Do you hate restrictor plate track NASCAR pack racing with a vengeance? Are you That Guy? Like, are you really, really especially That Guyish now that it’s sort of late at night and NASCAR is just starting the Coke Zero 400? Congratulations, they just had a “big one” on Lap 4.
The number 38 car of David Gilliland spun out towards the front of the pack, taking nine other cars out with him. As the NBC commentators pointed out, when someone spins out in the front of a pack, it causes all kinds of chaos as cars lift off and attempt to dodge the spin farther back in the field.
Ah, pack racing: it’s what restrictor plate tracks are known for, yet the close proximity of everyone to everyone else increases the chance of “big one”-style wipeouts eleventy-billionfold*.
Some see this as another challenge for drivers to overcome that makes restrictor plate tracks rather interesting, and others see it as the biggest thing they hate about plate tracks. “They’re all in a wad and the places don’t matter (until the last few laps of the race)!”
While I don’t like seeing anyone in peril, at least they’re in cars made to bump and grind when they do whack into each other. No one was hurt in the lap 4 melee, thank goodness, except all the ears who are within listening distance of That Guy. “I TOOOOLD YOU SO! THE BIG ONE WOULD HAPPEN EARLY AND OFTEN! THAT’S PROBABLY JUST THE MEDIUM ONE!”
(You get the idea.)
After rain that delayed the race and moved it into the cooler, later hours, the track is even less grippy than usual. Drivers get a little overenthusiastic on track after waiting for hours for the race to start. Stuff happens. Tony Stewart summed it up the best over his team radio, though: “Please remind me how much Lap 2 pays again.”
His spotter responded with the correct answer: “Zero.”
Chill out for now, NASCAR. There’s a lot of racing left to do.
Photo credit: NASCAR on NBC
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