|For NASCAR on Friday's the grandstands are near empty so why bother|
Reviews were mostly favorable following NASCAR’s first two-day Cup show in more than four decades — the Overton’s 400 at Pocono. In another attempt to cut costs, teams unloaded and practiced on Saturday, qualified on Sunday morning and raced that afternoon. Cars were impounded after qualifying, and crews had only 15 minutes to make a handful of approved adjustments before the race.
The two-day show was a radical departure from how things have been done in the past. On most weekends, teams unload, practice and qualify on Friday, practice again on Saturday, then race on Sunday. For most Saturday night races, teams unload, practice and qualify on Friday, then race the next night. On rare occasions — primarily the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600 — teams spend between four and six days between qualifying and those races. It’s been longer than anyone can remember exactly the last time Cup teams qualified and raced on the same day.
“I don’t know and I don’t know who knows for certain," said NASCAR vice chairman Mike Helton. Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty and HOF crew chief Dale Inman thought it was the ‘70s, when the schedule was shortened from 48 to 31 races. Likewise, veteran crewmen Buddy Parrott and Doug Richert, long-time owners Len and Eddie Wood, driver-turned-official Brett Bodine and driver-turned-owner Joe Falk guessed ‘72. “Safe to say that before today, it’s never been in the modern era," Bodine added Sunday at Pocono.
NASCAR will use the two-day schedule next weekend at Watkins Glen and in the fall at Martinsville. It used a modified version at the recent Brickyard 400, where teams practiced and qualified on Saturday and raced on Sunday. There were no Friday on-track activities for Cup teams at Indy or Pocono, nor will there be next weekend at Watkins Glen. AutoWeek