch broke both his legs after a late crash.
I’m not so much worried about Talladega, former Camping World Series driver, Josh White told Uptospeedsports.com about the proposal to move Talladega from the playoffs to the regular season finale, I don’t think they should be either. I think we should add more short tracks, and road courses. I do feel that the plate tracks are great but with all of the safety we have, why not open us up a bit?
Yeah I would. But when I go out there I know the risk I’m taking, Josh White told Uptospeedsports when asked about whether he would feel safe in a playoff scenario race at Talladega Super Speedway, I’m not going out there to take a Sunday cruise.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!