Upon first hearing that the Daytona 500 was being pushed back a week, I didn't mind. I, like many others, believed this was a safeguard against the possibility that the NFL Lockout would delay the Super Bowl by a week. There was also the possibility of future Super Bowls being held later in the year due to the NFL's proposed 18-game season; however, any such extension would be made at the expense of two preseason games, making the season start earlier. If NASCAR were to be trusted (play along), then we would believe the delay was intended to remove an open weekend from the start of the season. Given how exhausting the later stages of the season seem to be, the more logical process is to keep the Daytona 500 on the same weekend and move all other races (not bolted to a holiday) up a week.
Speaking of holidays, Presidents Day has always been more of a "bank and school" holiday than a "hamburgers, roast turkey, and fireworks" holiday. This does not marginalize the day. Parents bringing their children to the Daytona 500 would find it easier to take them on a Florida vacation during a weekend where they would miss less time from school. Presidents Day remains one of the few holidays not already saturated with sports, and 2012's late start forced the Daytona 500 to compete for attention with the NBA All Star Game and the NFL Scouting Combine.
Speedweeks itself needs some new events. I saw that short track races will be held on an impromptu track that combines Daytona's backstretch and the adjacent skidpad. This is a good start, but people don't think "short track" when they hear "Daytona." A modified car race on the tri-oval would be either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever. I'd like to see a pair of 50-mile historic races; one for cars from 1959-1968 and the other for cars from 1969-1978. Of course such cars would be museum pieces with antiquated safety equipment; therefore, no avoidable body contact should be tolerated.
I think we can agree that it is time to move the qualifying races to night these days. Granted, when people go to Daytona Beach in February, they are doing so with the intent of being in sunshine; however, qualifying race tickets are only sold in packages with Daytona 500 tickets. There is plenty of time for sunshine between Thursday and Sunday, let's try and up the TV ratings.
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