NASCAR

NASCAR goes back to the beach

Beach Blues
Drivers race at Daytona International Speedway.
Share This Story

Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

So this weekend we head back to Daytona — back to the beach, as we always call it every July — for another restrictor-plate race. A lot of fans believe that racing at Daytona International Speedway is the same as racing at Talladega Superspeedway, the other restrictor-plate track on the circuit.

That simply isn’t the case. The racetrack itself is tricky. You can sometimes get yourself out of position when you are trying to make your way through the draft. That can become quite a challenge. Another dynamic we can’t lose sight of is that the drivers are running a superspeedway race under the lights on a Saturday night. I think some drivers find themselves better racing at night than others, especially at the speeds we are running at.

 

Some drivers have finesse for running at Daytona. Unlike Talladega, Daytona is a much narrower track. Some drivers struggle with that. There are a lot of big names in our sport, both current and in the past, who never won at Daytona. I think that lends itself as evidence as to why winning at Daytona is such a huge accomplishment in the stock car world.

Daytona just isn’t suited for all drivers. It’s a thinking man’s racetrack. At the same time it is also a driving man’s racetrack. For that reason, I just think some drivers know how to attack it better than others. They are also able to give the necessary feedback to their crew chief and crews to make their cars just that little bit better.

NASCAR has narrowed the tune-ability on these cars so much when it comes to restrictor-plate racing that you have to get that component just right, while at the same time you have to drive it just right. If you can hit on both of those, then you can take full advantage of it while others are struggling.

That’s why a Daytona victory is one of those jewels that every stock-car driver worth his or her salt wants to have in their crown and trophy case when their career is over. Once you’ve accomplished that, you’ve really done something special.
 

More Stories From Jeff Hammond

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NASCAR Videos

Larry’s Notebook: Is Jimmie Johnson Behind the Curve? Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Larry McReynolds weighs in on whether or not the No. 48 will be at a disadvantag...

Larry’s Notebook: Off-Week Blues Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Larry McReynolds weighs in on which teams will benefit the most from the week of...

Winner's Weekend: Brad Keselowski Unstoppable at Loudon Posted: Jul 15, 2014
The biggest issue the No. 2 team faced at Loudon was where to hide the champagne...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Danica_Patrick/browse/featuredproduct/974547/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_974000/ff_974547_xl.jpg&w=100 26.95 Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal
    Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Kyle_Busch/browse/featuredproduct/1011659/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011659_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Matt_Kenseth/browse/featuredproduct/1011661/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011661_xl.jpg&w=100 9.99 Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Carl_Edwards/browse/featuredproduct/1041164/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1041000/ff_1041164_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash