By admin | April 14, 2011
By Richard Allen
After the racing that took place this February on the first of NASCAR’s two restrictor plate tracks, the question of how much fans liked or disliked the new style of racing has to be asked as the series heads to Talladega.
Until earlier this year racing at Daytona and Talladega, site of this weekend’s Sprint Cup event, was conducted in large packs of cars that ride around seemingly looking for a place to have a major crash. That all changed during the 2011 Daytona 500. In part because of the resurfacing of the track but also because of work done by teams on the cars’ cooling systems, large pack racing was reduced to two car tandems.
Talladega almost certainly promises to deliver the same type of 2X2 racing which causes two tightly packed cars to propel themselves forward until the next pairing comes along to pass them. Daytona’s new asphalt made for a smoother ride which allowed the cars to more easily tuck one right under another. But keep in mind that it has not been so long ago that Talladega was resurfaced. So, the same type racing will most likely take place this weekend.
In Daytona the racing provided more lead changes than ever before on that track. Strategy became a critical component which created as much intrigue as any race in the history of NASCAR. At the end, the right moves had to be made at the right time or else any chance of victory would be lost. Trevor Bayne proved to be the driver who placed himself in the right place at the right time.
The racing in Daytona was exciting, but it was different. And sometimes, different scares some away. Those who like the big pack racing that Talladega has become so known for will not get much of that style on Sunday.
And more, as much as some may not want to admit it, there are a number of people who watch restrictor plate racing for the so called ‘big one’ or huge crash that was almost certain to occur with large numbers of cars racing in packs at high speeds.
Daytona did have incidents and there is always that possibility following restarts for a crash but as cars spread out in their 2X2 formations the chances of a ‘big one’ are lessened. To some, that may be a deterrent for attending or watching this Sunday’s race at Talladega.
For me, I think I prefer to watch the big pack racing for the simple reason that each individual driver has more control of his own fate in the sense that he can find the lane that is moving best and position himself in that lane but then decide to change lanes as another gains momentum. In the 2X2 racing each driver’s fate is completely tied to that of another driver.
However, I have to say that the chess match type strategy involved in Daytona was intriguing. While the racing may not be what is consider the norm, it does promise to be exciting.
I am looking forward to this race with a great deal of anticipation whether there are big packs or 2X2 racing, are you?
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