Two years ago, on the eve of the Daytona 500, Kurt Busch spent the day being hustled in and out of NASCAR headquarters, which sit across the street from Daytona International Speedway. Busch was fighting (unsuccessfully) an indefinite suspension over an alleged incident of domestic violence that he was disputing. Twice he walked into NASCAR headquarters to appeal.
Danica Patrick was right in the thick of Sunday’s Daytona 500 when she was forced to exit following a 17-car crash that began when Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 car was struck by Trevor Bayne’s No. 6 car. After she was cleared by medical personnel, Patrick spoke with For The Win’s Michelle R. Martinelli and put the blame for the crash on NASCAR’s new rule changes, specifically the rule that created staged racing. “The stages are definitely going to add to it,” Patrick said per Martinelli, “because not only is it creating a reason to push at certain points in the race that aren’t anything but the last 20, but you’re also seeing it shuffling the grid up.” But, that wasn’t the only new rule that Patrick
After being announced in January, NASCAR’s revamped points system made its debut last weekend in Daytona. Its most high profile usage was in the Daytona 500. NASCAR America analysts Dale Jarrett, Jeff Burton and Kyle Petty shared their thoughts on how the system impacted the race. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick won the first and second segments respectively before Kurt Busch won the race. “If you’re going to ask drivers to race harder during the early stages of the race, you have reward them,” Burton said. “If you look at the race this year, think about Clint Bowyer. Think about Ryan Newman. These guys typically run around in the back of plate races. They didn’t do that this race. This is the Daytona