Backseat Drivers Fan Council

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Backseat Drivers Fan Council debates Monday night racing at Daytona

Backseat Drivers Fan Council debates Monday night racing at Daytona

by Dustin Long

The Backseats Drivers Fan Council is back! While NASCAR and tracks have their own fan councils, most people don’t see the results of what fans are asked. That’s why I started a fan council last year where anyone could answer questions about the sport and see the results, along with comments fellow council members made.

So on to Year 2 of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council.

Members had much to talk about with the Daytona 500, especially the idea of the race being held on a Monday night after rain forced this year’s event to be held then. Here’s what members had to say about that and other topics.


MONDAY NIGHT RACING?
With the Daytona 500 being held on Monday night this year, should Daytona change its race schedule to have the Trucks run on Saturday night, Nationwide on Sunday night and the Daytona 500 on Monday night?

72.4 percent said No
27.6 percent said Yes

What Fan Council members said:

• That would be great!

• No. You do this and you decimate the at-the-track experience on which the sport is built. In its essence, it is not a TV sport, (it) is a live spectator event.

• I'd rather see Trucks Thursday night (Duel earlier in the afternoon) and Nationwide Friday night and Daytona 500 on Saturday night with Sunday open for a rain delay.

• YES, YES, YES! It was magical! It is such a big event it deserves a big prime-time slot!!! If the networks can show every other sport on primetime, surely NASCAR can show one or two races a year in the prime-time slot!

• Why do we constantly want to change something that has worked for many, many years???

• Got to ask, WHY? Fans travel great distance to see the 500 and by racing on Monday night it would be hard on many. If it ain't broke don't fix it!

• It would be too hard to get people to attend the race. A scheduled Monday night race is an interesting idea, but it needs to be tried at a track where there is enough potential local fans to make it work, not a place like Daytona, where the majority of fans travel a great distance. I would suggest Texas, Charlotte, or Richmond. Las Vegas might also work, as it not only has a large population, but most of the people who are traveling there aren't trying to do it just for a weekend.

• No, leave it scheduled as it. Do they play the SuperBowl on Monday night?

• Worst idea ever.

• Worth contemplating!

• I'm not sure this is the savior or the sucker. I will say that holding the race on Monday night in primetime gave a big boost to coverage for the non-racing fan. I had non-racing friends calling me all day ... to explain things to them. It was great. They all want to go to a race now!

• I love getting off work and coming home to the excitement of the truck race. It starts my race weekend on the right note. Friday night races provide an awesome transition from work week to weekend. Also, the Daytona 500 is too long to run on a 'school night.’


WOULD YOU GO TO A MONDAY NIGHT DAYTONA 500?
Should the Daytona 500 ever move to a Monday night, Fan Council members were asked if they could get time off to attend the race or would they be forced to watch it on TV.

54.7 percent said they could NOT get time off from work to attend a Monday night race.
45.3 percent said they could take time off from work and would go to a Monday night race.

What Fan Council members said:

• I've never been to the Daytona race, but I'll be going next year. When I travel from the West Coast to races on the East Coast, I always give myself a few extra days after the race to enjoy the area (and hopefully cover rainouts)!

• It wouldn't change my mind about coming at all. The Daytona 500 is special and worth taking vacation days.

• In order for me to attend a race on Monday night, I would have to take Monday and Tuesday off. I haven't been to Daytona yet, but the chance would be even less if it switched to Monday night.

• It doesn't matter when the Daytona 500 is. It could be scheduled for a Wednesday for all I care - I'm there. However, it is TONS easier if it's a Sunday night.

• I wouldn't try to get time off from work to attend. Weather in Florida is unpredictable as it is. Navigating the nighttime temperatures in Florida in February would virtually guarantee that I would not attend the Daytona 500. The idea of heading into the Florida sunshine, taking a warm break and watching the finest drivers in the world, sounds a lot like heaven. Spending a chilly night in open grandstands makes me want to be in front of my television and I can stay home and watch television. I've attempted to work it into my plans the past two years, but that would take it out of my plans.

• When I go to races, Mondays off are often required for travel. For Daytona, I'd take Tuesday too! But I wouldn't take two days off for every race on the schedule.

• It would be sold out either way, but why penalize hard working people by making them take an extra day from work when the race can be run on Sunday, which won’t cost them a vacation day?

• My Boss would say no cause he’s a jealous baby.


BEST OF SPEEDWEEKS
Fan Council members were asked what was the best race during Daytona Speedweeks. This is how they voted:

43.4 percent said the Daytona 500
27.5 percent said the Budweiser Shootout
12.3 percent said the Nationwide race
11.1 percent said the Truck race
4.1 percent said the qualifying races
1.6 percent said the ARCA race

What Fan Council members said:

• I can't say it was the 500. Even with all of the crazy things that happened (jet dryer accident and all), I just didn't think the racing was that exciting. The Shootout and the Duels were better in my opinion.

