Motorsports News: NASCAR President makes controversial statement during an interview
What's the story?
NASCAR released their new schedule for the 2020 season a short time ago and while it does offer quite a few interesting prospects, including a doubleheader at Pocono, a night race at Martinsville and Homestead no longer being the championship race, officials also seemed to make one glaring mistake as well.
Unfortunately for The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series, that mistake could prove costly in terms of championship implications and bodily injuries as the sport has decided to make one of their most dangerous races the final one of the regular season.
That's right, the Coke Zero 400 will now be the final race of the regular season and will determine if some drivers make the playoffs or not.
The coke Zero 400, which was originally held during July 4th weekend at Daytona International Speedway, will now be held in September and will be swapping dates with The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Of course, the change will offer an uptick in excitement for the fans and the network, but it could come at the cost of the driver.
In case you didn't know...
Daytona International Speedway is considered a superspeedway to NASCAR fans and sometimes sees speeds go upwards of 200 MPH during a race.
This, along with the pack racing that tracks like this typically produce has put driver safety at risk in the past and absolutely could again now that it is the final race of the season.
Not only is that evident by the breakneck speeds that exist at these kinds of tracks, but also due to the win and you're in implications that each regular season race presents.
If nothing else, its a recipe for disaster in the same way that Indycar holding their final race of the 2011 season at Las Vegas was and someone could get hurt over the matter.
The heart of the matter
NASCAR President Steve Phelps discussed NASCAR's new schedule for the upcoming season and while he claimed to understand that some fans don't want to see manufactured excitement like the final regular season race of the season being at Daytona, but said it gave every driver a fair shot at making the playoffs.
“I know we been accused of manufacturing drama.," Phelps said during an interview, "I’m ok, as long as there’s drama.”“If I’m a race team or a driver. The likelihood of me winning Indy if I’m outside of the Playoffs, is pretty slim. The likelihood of me winning at Daytona at the final regular season event, at least I got something there.”
With that being said, Daytona International Speedway is one of those equalizer tracks that pretty much puts everyone on the same playing field, but at what cost? Seriously though! Between Dale Earnhardt's tragic death in the final lap of The Daytona 500 to Kyle Busch breaking both his legs in an Xfinity race at the track, someone has to know how bad this idea is.
NASCAR is going through a lot of growing pains right now, especially since they are trying to remodel their business and create a product that more people will be interested in, but doing it this way just seems ridiculous.
Beyond that, it seems like its putting driver safety at risk all for an uptick in excitement level which due to the poor quality of racing at Daytona and Talladega lately isn't even worth it.