It’s no secret that series across all levels are struggling with car counts … so, how come we force teams and drivers to continue tearing up their equipment just so the fans can see the race finish under green?
It felt near-pointless to show the final 75 minutes on television, which basically amounted to about four minutes of actual green flag time. Basically, it was an exercise of fans waiting, and waiting … and waiting some more to see Self go uncontested to claim the checkered flag, pull into the winner’s circle and then immediately switch to another program.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing Michael Self win. I loved it for him, for Sinclair Oil and Venturini. It was well deserved, for sure. But, how about the underdog from Fredericksburg, Va. that rallied from nowhere to finish second!
Viewers didn’t even see or hear from Willie Mullins, who earned his career-best finish and was the runner-up. I thought the point is to encourage drivers and sponsors to keep coming out? Mullins, a dedicated lifelong racer, would’ve definitely benefited from some television time — and I’m sure his supporters and sponsors would have appreciated it even more.
But, due to the various cleanup times and run over, Fox Sports was unable to show or interview, much less even mention Mullins.
Look, I’m not here to be a complainer, but that was just pitiful. Let’s revise this, immediately.
Start with this idea, ARCA (and other sanctioning bodies):
In the event of an accident on the final lap, considering the wreck is not near the start/finish line or a major crash (such as a flip, fire, ext.), allow drivers to race back to the line. This avoids more equipment being torn up on another shootout and saves so much time. Fans still get to see a burnout, television still gets to complete all their interviews and can mention the notables.
Don’t like that idea? Too risky? I offer another suggestion:
In the event of an accident on the final lap, do ONE (AND ONLY ONE) final one lap shootout.
There is no need for UNLIMITED amounts of restarts at a plate track. One and done. It’s simple. If there are wrecks on that attempt, call the caution and end the thing. There is never an excuse for one lap to take 75 minutes. I don’t care what the situation is.
This isn’t the WWE. This is motorsports.
The race should’ve been over when Holmes went flipping on the backstretch. Sheldon Creed had dominated and could almost touch the checkered flag. Instead, we restart for a one lap shootout and the four front runners bottle up, damaging well over $100,000 in equipment.
Tonight’s 75 minute white flag was wasted time, money and energy.
That’s the bottom line. I hope ARCA and other sanctioning bodies take notes and make the proper adjustments … because, honestly, that was just embarrassing.
The opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Race Chaser Online, Speed77 Radio, the Performance Motorsports Network, their sponsors or other contributors.
About the Writer
Marshall Gabell is the Mid-Atlantic Correspondent for Race Chaser Online, and handles public relations needs in multiple outlets of motorsports, including for tracks and drivers. Gabell is currently attending Stephen Decatur High School in Ocean City, Maryland, completing his junior year. He is 17 years old.
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