Let's Close Out a NASCAR Season Like We Start It: at Daytona!

McCord RobertsCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2010

DAYTONA, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  A view of cars racing on the track, during the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2007 in Daytona, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

It would be nice if the season could end with a more volatile type of race to close out the season to add a little more drama to the Chase.

The perfect way to do it is add another restrictor plate race into the mix, preferably Daytona. Starting and ending the season at Daytona makes perfect sense—almost too much sense.

If we’re going to go nostalgic about the July Daytona race and its history, that argument shouldn’t stand in the way. Moving Darlington’s Southern 500 after being NASCAR’s ultimate historical race means that anything can be done.

Somehow, Miami to close out the year just doesn’t get the NASCAR juices flowing. Maybe it’s all that NASCAR history they have there or maybe it’s just all the Cuban sandwiches, not sure.

But I do know that it doesn’t feel like NASCAR and it definitely shouldn’t be the closer.

We start the NASCAR season with such pageantry and hoopla surrounding the sport's biggest race as opposed to how most sports have their grand finale to close out the year. Nothing will be bigger than the Daytona 500, but a night race with all the marbles on the line and so many variables to decide the outcome of the season could make the season finale truly go out with a bang.

The current network deal has six years remaining and with the way ratings have declined the last year, it’s likely NASCAR may be up to any kind of positive change in the sport as evident by some of the recent knee-jerk reaction in making sudden changes such as the double-file restarts.

Ratings are what it’s all about to the networks and when money talks, NASCAR listens. As far as the fans are concerned, it’s not known how well they would receive a change like moving Daytona to close out the year, but there are plenty of moans and groans about how the Chase has ended the last few years.

The July Daytona race always gets fans pumped up and the ratings are always high. It’s not about what stage it is in the season, it’s simply because it’s Daytona and all fans take notice and mark off the calendars.

The 2010 season is set, but it would be nice to hear some kind of discussion being made. NASCAR/ISC would have to weigh out all their pie-charts and forecasts to see if the move would be a positive financially for both their facilities—Homestead-Miami and Daytona. I think it’s safe to say that it would be a win-win for both tracks and NASCAR in the long run.

Even if Miami showed a small loss, it still would be a winner by the gains of their sister track in Daytona, not to mention the overall increase in ratings which would make NASCAR happy, especially when year 2015 comes inching closer for a new TV deal. 

The Miami race doesn’t get hardly a blip of attention despite it being the finale because it’s going against the NFL on Sunday and Saturday has pivotal College Football conference games.

Daytona alone would change that and alter some of the viewer destinations for that weekend, both from their living rooms and for others, a possible vacation.

The Gator, Bulldog, and Game Cock fans would definitely have something to mull over for that weekend and Daytona likely wins the decision because simply, it's Daytona.