By admin | March 10, 2011
By Richard Allen
Next season there will not be an early weekend off due to the fact that the Daytona 500 will be pushed back by one week. However, over the past few seasons there has been an opening in the schedule around this time of year. Unfortunately for NASCAR, this particular open weekend comes at a bad time.
Consider that last year the open date came after the fourth race of the season. At that time NASCAR needed a break to stop a flow of bad news. Up to that open weekend there had been a pothole in Daytona, a race in Fontana which had more empty seats than filled, a second win in a row(ho-hum) for Jimmie Johnson in Las Vegas and Carl Edwards sending Brad Keselowski for a wild ride in Atlanta.
2010 could not have gotten off to a worse start for the sanctioning body and a week off provided an opportunity to stop the bleeding.
Conversely, this season has gotten off to a tremendous start in the Sprint Cup division. Upstart Trevor Bayne pulled off the feel good story of the young century when he won the Daytona 500 for the legendary Wood Brothers Racing team and then went on to become a media darling during his post-race national tour. Jeff Gordon returned to victory lane for the first time in almost two years with a win in front of a full grandstand in Phoenix. And another full house witnessed Carl Edwards back flip to victory lane after his win in Las Vegas.
For the first time in a long time NASCAR actually has some momentum. Television ratings have seen improvement over the past couple of seasons. Grandstands have had fans in them and the on-track stories have been good ones.
Even NASCAR Chairman Brian France said in his most recent media conference that he would prefer that the top series be racing this weekend.
For once, I am going to agree with the Chairman. Too bad the Sprint Cup series is not coming to Bristol this weekend.
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