Every July fourth weekend NASCAR fans around the country gather for the worlds' biggest fourth of July tailgate party. Thousands of fans pack the worlds' center of racing at Daytona International Speedway to watch 43 of the nations' best racecar drivers battle it out for 400 miles around the historic racetrack.
The race is terrific. Most fans enjoy super-speedway racing and the intense white-knuckle racing it brings to them. There is no doubt that most fans look towards fourth of July weekend with excitement and looking forward to one of the best weekends in NASCAR. However, would modern day NASCAR fans enjoy the way the Coke Zero 400 used to be ran, on the fourth of July.
From 1959-1987 The 400 mile event was run on July fourth, no matter what day the holiday fell on. Whether the fourth of July fell on a Wednesday or a Sunday it would always be ran on the fourth of July. It was a very interesting but very chaotic day for most Winston Cup teams. Sometimes teams would only have two or three days between races with qualifying and practice sessions one day before the race.
While the weekend was always a hectic one for the race teams, race fans seemed to respond to the race. Many fans sat at home during their fourth of July barbeque and sat back and enjoyed their experience. It would become a tradition.
Nowadays the race is ran under the lights and on the weekend, but would race fans enjoy the race more if it was ran on July fourth. Think about it. While most people are lighting off fireworks to celebrate America's birthday race fans could sit on their couches and enjoy the race. Most fans have off the fourth of July anyway and attendance would be fine as the race would be on a day most fans have off. Plus with the lights that decorate the Daytona International Speedway, the cooler temperatures will help the attendance as well.
Some fans may say that the following day would be a work day and that would hurt ratings and/or attendance. It never matters for the Super Bowl and when NASCAR ran the Daytona 500 on a Monday night in the 2012 season, many fans thought that would be a fun thing to try in the future. It's summer time when kids are out of school and parents are looking to take a vacation.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series runs a Bristol night race on a Wednesday night and no one complains about that. In fact, many fans think that adds to the race. It's a little bit of the unexpected, watching a big time race on a week night. The race could become a fun NASCAR tradition and give NASCAR fans a reason to look forward to the holiday.
Will we ever see the Coke Zero 400 move back to July fourth? Most likely not, but wouldn't that be a fun day?
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