Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

February 25, 2009

NASCAR: The Big One

I was a little surprised with this last Daytona 500, or at least the coverage of it. Normally you hear drivers complaining about restrictor plates and how those plates are dangerous because they cause “the big one”. Never mind the fact that most of those “big ones” are caused by driver error (or if you’re Junior, stupidity). Somehow it’s those plates that cause big pile ups.

But if you look back at the history of the Daytona 500, you’ll find that they had “big ones” before restrictor plates. As a matter of fact, in the 1960 500, they had the biggest ever “big one”: 37 cars. Yes, 37 cars were involved in one wreck on lap one of the 1960 Daytona 500. The field was pretty big too: 68 cars.

My point here is that big wrecks aren’t caused by restrictor plates; they’re usually caused by human error or mechanical failure. I’m sure people will say that restrictor plates cause the cars to be bunched up together, and that’s true to a certain extent.  But cars are going to be bunched up together on other tracks. Take Bristol (please). Wrecks involving 25% of the field happen there regularly, but all we hear is the NASCAR propaganda that Bristol is one of the most exciting tracks they race on. Bull.

Anyway, here’s a little video of that big wreck at Daytona in 1960.

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