It wasn’t all donuts and Dabs at this year’s Daytona 500 and while Austin Dillon winning The Great American Race was arguably the best result NASCAR could have hoped for, that still didn’t excuse the various problems that plagued the race throughout Daytona day. In fact, the sport might have more problems to address after this race then ever before.
With that being said and another weekend of racing quickly approaching, here are the five problems that NASCAR needs to at least address after The Daytona 500 last weekend. Make sure to leave your comments below and let us know if there is anything we may have missed along the way.
While NASCAR was quick to tweet out their drug policy after Denny Hamlin made comments about drivers being on Adderal during a podcast interview, they didn’t seem to address the Bubba Wallace Jr’s comments after The Great American race on Sunday. The problem with that is that while Hamlin was rumored to be taken to the hauler for his comments, Wallace jr was not.
Of course it is arguable that Bubba Wallace Jr was just joking and obviously angry at what he claims Denny Hamlin did to him after they crossed the start finish line, but bringing one driver to a hauler and not another seems hypocritical. In the end, hopefully NASCAR isn’t trying to avoid negative press with Bubba Wallace Jr, or NASCAR is going to be accused of favoritism if not already.
Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace Jr.
Speaking of the current feud between Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace Jr, it is amazing that the two drivers haven’t been called into the hauler yet for their encounter after the Daytona 500 last week. In fact, both drivers have let it be known that they are still angry about the event, which seems like a bad way to start things off when the cars roll on the track at Atlanta.
Not only that, both drivers were left with damage to their cars after the race, which is going to cost both teams money at the end of the day. If nothing else, NASCAR needs to have a sit down with Hamlin and Wallace Jr to make sure that their is no bad blood heading into the rest of the 2018 Cup Series season.
Another thing that amazes me is the fact that NASCAR did nothing to address the fans that threw trash over the catch fence while Austin Dillon was doing his celebratory burnouts after The Daytona 500. Of course NASCAR fans have the right to speak their mind and like and dislike who they want, but to show that much disrespect to a winning driver is inexcusable.
Unfortunately for NASCAR fans hoping that a driver will at least not have trash thrown at them after winning a race, the sport hasn’t addressed this problem either and will most likely let it go. With that being said, they should not be surprised when the same thing happens again and again later on down the line, especially since you allowed it the first time.
Unfair media attention
Whether fans want to admit it or not, and most of them probably don’t, NASCAR has a bit of a problem when it comes to deciding on who to focus on and who not to. While NASCAR has done better with this conundrum recently, especially since many top drivers have now left the sport, NASCAR still seems to be trading in one storyline for another.
With that being said, the focus now seems to be on young drivers making a name for themselves in the sport, which is a great idea from varying perspectives, but takes away from veteran drivers that are also an important part of the sport. In the end, maybe NASCAR just did this for their opening race and will tone it down later, but right now, the coverage ratio is unfair and unbalanced.
Continuing to use The Earnhardt legacy to keep the sport alive
Again, Austin Dillon was probably the best result possible for NASCAR from a fan standpoint, but it also furthers a narrative that is unfair to many of its other drivers. While it is understandable that NASCAR wanted to focus on the parallels between Dale Earnhardt and Austin DIllon after Dillon came away with the 500 victory, doing so is only unfairly keeping The Earnhardt legacy alive.
With that in mind, NASCAR would have been much better off to try and sell the fans on why Austin Dillon will be a future great of the sport and less time trying to draw comparisons between him and the late great Intimidator. Hopefully NASCAR will focus less on that legacy as time goes on and allow young Dillon to step into the spotlight, but that doesn’t seem likely if he continues to drive a black three car.