Gas 'N' Go: Should Chase Races Go The Distance?
By: MRN Staff on July 10, 2014 | 8:02 A.M. EST
Should NASCAR require all Chase races run the full distance no matter how long it takes?
The pits are open again and, MRN.com's Pete Pistone and Dustin Long each answer this week's featured question in "Gas 'N' Go."
Should NASCAR require that Chase races go the full distance no matter how long it takes?
If there's one thing nobody has any control over it's Mother Nature. Until someone builds a domed race track it will be impossible to ensure a NASCAR race won't be impacted by the weather.
The call last week at Daytona to end early was the right one given the circumstances. The stakes will obviously be higher once the Chase rolls around, especially with the new elimination format, but I'm not sure NASCAR officials will be able to categorically say they'll wait no matter how long it may take to complete the full distance of a race.
Tracks that have lights should certainly use them, and I have no problem with waiting like what happened last year in the Chase opener at Chicagoland or even this year in the Daytona 500. But situations, elements and conditions change dramatically when it comes to the weather and even NASCAR is helpless trying to predict or control the outcome.
Take it on a case-by-case situation, do whatever possible to get as much of the full distance in as possible and the rest is simply up to Ma Nature.
It’s difficult to require a race go the distance with the uncertainty weather presents and that some Chase tracks do not have lights.
What if series officials decided that a Chase race must reach the full distance? What about a race that makes it past halfway on a Sunday and is unable to be completed until a day or two later?
What about the fans? What about those who can’t stay and have to leave? What about those who had watched on TV on Sunday but can’t on Monday? What about tracks that have to find volunteers to return? What about local and state police who are needed?
Is it more important inconveniencing all of them to make sure a race reaches its full distance?
Are you still OK with your decision if you were that fan that had to leave the track?
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Netwo