NASCAR is one of the only categories in all of racing that doesn’t have podium celebrations after races, and that’s something FOX Sports commentator and former driver Darrell Waltrip would like to see changed. But not everybody in the sport shares his opinion.
Michael McDowell responded to Waltrip on Twitter, saying that he’s enjoyed racing in various series that have podiums throughout his career, though he thinks the lack thereof is something that sets NASCAR apart from other forms of motorsport.
Because of the close racing in NASCAR, drivers often measure success in terms of top-15 finishes, top-10s, top-fives and, of course, wins. The sport only allows race winners to partake in victory lane festivities, however, unlike most series, in which the top-three finishers celebrate atop a podium.
Fans had mixed reactions to Waltrip’s tweet, with some in favor of adding something that’s considered the norm in other forms of racing. Many who opposed the idea suggested that celebrating anything less than a win would be the equivalent of handing out participation trophies. (It’s worth noting, though, that NASCAR already does exactly that for stage winners.)
Many haven’t considered the fact that podiums potentially could bring back some of the rowdiness that fans claim NASCAR currently lacks.
The current victory lane format sees the winner interviewed as soon as they get out of their car, while the others have a bit of time to cool down. Podiums, by contrast, force the top-three finishers to go straight from their cars to the podiums, where they then answer questions about their battles with the drivers on either side of them — likely while all of their emotions still are riding high.
If you think Kyle Busch can get chippy during a solo press conference, imagine how he would act if he finishes second after getting bumped on the last lap and is forced to stand next to the person who hit him.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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