Obviously we had a pretty wild Sunday night race that ended in the early morning hours of Monday. Now let’s be clear, I love night races. With that said, when talking about the July race at Daytona, there is a reason we used to run this race at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. in the morning. It’s July in Florida and for the most part the weather is going to impact things in the afternoon and the evenings almost all the time.
Go back to Saturday. We lost qualifying to the weather. A really good and historic car at Daytona, the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing car had to go home. Then the XFINITY Series race had to be started late. That was the pattern that continued on into Sunday unfortunately. For the race fans, teams, NASCAR and the TV partner who pays a lot of money for the rights to broadcast this race, we really need to get back to a more traditional starting time for this race.
With all that said, we had a great race late Sunday into Monday. We saw crashes. We saw good three-wide racing. Obviously, Junior Nation is beside itself in happiness that Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his second race of the year. He also moved up three spots to second in the point standings.
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The reality is that fans like to see wrecks and crashes in a race. That might be part of the problem at some of these other races is that cars spin out but they don’t hit anything. I, for one, never like to see torn-up race cars. I worked on them all through my career. They are expensive and hard to repair. Plus the bigger picture is sometimes your driver can get hurt.
No one wanted to see what happened there at the end. The great news is that Austin Dillon walked away from that horrific crash. That race car did its job to protect him and for the most part, that catch fence did its part to protect the fans in the grandstands.