By admin | October 7, 2012
By Richard Allen
Coming off of a string of less than exciting races that featured little drama and very few green flag lead changes, NASCAR certainly got an event filled with intensity and suspense at the Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon. Cars ran side by side throughout most of the day on the 2.66 mile track and the race winner was in question right up to the final turn.
Of course, the major highlight of the day was a massive pileup on the final lap that assured Matt Kenseth of the victory and left more than half of the 43 car field with significant damage. But without that destructive happening, this race would have still offered a great deal to talk about.
I know many haters of restrictor plate racing on the big tracks at Talladega and Daytona will argue that this form of racing is nothing more than synthetically manufactured competition. That is true in the sense that all cars are limited in terms of the air allowed into the engine, and thus, the machines are made more equal than they might be under normal circumstances.
That said, however, a race such as the one held on Sunday is far superior to those that made up the first three rounds of the Chase for the Championship. The events held in Chicago, New Hampshire and Dover were snoozers that featured no one passing no one. At least the Talladega race offered position changes, contrived or not.
An obvious strike against plate racing is the potential for danger that revealed itself on a couple of occasions throughout the 500 mile race even prior to the final lap melee. Some may want to see mangled sheet metal, but to most, the risk of injury to drivers at such high rates of speed is too great to root for such a thing.
Typically, I use this forum to speak out against NASCAR’s over regulation and runaway rule making. But there can be exceptions to everything.
As very much of a purist on most issues, I am not as much opposed to restrictor plate racing as some might guess. I very much remember the time when Bobby Allison’s car almost went into the grandstands at Talladega and understand the necessity of keeping speeds on NASCAR’s fastest tracks in check. And, I somewhat appreciate the requirement for a different skill set in these type of races in the same way I have grown to appreciate road course racing.
So, restrictor plate racing may not offer a perfect solution. But, it was good to see cars passing other cars. That does not happen enough in modern day NASCAR. For that reason, I was entertained by Sunday’s race in Talladega. And that had nothing to do with the wrecks that occurred. With or without the last lap pileup, that event offered drama and intensity not seen in a while.
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