Daytona – a place of pack racing, high speeds, and carnage. Lots of carnage. At least that’s what was expected. This year’s Daytona 500, however, produced minimal carnage, debris cautions, and a single-file pack for a good sum of the laps under green.
This year’s 500 was an important one. With the introduction of a new car and a woman leading the field to the green, a lot of publicity and pressure surrounded this race. Many, though, were displeased with it because the race didn’t live up to the astronomical expectations set for it.
The 500 wasn’t all that we hoped for, but patience is a virtue, my friends. A new car is not going to appear at the track and magically make all of the racing perfect every single weekend. The Gen-6 is not Superman and fans shouldn’t be looking for it to save every aspect of racing that isn’t particularly favored; especially in the first real race with the new car.
Focus on the positives from yesterday’s race. Brand identity is back, for one. A Chevy looks like a Chevy, a Toyota looks like a Toyota, and a Ford looks like a Ford. The COT is gone. The downforce on the car at plate tracks has been reduced. The two-car tandems are no more. And think about it…this is just the beginning of the sixth generation.
So what if this weekend’s race didn’t go as perfectly as expected? Phoenix may be great. Every race from then on may be great. The fact of the matter is, no one knows. Why then, should we choose to be negative about yesterday’s race? It may have not been a three-wide pack for all 200 laps like we expected the Daytona 500 to be, but the Gen-6 car can’t be perfect in every category right off the bat. That’s an unreal expectation.
The point is that NASCAR is trying. They’re trying their best to please the fans and the drivers, and their efforts should be embraced rather than criticized right off the bat. Give it a little time, because great things take time. The new car will have its ups and downs, but there’s one thing that most, if not all of us can agree on – at least it’s not the COT.
By Alanis King