Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Daytona testing helps kick off anticipation for NASCAR season

We are technically only about halfway through the NASCAR offseason, but the days of hearing strictly about off-track news are about over.

NASCAR teams will head to Florida this week to the greatest racetrack of them all in Daytona Beach and start testing for the fast-approaching Speedweeks.

Gosh, it is going to be nice to see cars back on the track. Plus, the teams will be doing more than just logging laps during the three-day test session that begins Thursday.

NASCAR made several rule changes after the season designed to change the style of restrictor-plate racing back to the large packs instead of the two-car drafts.

It will be interesting to see if those changes have much of an effect on the style of racing. NASCAR's similar attempts last year didn’t do much to break up the two-car drafts.

More than anything, it will just be nice to know that the dark, quiet winter is almost over.

Sure, it’s still early January, but the NASCAR action slowly picks up as we move closer and closer to Speedweeks in mid-February.

The Daytona test will run from Thursday to Saturday with Preseason Thunder events where fans can meet drivers and get an early feel for the changes that happened during the offseason.

The following week is NASCAR Acceleration weekend in Charlotte that will culminate with the NASCAR Hall of Fame inductions for 2012.

NASCAR used to hold the Hall of Fame inductions during the week between the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, but now it will help fill the void between the start of the year and the start of the season.

Cars will be back on the track at Daytona the weekend after the Hall of Fame inductions with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. While this isn’t a NASCAR event, several NASCAR drivers run the race and it is a full day of auto racing. That in itself is therapeutic.

The weeks between the 24-hour race and the Daytona 500 will be filled with the NASCAR media tour that tries to set some storylines for the upcoming season and then it is time to get after it with the big cars on the big track.

All of a sudden the season will be in full swing and NASCAR fans will once again long for the weekends so they can watch the practices sessions, qualifying and the race on Sunday.

We might still be more than 40 days from the official start of the season, but those days will be filled with on-track action, big NASCAR events and the wonderful anticipation of another full season of auto racing.

Welcome back, everybody.

1 comment:

  1. Nascar wants to bring back pack racing? Who wants to watch that? Tandem is better, but I would rather see one on one racing, not 32 teams trying to keep within inches of each other trying to avoid "the big one"!