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Just my personal blog.

February 22, 2008

NASCAR: 2008 Daytona 500

I thought the 2008 Daytona 500 was one of the better Daytona races I’ve seen in a while. Even the Nationwide race was pretty good.

I think NASCAR has a good combination with the COT and the plate at Daytona, and I hope they don’t mess with it before Talladega. Cars could actually pass one another for a change; some were even able to pass without drafting help. The number of passes on the track for the lead really made the race exciting to watch.

I have to question NASCAR’s issuance of penalties for cars that are going through inspection for the first time. Robby Gordon’s penalty seems pretty harsh. NASCAR caught the nose and they fixed it; they didn’t race with it. Same is true for the #30 truck in the Craftsman Series; they corrected the problem before qualifying.

Maybe NASCAR’s rationale is that they might miss one of these infractions and the car will end up qualifying or racing with the infraction. If that’s the case, that’s when you slap a 100 point penalty and suspend crew chiefs and drivers. But if they don’t even qualify with the problem, then why penalize them later?

California Speedway has sold the naming rights to the track. I’ll be glad to start calling it by the sponsor’s name just as soon as my check arrives.

NASCAR is going to let the GOGH (go or go home) drivers qualify together at California. It’s a start. What I don’t understand is why they use points from last year. I mean, there are cars that finished in the top 10 or 15 in the Daytona 500 that don’t have one of those 35 provisionals. Imagine the scenario where the Daytona 500 was won by a new team, one that didn’t have any owners points from the previous year. That team could conceivably miss the next race if they had a bad qualifying run. Is that what NASCAR wants? Since the Daytona 500 has such a screwed up way to get into the race, just let the starting field be determined by who races their way in. Then in the second race of the year, go by the top 35 points in the current season. If not that, then at least go by the last 36 races, which would mean that the previous season’s Daytona 500 would not be counted, and instead count the current season’s 500 when calculating the 35 provisionals.

I was surprised (but I shouldn’t have been) at how late the Daytona 500 started. There’s absolutely no reason for the 500 to end in the dark.

NASCAR’s doing another Saturday night race, this time with the Nationwide Series. At least it’s before the local racing season starts.

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