The single-file racing in the outside lane that has led many to describe the action at Daytona speedweeks in 2019 as dull or boring will not be seen in Sunday’s Daytona 500 … if NASCAR chairman Jim France has his way.
Speaking at the driver’s meeting a couple hours prior to the start of the 2019 Daytona 500, France reportedly told the competitors, “I hope some of you drivers get down on the bottom with Denny (Hamlin) and Chase (Elliott) and make a show out there.”
France referenced Hamlin and Elliott because those two drivers in particular have shown an aggressiveness in trying to make the bottom lane work during pack runs in last Sunday’s Clash and Thursday’s Gander RV Duel races.
MORE: Watch the Daytona 500 live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)
In the three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races over the past week at Daytona — last Sunday’s Clash and Thursday’s two Duel races — drivers have floated their cars to the preferred, outside lane at the drop of just about every green flag. Saturday’s Xfinity Series race was described by many as a snoozer simply because this single-file style of racing prevailed as the preference for almost all of the event. Friday night’s Truck Series race, however, was action-packed with two- and three-wide racing from green to checkered. (Which is part of the reason the race set a record for cautions and only a handful of trucks actually finished.)
In the Cup and Xfinity races, the drafting aerodynamics appeared to work better for the cars closer to the wall, though drivers have failed to provide an explanation as to why.
“I don’t know what’s going on with the high line becoming just so clearly dominant,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. after one of the cars he owns, the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Michael Annett, won the Xfinity Series race, via Motorsport.com. “It doesn’t seem like it’s entirely by choice that they all ride up there. It’s by necessity.
“We’re going to have a completely different package when we go to Talladega, so it could be a non-issue, but the Xfinity cars and the Cup cars are not entirely similar and they both reacted the same way and did the same thing and raced the same way.”
Sunday’s Daytona 500 will be the last NASCAR Cup Series race in which cars will be equipped with restrictor plates. Moving forward, NASCAR will use only a tapered spacer to manage speed at superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega.)
MORE: Explaining NASCAR’s new aero package for 2019
France evidently shares the concern that Sunday’s Daytona 500, the premier race not only of the weekend, but of the Cup Series schedule, could feature single-file racing in the outside lane.
France took over for his nephew Brian France as NASCAR chairman in August after the latter was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance. According to NBC Sports, Jim France has yet to speak with media since he took the job.
Source: Read Full Article