All the hype in the world was at Daytona International Speedway’s doorstep. The excitement that comes from the start of a new season kicking off with the biggest race of the year, is intense. The 62nd race of the year had everything you could ask for, including a visit from the President of the United States.
The absolute worst-case scenario for NASCAR happened with rain refusing to relent as soon as engines fired up. So much momentum and so many fans more excited than usual, and it all came to a screeching halt.
Disappointment from fans is obvious, but I’m sure the higher-ups from NASCAR who have been struggling to stop the bleeding on their dwindling fan base for years could not have been more distressed. Rain on any other race is fine, annoying, but fine. To have it happen on the biggest race of the year and at the beginning of the year is the worst-case scenario.
Why not just race in the rain?
Well, it’d be a terrible idea at Daytona, the amount of danger that comes along with that isn’t worth not having to deal with the frustration of postponement. Moving 200 mph on a wet surface is a terrifying thought.
I completely understand that we cannot race in downpour weather, so this situation was unavoidable. Why can we not race in light or mild weather conditions?
NASCAR needs to start doing some research on racing in light rain. They had looked into this in the past and raced the 2014 Road America Nationwide race in the rain. It had mixed results and NASCAR decided they needed to go back to the drawing board, but then this was never picked back up.
I hope that having all the momentum for the 2020 season being killed will help NASCAR realize they need to at least find a way so that fans aren’t forced to wait on the race over a drizzle.
Again, this was an undrivable situation in and is the type of bad luck that’s got me thinking NASCAR President Steve Phelps has some bad karma coming his way. But, this should still be the catalyst for the development of some kind of rain measures at the race tracks each week.
Hopefully, the 500 is just as exciting as always and fans still tune in to watch, but it’s inevitable that ratings will fall due to the postponement. This was the absolute worst-case scenario for NASCAR to start the year, and I hope it gets people thinking about the future.