NASCAR’s annual All-Star Race is billed as “NASCAR’s wildest night” with drivers competing for ONE MILLION DOLLARS anything can happen, right?
At least that’s what fans are told, instead, more often than not fans are treated to a rather mundane race. There are certainly memories to be had, “One hot night”, Darrell blowing up, Gordon in 2001, the brothers Busch taking each other out, Joe Nemechek being pissed at Kevin Harvick. But none of those memories have happened in the last 10 years. Since NASCAR’s change to the Gen 6 cars, the All-Star Race has suffered immensely.
2020 Was No Different
When NASCAR announced the All-Star Race would be moved to Bristol for 2020 fans were ecstatic. Finally, the All-Star Race was going to a short track. Gone was the boring 1.5-mile track that is Charlotte Motor Speedway. Aero isn’t going to matter in 2020, Bristol has put on some of the best races in NASCAR the last few seasons. It’s a win-win.
Until it wasn’t.
Wednesday night’s All-Star Race at Bristol was the exact opposite of what fans expected. There was no real beating or banging, no real drama outside of Michael McDowell dumping Bubba. In the main though, there was nothing really to talk about.
Somehow NASCAR/SMI managed to make Bristol, and I hate to say it, boring.
People have clamored for “old Bristol” to come back, meaning single lane on the bottom. Why? Because fans are nostalgic about the few clips they’ve seen from decades ago. The multi-lane Bristol the last few seasons has been phenomenal. So naturally the track sprayed traction compound in the bottom lane and pretty much killed any chance of having a high lane.
Wednesday night’s race saw Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney combine to lead 132 of the 140 laps. There wasn’t a ton of action, or at least not much that FOX was willing to show us. It was a rather boring race at times, and that’s not what the All-Star race should be.
But hey, at least they had underglow.
Maybe Scrap The Race All Together?
If the All-Star Race can’t even be good on a short track, why continue to run it?
Most years it takes up a weekend of the season, this year it was a mid-week race which worked really well. It’s a short race and should be run during the week. If NASCAR is actively looking to shorten the season and wants to keep this race then it should be a mid-week race.
The biggest problem with the All-Star Race isn’t the tracks, it’s the cars. Until NASCAR looks at that, we’ll keep seeing things like this.
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