Rain delay threaten this past weekend in the NASCAR playoffs YellaWood 500 race at Talladega Superspeedway, which forced NASCAR officials to reschedule Sunday race to the following Monday.
The 15-time most popular NASCAR driver winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. angry about how the situation was handled.
On Monday it was a historic race, with 23Xi Bubba Wallace joining Wendell Scott as only the second black driver to take home a NASCAR Cup Series win.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was up in the NBC broadcast booth to call the race last Sunday, and on the latest episode of Dale Jr. Download this week, he discuss about how upsetting it was to watch the nearly-packed grandstands dissipate as fans existed the track that afternoon:
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“The race is on NBC, the big network on Sunday. Massive audience watching our race. We had the grandstands packed full of people. Slammed.
The place was insane. Campers were everywhere. It was a great crowd. And NASCAR called the race on Sunday. I was livid. You’re standing in that booth. It’s not raining.”
Well, that, and the fact that it wasn’t even raining yet:
“Evidently the idea is if they can’t finish the entire race, can’t guarantee a ticket buyer sitting in the grandstands, if they can’t guarantee them that they can finish the race in its entirety, they cannot start it.
And that’s so frustrating because everyone in the grandstands, they don’t know that. That was so frustrating to have to watch all of those people right below us in the booth, and we’re looking right down at the grandstands.
80 percent of the crowd left and didn’t come back for the next day.”
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Earnhardt Jr. was looking forward to the playoff race at Talladega as there were plenty of storylines, including the ongoing feud between Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott, numerous drivers fighting for their playoff lives, and the always-anticipated big one.
“I don’t know how well you would be able to see even with the track lit from a grandstands seat. This place is 2.5 miles. It’s bigger footprint-wise than Daytona. I don’t know if I had a grandstands ticket that I would visually be able to see the action as well as I can during afternoon.
The only person that matters right now in this whole conversation is the guy that’s buying the ticket. Not the person tuning in. Not the industry. Not the drivers, unfortunately. I know they want to matter. The guy in the camper. The guy on top of the camper.
The guy in the grandstands seat, we’ve got to take care of first. Then everything else falls in behind.”