NASCAR: Crashes and Fans, the Reality

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04:  Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Budweiser Dodge, crashes into the rear of Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, after Kyle hit the wall on the final lap during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 51st Annual Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2009 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The recent NASCAR mandate to "let the boys have at it" has unleashed comments implying fans want more crashes.

Though NASCAR changed policy in response to fans, it is disparaging to think it was because they want to see drivers crash.

The point of "let the boys have at it" was to allow action on the track.

Action equates to excitement for the fans and drivers.

Action built this sport with drivers not hesitating to move one another out of the way to gain position.

Retaliation is also part of NASCAR racing. Drivers don't forget racing incidents that took them out of the race or caused them to lose track positions.

The recent Edwards/Keselowski event was premeditated retaliation on the part of Carl Edwards.

The event sent Keselowski airborne in the car with the now extinct wing affixed to it's rear end. 

This accident was a very serious one, as any NASCAR fan knows. NASCAR did not penalize Edwards because his intent was not to cause harm to Keselowski, but cost him position.

Any accident which causes a car to go airborne, as has happened with the COT, is indeed spectacular.

After the screeching tires, smoke, and sounds of crumpling sheet metal cease, there is a silence in the stands.

Fans hope and pray the driver, perhaps their driver, is alright.

They wait for the window net to drop and the driver to crawl out. Cheers and the clapping of hands erupt when the driver escapes unscathed.

Remarks have been made in reference to track attendance because races are boring.

The COT, with all its safety modifications, does race in a more bulky manner than previous generations of the Sprint Cup car.

NASCAR listened to drivers and fans. They are returning the spoiler to the car, making the wing history.

The hope is drivers will be able to better maneuver their cars especially on mid-size tracks and the high banks. The result being more action on the track.

Once again, the word "action" does not mean fans want to see crashes.

Action is moving from a low groove to a high groove and back. It also is the ability of drivers to go three and four wide and move through traffic quickly with more vehicular agility.

Yes, action does mean bumping and banging. Fans do want more of that kind of racing.

Drivers are now more comfortable bump-drafting without fear of penalty. Placing the front end of one car against the rear of another is part of racing. Fans and drivers like that kind of action.

NASCAR has listened to the fans, allowing the drivers to show their personalities on and off the track plus the return of the spoiler should enhance the Sprint Cup racing experience.

The reality is, NASCAR fans do not want to see their racing heroes in serious crashes.  They just want more action akin to racing in years past.


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