Geoff’s Journal: All tracks should move victory lane to the frontstretch
By Geoff Bodine
April 22, 2017
Earlier this week, NBC Sports reported that victory lane for the Cup race Sunday will be moved to the frontstretch at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third time victory lane will be there this season.
That’s a no-brainer move. You go to any short track across the country, victory lane is on the front straightaway.
When I was racing on various short tracks, victory lane could get a little dangerous because fans are vocal and would like to show their emotions. If they liked you, they would throw flowers at you, and if they didn’t, they’d throw beer cans at you. In case you were wondering, yes, I’ve had both thrown my way.
Without the fans, we wouldn’t have a show to put on in the first place. They need to be close to victory lane and be involved in the post-race festivities.
I’d like to see them there on the racetrack. Fence off the stage and the racecar so it isn’t messed with, but let them be close, have fun, yell and scream. Make them feel a part of the celebration.
All of the tracks on the circuit should consider this move. Has anybody noticed the empty seats?
I don’t know if it would be a solution, but increasing the access for fans would make sense.
The farther you push the fans away, the more likely they may not want to go to the track.
Look at how many fans come onto the track during pre-race festivities, fan zones, the garage areas; the same could be for post-race. They’re not going to hurt anyone or anything.
You may or may not know this, but victory lane was taken off of the frontstretch at various tracks to help the media with their work. Give me a break.
Media does help with the sport, but the tracks should accommodate the people who elevate the sport: the fans. They help with the purse; they buy hot dogs, rent scanners, help make this whole thing profitable.
I hope this is a move that all tracks will adopt and make standard.
Why do you think the race winner drives backwards around the track when they win? To see the fans. They are saying thank you to the fans for coming to watch the race.
The closer the fans feel to the sport, the better. DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
Daniel Courson/The Racing Experts Jeremy Thompson/The Racing Experts
Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts