Friday, October 9, 2009

Green Flag to Drop Earlier in 2010

In its best move since Brain France became CEO and chairman, NASCAR has announced that they will be moving up the start times for most of the races next season.

Many of the Sunday afternoon races will be moved to 1 pm ET. This was a change that was sorely needed. Yes, everybody loves prime time television, but NASCAR is not set up to be that week in and week out. The Saturday night races are fun, but the majority of the schedule should be run on Sunday afternoons right after everyone gets home from church and the race can be finished without having to turn any lights on. This will be evident in the coming weeks at Texas and Homestead where it will be almost completely dark when the race is finished.

My favorite thing about the change is that the Daytona 500 will return to a true day race. I always thought that the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 were special because of their prestige, and because they started early in the day. It was something to look forward to right away before anything else could get in the way. Also, I like having the 500 winner celebrate in daylight. Something about those pictures of past winners at Daytona is so special because it’s still in the afternoon. The night time stuff works great for things like the Budweiser Shootout, All-Star Race, and most of the Saturday night events, but the early Sunday afternoon races are what make those weekends special. Everything else can wait until later in the day because there is time left afterwards to attend to other matters. Let’s face it, when the races starts mid-afternoon, many fans sit around watching pre-race shows waiting for the race to start anyway.

This move is also good in many practical ways. When the at-the-track activities are finished, there is still time to get out of the complex before nightfall and possibly get home before it is really late. Combine this with the probable returns of the Brickyard 400 and Charlotte Motor Speedway; things will really start to feel comfortable.

Truthfully, there seem to be very few, if any, drawbacks to this change. For the first time in a very long while, NASCAR made a change that looks like it is totally for the better, and after last week’s debacle, this sort of thing was needed.


  1. It's a good thing. The pre-race shows will still be three hours long, but the races will all have early, standardized start times.

    In the old days, you knew that the race would start at the latest. Now you have to check the TV guide every week.

  2. Gene - Can't agree more. It will be like football does with the Sunday Countdown and all that stuff. Early in the morning is when that should go on anyway.
    I am grateful for the change. Gives me something to look forward to for next year.

  3. It was good to see the times set earlier. Now maybe I can see the whole race before I fall asleep for my after noon nap.

  4. photogr - lol. Like I said, there are very few drawbacks. Thanks!

  5. I always enjoyed having the standarized times. Like Gene said, it gave people time to go to church, grab a bit to eat and then get ready to race. When the times are all over the place, you are constantly looking for the times. But now, we will know if it is on the east coast 1 p.m. West coast 3 p.m. Night 7:30 p.m.

    Sounds like a win win situation to me.

  6. Tsfanpc - Things are certainly looking up for next year. A few more tweaks and things could be really awesome. Thanks!