DANVILLE, VA :: I was glad to see the 2013 VIFRL 300 become a classic , but I’m not all that sorry that I missed it.

There was a time when missing that race was like a death in the family to me.  Don’t know what changed my feelings, but I have some ideas.

The biggest factor is the time element. This year’s racing started a little after noon and didn’t end until around 7:30 p.m. That doesn’t seem that bad to the most rabid race fans, but the fact is that a lot of ticket buyers had things to do on Sunday evening and had to leave much earlier than the race finish. From what I understand track cleanup on the high number of crashes was slow and consumed a lot of the afternoon. It seems a track of the status of Martinsville Speedway would have better clean up personnel and a better ability to keep the show moving.

Not helping the situation is the gap between the various breaks in the action.  For years now, the dumbest slowdown is the mandatory caution with ten laps to go. This year the yellow broke up what seemed to be the greatest fight for the lead ever seen at the event and eventually relegated the contest to be decided by a restart incident and a questionable no call by officials on the final restart.

So I’m not saying that the race wasn’t entertaining. I’m just saying that the race needs to consider those who buy tickets and can’t stay all day.   It also wouldn’t hurt to make sure things run more smoothly.

So as I dodge the tomatoes and other objects being thrown my way, I remind you that the best way for any event to remain a success is to retain its appeal to ALL people.  There are a lot of racing events that used to be can’t miss that no longer exist because such a warning wasn’t heeded.