Nascar Racing

After Daytona – Opinion from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Rusty Norman

I know what you’re thinking after reading the headline – He’s gonna lay it on NASCAR and the Speedway at Daytona – but you’re wrong – he’s not. These are just my thoughts after the Nationwide and Cup races on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Daytona. I promise, I won’t be long winded here but I just couldn’t let some of the things I have observed since the weekend go without making a comment or two, (from my view, of course.)

It was unbelievable how some of the news media covered the accident at the end of the Nationwide race on Saturday afternoon. In my opinion, it was very obvious that many of the news “readers” on several of the news outlets had no idea at all what they were talking about. (I call them news “readers” because that is all many of them are. It appears to this NASCAR fan they do very little reporting but they do offer a lot of opinion along with their “reads” while trying to make it look like they know something about racing.) Often, the dead give away to me is when they don’t know the difference between drivers and players.

As a NASCAR fan and racing enthusiast, it was very frustrating to me to hear them analyze the accident and say things about it that simply were not true in my opinion. Much of it appeared to be speculation on their part and from what I observed happen compared with what they said about it wasn’t even close. Admittedly, they are “professionals” but from this fan’s view, they didn’t do a very good job.

So no one misunderstands me, I’m not talking about the broadcast crews, but those talking heads that tried to analyze the accident without much knowledge of the sport, the track or the safety concerns that have been addressed in many areas concerning drivers and fans in recent years.

And then the there were those that tried to make something out of nothing in their analysis (or at least it appeared that way to me) and their arguments were very shallow and showed once again how little they know about this sport. (I mean, really… how many think the sanctioning body was so afraid this accident was going to detract from Danica Patrick being on the pole for the 500 the following day? Yes, they did do some unusual and unnecessary things after the accident but it is this fan’s opinion they were concerned about much more than this just overshadowing the historic running of the 55th Daytona 500 and Danica’s part in it.)

In short, here is my opinion on much of the reporting I observed over the last couple of days since the horrific accident that injured 28 people and some of them very critically (and we are all thankful no one was killed.) From this fan’s view, news reporters that don’t know anything about NASCAR shouldn’t talk about it like they do know something.

As for the Gen 6 Cup cars and the Daytona 500 on Sunday, well let’s just say it was a good race. I won’t say it was a great race but it was definitely good and the Gen 6 cars show a lot of potential. Sure, there are some things that probably should be addressed but that is not unexpected for a brand new car coming on the scene. I’m sure they will tweak on it a bit before Talladega and the summer race at Daytona and whatever changes they make will only make for better racing. From this fan’s view of the Gen 6 car, I say, so far so good and I can’t wait to see what minor changes they might make that could make big differences in the racing on the track. Besides, most of the Cup Series racing is on smaller tracks rather than the Super Speedways and we already know there are different rules for those. What we don’t know is how the Gen 6 will race on those other tracks… But… we will know more after this comng weekend.

I, for one, am glad to be a part of a sport that saw something tragic happen and the fans jumped right in to help the injured around them. There was no hesitation and no angry rants, only people concerned with the welfare of the injured and doing everything they could to help until the track medical people arrived on the scene. That’s just the way NASCAR fans are and it’s funny how you don’t hear much being reported about that in the media. Yes, they are sometimes opinionated, extremely competitive and passionate but they never lose sight of what is the right thing to do in an emergency. There were heroes in the stands that day. Some were injured by the flying debris and others were just trying to help those that were injured.

I know that NASCAR and the Daytona Speedway will analyze what happened and they will not only fix it at Daytona, but, they will make it safer at all the tracks for the fans and the drivers. Personally, (and I speak here only for myself), it is my opinion NASCAR doesn’t look for someone to blame. When something bad happens, (like what happened Saturday afternoon), they look for a way to make it better. That’s what they’ve done in the past and that’s what they will continue to do…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© February 26, 2013 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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By Rusty Norman

Amateur writer, NASCAR Fan, musician and former local Stock Car racer.