After the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stage break of 2017, I just feel robbed. The first stage of today’s Daytona 500 ended on lap 60, and the second stage went green on lap 68. The caution break between stages eats up laps that count towards the race distance, which is a ridiculous waste of everyone’s time. Give us those eight laps back, NASCAR.
During that long, excruciating time, we got an awkward in-car interview with Stage 1 winner Kyle Busch, some pit stops, commentary from the Fox Sports team and commercials. They filled the time the best they could, but in previous years under the same clean-racing circumstances, we’d be enjoying green-flag race time in the place of people circulating around slowly under a caution flag. Seat-of-your-pants, ooh-they’re-getting-close green flag racing.
It was a long enough break in the action that it completely ruined the tension of the race in the meantime. Had I not been angry enough to start this rant, I would have had enough time to knit Fluffy a festive Dale Jr. scarf, make homemade pimiento cheese, or heaven forbid, actually fix something on my Porsche. There was no action keeping my eyes glued to the television, or my attention focused on the Daytona 500.
It was long. While I understand the need for ad time in a modern televised broadcast, this ate up precious, precious race time—you know, laps for that event that we’re all here to see. It’s fine and necessary to pause the race if there’s been a crash, or if there needs to be a clean-up on track. It’s not necessary to bore us to death between stages.
If I was watching in person, I’d be even more livid watching them fart around on glorified mid-race parade laps. “Why did I buy a ticket for the Daytona 500 when it comes out to be the Daytona Significantly Less Than 500?”
I want my eight laps back, you hosers! I don’t care if you make everyone duel it out on the kart track afterwards. You owe us laps, NASCAR.
Kyle Busch was the first stage winner of today’s race, only to crash out in Stage 2 later with a down tire.