Parks Pit Report: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen
Any race fan knows that when rain hits a race track, one of two things will happen…either it will be a long delay, or it will be a postponement. In NASCAR, it means a Sunday race is moved to a Monday.
It also means one big thing for the average man or woman that works during the week that made their vacation right around the race. It means that the vacation ends without seeing a race. Not everyone can afford to spend another night in a hotel, let alone another day at the race track. It’s just very difficult when NASCAR races on a Monday.
Often when it actually is ran, the race put on is one to remember. NASCAR has actually done a few double-headers in recent years, mainly because the scheduled Sprint Cup race is on a Saturday night.
The first time NASCAR did this was in the mid-2000′s at Charlotte. On the Friday before, the Nationwide event had severe downpours that officials knew would lead to a postponement.
The problem was NASCAR didn’t want the Nationwide race to be run the day afterward, since majority of the fans paid to see the big race on Saturday night, and it would not be in their best interest to run the second-tier race on Sunday. So, officials gathered together and decided to go double duty, racing the Nationwide race in the afternoon with the Sprint Cup race capping off the night.
Obviously NASCAR cannot do it every week, but it proves that they were able to improvise when necessary.
At the same time, NASCAR has on occasion made the decision to postpone the scheduled race for a few days, and sometimes two weeks. In 2007, the summer race at Michigan was run on a Tuesday morning because heavy rain on Sunday and Monday left NASCAR with no other options, since the schedule didn’t have any way to move the race to later in the year.
The one time I can remember NASCAR really putting off a race, excluding the weekend following 9/11, was in 1997 at Talladega. NASCAR had to deal with two consecutive days of heavy rain and wind, and they knew that it was going to be impossible to race on that Tuesday since the next race was in California.
NASCAR ran the race the day before Mother’s Day, and actually every fan that made the trip back to the track got the most unexpected race anyone could have expected.
That race turned out to be the fastest 500-mile race in history, with an average speed of nearly 189 MPH, thanks to zero cautions. Yes, a restrictor plate race that went through three rounds of pit stops, and no caution flags.
Sure, having a race postponed because of rain is frustrating, and many fans just can’t take another day at the track when they have to get back to the job that paid for the trip in the first place.
At least NASCAR does the best they can when it rains, because the bottom line is they want to make sure they put on a show for those fans that make the trip to the track to see their heroes compete on a weekly basis.
RESULTS: 1-Ambrose 2-Keselowski 3-Kyle Busch 4-Truex Jr. 5-Logano 6-Harvick 7-Montoya 8-Allmendinger 9-Burton 10-Johnson
NOTABLE FINISHES: 12-Edwards 13-Gordon 15-Earnhardt Jr. 27-Stewart 36-Hamlin 38-Kurt Busch
CAUTIONS: 5 for 14 laps. Lap 29-31 (#16 Stopped on Track), 50-52 (#22 Accident-T5), 67-69 (#11 Accident-T1), 87-90 (#27 Accident-BS), 92-92 (#00, 6, 51 Accident-T2)
LEAD CHANGES: 14 among 8 drivers. Kyle Busch POLE, Allmendinger 1-8, Ambrose 9-16, Kyle Busch 17-29, Ambrose 30-37, Montoya 38-41, Gordon 42-44, Kyle Busch 45-57, Keselowski 58-59, Bowyer 60, Ambrose 61-63, Johnson 64, Gordon 65-67, Kyle Busch 68-90, Ambrose 91-92.
TIME OF RACE: 2 Hrs, 16 Mins, 2 Secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 99.417 MPH
MARGIN OF VICTORY: Under Caution
POINT STANDINGS (Top-10, Wild Cards): 1. Kyle Busch, 752 points; 2. Edwards, 752 points; 3. Johnson, -6; 4. Harvick, -14; 5. Kenseth, -28; 6. Kurt Busch, -40; 7. Gordon, -52; 8. Newman, -66; 9. Earnhardt Jr, -82; 10. Stewart, -93. WILD CARDS: Keselowski (14th, 2 wins), Hamlin (12th, 1 win).