Today’s Daytona 500 Features New Rules For 2017
The 59th running of today's Daytona 500 will feature new rules to the sport that not all race fans are on board with.
Normally in racing, it's the first one to complete the scheduled amount of laps or distance is your winner. That part is still true, but now NASCAR has introduced 3 stages to each race and bonus points if you're in the top 10 after each stage. NASCAR did this to prevent drivers from just lagging back at the big tracks like Daytona and Talladega. Some driver's did this to avoid the big wreck and then would make their move the last 20 laps. Hey, race car drivers aren't stupid. They know that in order to win a race, you must finish a race.
NASCAR didn't like this approach so they came up with this stages rule. Every race on the schedule will have stages and after a stage is completed, a new flag will be waved. A green/white checkered flag will be used. The pits will be closed 2 laps before each stage comes to an end, but driver's will be able to pit after each stage is completed. NASCAR did this knowing some drivers towards the back would pit before the stage ends and then advance in position when the top cars pitted at the end of the stage.
Now what has race fans up in arms is racing meant you started the race and didn't stop it until a crash or the race was over with. That was the thing about racing... there's no timeouts, there's no stopping, just go till the end. Now we have stages whether you like it or not.
NASCAR didn't stop there with rule changes. If your car is involved in a wreck and gets damaged, teams can no longer take them back to the garage area to repair them. All repair work is to be done on pit road, which I personally do not like because of safety for the crew. If your car suffers major damage, you only have 5 minutes to repair it. If it takes longer than 5 minutes, your day is done. Teams used to keep their cars going after major damage hoping other cars would drop out and help them advance positions at the end of the race. Each extra point used to help a driver at the end of the season win a championship. Benny Parsons won his championship in 1973 because he repaired a heavily damaged car from an early race accident. NASCAR's thoughts are because they now have a playoff system rather than a year long points system, heavily damaged cars should not return.
Here's my thoughts. Make the rules so the big tracks like Daytona and Talladega no longer have pack racing. It's no fun going down the interstate in a huge pack of cars and everyone goes the same speed for miles and miles. Drivers don't like that and race car drivers hate racing like that. Give them a little more power and make the cars so they're not so aerodynamic. We've all been to that go-kart track where all you do is keep the kart wide open around the track with no power. You don't go back to that place because it's not any fun. Daytona & Talladega are those go-kart tracks... just hold it wide open all the time.
Watch the video below from 1979. This is what most race fans want again... not pack racing.