• I enjoyed all the racing! Every race has its own excitement. Honestly, I enjoyed the 2 hour delay. Twitter was hilarious & got some crazy texts from my friends!! Best start to the 2012 season ever!! :)

• Actually, none of the above. I don't like pack racing and the resulting "Big One" crashes. In my opinion, the restrictor plate racing and the tracks that require them have outlived their usefulness. Daytona and Talladega just allow the cars to go too fast and with the plates the cars either are forced to run in big packs, or the 2-car tandem that most fans, myself included, do not like. When running in packs, the tiniest mistake, which would not be an issue on other tracks, cause the huge crashes that take out many other cars. ... I am probably a minority of one with this opinion, but I think both restrictor-plate tracks should be demolished and replaced by 1-mile tracks that can provide great racing.

• The 500 had a little bit of everything for everyone. If people didn't like this race (sans the timing) then they need to stop watching NASCAR!

• I thought trucks were most exciting. I especially. loved that rookie John King went to Victory Lane.

• Daytona 500 hands down. Even though the finish of the Budweiser Shootout was probably better, the energy that comes with the 500 cannot be beat. Every lap you are on edge seeing your driver navigate the field. There was a whole lot of action, early drama, bizarre events, and an exciting finish. Great race.

• The Nationwide race seemed to just capture the spirit of Daytona and sure has set the stage for a different looking Nationwide series this year (I hope).

• I think all the work that NASCAR and the teams put into fixing the plate racing over the offseason was dead-on. There was just enough of pack racing, side-by-side and just a bit of tandem stuff to keep your attention throughout the race. They should be very proud of what they were able to do for the race fans.

• Sorry NASCAR, you made the Sprint Cup race boring.....

• Finally NASCAR has taken the time to listen to the drivers and fans and get back to the pack style of racing!


RATING THE DAYTONA 500
Fan Council members were asked how they rated this year’s Daytona 500. Here’s how they voted:

50.9 percent called it Good
33.4 percent called it Great
13.8 percent called it Fair
1.9 percent called it Poor

What Fan Council members said:

• I really liked having The Pack racing back, as opposed to the Pod racing of the last 18 months. Still couldn't watch the entire race without putting my hands over my eyes a few times (close calls!), but it was very exciting!

• The racing was awful. Two lines, no one could really pass. The most exciting thing was the explosion and resulting fire. Seems like NASCAR can't get racing back in "racing.’’

• I was worried that the solution to the 2-car tandem would be worse than the 2-car tandem but was thankfully proved wrong!

• The 'events' were eventful, but the racing was fair. I'll probably remember the jet dryer incident for years - if not forever, but I won't remember the actual racing.

• I'm still speechless about it.

• The pack is back, which is somewhat lame.

• I attended the race, as well as the rain delays! This was in no way a great race. There was very little great racing action. But then again, I never really expect great racing action from Daytona.

• It was nice to get away from the "pairs competition" we had been seeing. However, there was not much ability to pass or control one's destiny. NASCAR still has some fixing to do on this package.

• Anyone thinking that 43 cars running in a single pack is the way to go then they are the same ones who love the big wrecks!

• I thought I’d seen it all until (Monday) night! One of the best!!

• The racing was awesome!!!


BUILDING MOMENTUM
Since the Daytona 500 can provide momentum for the sport, Fan Council members were asked if they were more excited or less excited about the NASCAR Sprint Cup season after this year’s 500:

84.0 percent said they were More Excited
16.0 percent said they were Less Excited

What Fan Council members said:

• BRING IT!

• Neither, actually, but that was not an option.

• Just glad the new season is here & Daytona is behind us

• Matt Kenseth is my driver and he won with a dominant car after winning his duel race, so I'm definitely more excited about the coming season.

• Junior is in second place ... what’s not to be excited about?

• Actually probably about the same but that wasn't an option. Definitely not less.

• This really pumped me up for the upcoming season. 

• I love Matt Kenseth, but he just isn't the right winner to carry the momentum NASCAR had from last season. Carl or Tony, even Denny or, of course, Dale Jr would have been great winners to carry some excitement and momentum into 2012. I'm excited for this season, but the 500 isn't the reason why.

• Nothing about this sport has really excited me for years now. Generic cars, generic drivers and generic racing.


Fans can join the Backseat Drivers Fan Council by sending Dustin an email at [email protected].

Please include the following information:
Name, city, state, Twitter name, e-mail address and favorite driver.
 

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<p> The Backseat Drivers Fan Council gives its opinion on Daytona Speedweeks.</p>
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