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Was NASCAR Right to Call the Xfinity Series Race Early?

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Joshua Lipowski

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series race was unprecedented for many reasons, but in no way bigger than how the race ended. After lightning postponed the race on Saturday, NASCAR tried to complete the Xfinity race on Sunday, but rain drenched the track. Before the race was considered “official,” NASCAR ended the Xfinity Series race after only 25 laps due to what they called “Several unprecedented circumstances”.

Was NASCAR right to call the race official when they did? Well, here is a look at at all angles.

NASCAR was RIGHT

Look, there was absolutely no way that NASCAR could have let the Xfinity Series drivers out on the race track on Sunday. It was a downpour that seemingly would not stop, and there was no way NASCAR could have run both the Xfinity and Cup events on the same day in the time frame they were dealt.

NASCAR COULD race on Monday, but does that mean they SHOULD? Imagine NASCAR disrupting holiday traffic and overstaying their welcome all for a AAA racing series in a major American city. That is a great way to make the citizens of Chicago feel unhappy with how NASCAR treated them.

Yes it’s unprecedented, but that is why other clauses exist in the rule book. Bob Pockrass specifically pointed out the “Except in rare instances” clause.

That very clause exists purely for instances such as this. Unprecedented rain at an unprecedented event that NASCAR had never run before. It was not a normal race track.

NASCAR does not own Grant Park like they own most of their race tracks. These are city streets, and, it’s not that easy to just run a race on a Monday. They ran 25 laps, and that was that. NASCAR can honestly say they tried, but it just did not work out.

NASCAR Was WRONG

It is explicitly clear in the NASCAR rule book that a race is official once either the race reaches the halfway point or the end of stage two, whichever comes first. NASCAR broke their own rule, and it is as simple as that.

Sure, the City of Chicago must be taken into consideration. However, Chicago should have known from the get-go that, if the race was postponed for whatever reason, NASCAR expects to make it up. The fact that that contingency was not employed, or that it was not planned out properly is not a good thing.

NASCAR has never done anything like this before. They always are committed to getting the race to its “official” distance. Didn’t Formula One just have a race a few years ago that was not even run because of rain, and fans were understandably outraged?

NASCAR needs to distance itself from these types of things, and this weekend did a bad job at that. NASCAR broke their own rules.

Conclusion

Again, unprecedented circumstances in an unprecedented event. NASCAR racing the Xfinity Series on Sunday really was just not an option with how things out of their control worked out. Could they have gone about things differently, maybe, but, there’s outside factors that came into play.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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