Brian France Has Made a Mockery of the Daytona 500

James RodgersContributor IFebruary 17, 2009

The Daytona 500 for the last 3-4 decades has been the mecca of auto racing. Since that 1979 race (the 1st nationally televised NASCAR event) the 500 has been considered THE race of the year. Only the Indy 500 comes close to the stature of the Daytona 500.

So, why can't NASCAR's owner get it together when it comes to the largest event of his sport? Dropping the green flag at 3:30 eastern is incredibly ridiculous. I understand they want to race part of the event at night, but there were still 90 laps to go when the lights came on. This race is supposed to finish, or at least run mostly, during the day.

NASCAR is a sport that prides itself in tradition. Turning the 500 into a night race is a far cry from that idea. Brian France is no stranger, however, to completely ignoring the traditions of the sport; removing the races from Rockingham and continuouly ignoring the Southeastern fan base that made NASCAR what it is today.

The biggest problem of all is the thought its okay to finish the Daytona 500 under a rain delay. Baseball does not end its World Series for a rain dealy, football does not end the Super Bowl for one, and if the ice melted during the Stanley Cup the NHL would have it fixed and picked up again.

NASCAR can not continue to allow its premiere event to finish early. It is a horrible image to relay to the nation and the sporting world. Brian France wants to be the visionary his daddy once was. He can start by fixing the mess he has made with the Daytona 500.