Road Work Ahead: Detour to the Super Bowl of Nascar

Kristian SiutaCorrespondent IIFebruary 16, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14:  Ramsey Poston (L), NASCAR Managing Director of Corporate Communications, and Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig speaks during a press conference after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Daytona 500 is considered by most, as the "Super Bowl of Nascar". All the fans, the participants, the crew chiefs, the announcers, and everyone else present at the race track can sense the energy and the excitement of the "Great American Race".

Then how come every other sport got it right, and Nascar completely missed it? 

If you don't know what I am referring to, then you did not watch the Daytona 500 on Sunday. For those that missed the great spectacle to kick off the Nascar Sprint Cup series, the race lasted nearly six hours. 

Who would have thought that driving at nearly 200 miles per hour it would take speed racers that long to finish the race?

Oh, but there was a problem. There is nothing quite like the speed and exhilarating experience of sitting in the grandstands of Daytona Speedway, waiting on an hour and fifty minute delay to repair a pothole in the track. 

The race track, which was last paved in 1978, had a little bit of an issue regarding the so called "hallowed grounds", to say the least. 

A pothole was the issue that caused not one, but two hefty delays during the race. It is understandable for a race to be extended because of a multi-car wreck, but for the playing surface to be in question during the race is absurd. 

Many racing purists might say the weather had an affect on the track, or the temperature affected the repairs that Nascar officials made.

No matter what the circumstances are, just like other major sports around the world, the playing surface where a championship is at stake must be in elite and pristine conditions before the game, event, match, or race is to take place.

Picture this: the NBA Finals are taking place. The game is in the heat of battle, the score is tied, and the game is on the line. Your favorite player is about to shoot the game winning shot, but the ball pops and air is racing out of the basketball. What to do? Although in real life, the NBA has plenty of back up balls at their disposal. 

Unfortunately in racing, there is no back up race track in case of a detrimental situation such as this. The race tracks should be evaluated prior to a grand spectacle such as the Daytona 500, and even the most minuscule issues and problems should be addressed before the race gets under way.   

Sure, there are delays and intermissions in other sports, but when the participants are taking naps in their cars, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and drinking soda during the delay, I think that is when something has to be done.

Because believe it or not, I am sure some race fans were doing those same things in their living room during the delay as well.

Just imagine an issue with the Super Bowl a couple weeks ago. Could you picture the game being delayed twice for nearly two hours to repair the turf?  

I understand that the Daytona race track is a sanctuary for the best Nascar drivers in the world, but if the track is not up to par, then there is no point to race.


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