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NASCAR Clash elimination good for future scheduling

during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway on February 10, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series gets off to its official start Sunday with the running of the Daytona 500, but 20 drivers actually got the competition started a week earlier in the short Advance Auto Parts Clash exhibition race, also at Daytona. But has the Clash outlived its usefulness, or maybe I should say its luster?

“The Clash is one of those things that I think we could probably eliminate as we go forward and look at the new schedule,” Harvick said during his “Happy Hours” show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio last week. And, personally, I think he’s right.

It’s an exhibition race, so it doesn’t count for much, except for some playoff points for the top-10 finishers. But if it’s eliminated, all drivers lose the opportunity for those handfuls of playoff points. So, no big loss. It’s pretty much just an all-start-type race, and doesn’t NASCAR already have one of those in May? What sport has two all-star events per season?

Also, NASCAR will be embarking on a moment of change, schedule-wise, pretty soon. Eliminating the Clash would give the opportunity of an added open weekend on the schedule or an opportunity for another “real” points-paying race on the schedule without taking a race away from another track. That is if Speedweeks, or Daytona 500-related activity, is abbreviated, and after all, I think that is a possibility.

Consider this — Daytona 500 front-row qualifying is on a Sunday, the same day as the Clash, and The Gander RV Duel races to set the remainder of the starting grid isn’t until the following Thursday. Do you realize that the cars are impounded from Sunday until Thursday, so no on-track activity during that time? That’s time wasted, if you ask me. Why not have both on a Friday? How about Friday midday front-row qualifying, followed by the Duel Friday night?

Then, move that condensed schedule, including the Daytona 500 (two days after this modified qualifying schedule) up a week to the current front-row qualifying weekend, keeping the Daytona 500 as the season opener. After all Speedweeks normally starts that weekend anyway. The would turn the current Daytona 500 weekend into an open date. Insert Nashville or some other track here. Or, also move the next few races back just one weekend apiece and create another open weekend.

Here’s another idea. After condensing Daytona, don’t move the Daytona 500 up a week, and the offseason is one week longer. I’m more in favor of the insertion of another points-paying race, but whatever.

Either way, that pointless Clash race has been eliminated, maybe giving way to a more important one.

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Posted by on February 17, 2019. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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