By admin | September 4, 2011
By Richard Allen
The weather around Atlanta Motor Speedway simply would not allow for the running of Sunday night’s 500 mile NASCAR Sprint Cup affair in the Georgia state capital. It seems as though Tropical Storm Lee is not a racing fan and ruined the plans of many of those who hoped to see the scheduled high speed Labor Day weekend spectacle.
If forecasts are to be believed, this race may be held up as many as two or three days(possibly Tuesday at 11:00am) before it takes the green flag. If such is the case, it would be a bad deal in a number of ways for NASCAR, its fans and its teams.
For NASCAR, this holiday weekend race offers a great opportunity to showcase the sport right before the field of twelve is set for the Chase for the Championship playoff. This track, with its aging surface that causes drivers to use multiple grooves and also causes tires to wear away significantly throughout the course of a green flag run is one of the raciest facilities on the schedule.
A great race with lots of passing, intensity and strategy would be good for the sport in the week before the NFL season kicks off. Such a race might well spur enough interest to encourage more casual fans to tune in during the football breaks.
Needless to say, the fans would be terribly impacted by a rain postponement as well. Many have spent great amounts of money on tickets, hotels and gas to get to the track. It will be a shame for those who must return to their jobs to get nothing in return for their investment. And this could be happening at a track that had to give up one of its dates due to lowered attendance.
NASCAR teams are also deeply impacted by postponements. The next race is on Saturday night in Richmond. Should the race in Atlanta not be run until Tuesday or Wednesday, teams will be faced with a very tight turnaround during this coming week.
Granted, most teams have members who work in the shops and do not actually travel to the races. Still, trucks have to get from place to place and there are some key members who will not get a day off anytime soon.
Richard Petty used to say, “I guess this area needs the rain more than we need to race.” Well, there is no arguing with a king, but it will be a tough break for NASCAR and all involved should this race not run at its scheduled time.
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