(photo from usatoday)
Saturday’s night Coke Zero 400 finish at Daytona was one of the most exciting endings in recent memory. The last July race at Daytona that was this exciting was the 2007 Pepsi 400 in which Jamie McMurray edged out Busch for the victory by .005 of a second.
There are several reasons why the Coke Zero 400 was very exciting. First, it is a restrictor plate race. That always bunches up the field into something reflecting 43 swarming bees. As the night ages and the race progresses, the drivers get more comfortable with the handling of their race cars, and they are willing to take more chances with those race cars! The results mimic a swarm of angry bumble bees!
Secondly, the double yellow line marks a “no man’s zone” and defines the work area for these racers. With the double yellow line taken extremely serious by both NASCAR and the drivers, the outcome is exciting finishes much like we have seen lately. Drivers now are more determined to “hold their line” on the track, not go below the double yellow line, and race for the win, now matter the cost.
Additionally late in the race, drivers become “rear view mirror racers”. That is to say, the drivers are looking in their rear view mirror more than they are looking forward, and driving defensively late in the race. If defensive driving or blocking is ok, then the net results is that somebody is going to make a trip into the wall or up into the catch fence! Simple as that!
Nonetheless, restrictor plate racing is exciting to all race fans! In light of the rule change that now allows double file restarts, the late race excitement has magnified significantly! I, for one, am a big fan of the restrictor plate racetracks. It provides an intense atmosphere for the 400 or 500 mile race for that particular event.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!
Please participate in the poll below. The question begs to be asked, in light of the Talladega race finish and the finish of the Coke Zero 4oo: