Although the ending of Sunday’s First Data 500 stirred up a fair amount of controversy, Dale Earnhardt Jr. thinks NASCAR can learn a lot from the race as a whole.
In a Periscope broadcast Sunday, Earnhardt said that having more drama-filled races like the one at Martinsville Speedway could help NASCAR combat its declining attendance figures, according to NBC Sports.
NASCAR fans lost their collective minds Sunday when Denny Hamlin spun Chase Elliott out of the lead in the closing laps. Earnhardt, like Hamlin, admitted that incidents such as that shouldn’t be frequent occurrences, but he thinks the end of races similarly should get fans on their feet.
“We don’t need guys getting turned around and wrecked every week,” the Hendrick Motorsport driver said. “But I guess what I’m saying is drama and exciting finishes — the fans sitting there in the grandstands cheering like crazy, and booing, and cheering and booing after every interview, for 15 minutes after the race — we need that every weekend.”
The 43-year-old racer isn’t alone in his opinion, either. Many within the sport noted that Sunday’s race featured everything they love about Martinsville.
Other Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, such as Landon Cassill, also agree with Earnhardt in thinking that NASCAR shouldn’t forget the importance of short-track racing.
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images