Since Dale Earnhardt Jr. stepped into retirement, he has remained prominently around NASCAR. Earnhardt Jr. is still a significant voice in the sport as his words hold much weight in the professional motorsports racing community. The Hall of Famer has now used his platform to voice a simple request that he hopes NASCAR can fulfill.
Daytona 500 starts 2021 season off in wild fashion
The 2021 season started in entertaining fashion as Michael McDowell grabbed his first career NASCAR Cup Series win at the Daytona 500 in his 358 career race.
The event featured a couple of massive pile-ups that changed the entire finish outcome. The last crash came with some controversy as Brad Keselowski’s failed attempt to pass up Penske teammate Joey Logano on the final lap resulted in a huge multi-car wreck. The collision knocked out the two drivers and several other notable names such as Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace, and Kyle Larson.
With an entertaining first week of races in the books for the 2021 season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. voiced a simple plea that he hopes NASCAR can fulfill.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a simple request he hopes NASCAR can follow
Over the last several years, NASCAR has gone the route of moving around their race event times.
The sport has almost entirely moved away from specific start times for their races each week of the season. With that in mind, Dale Earnhardt Jr. stated on the Dale Jr. Download Podcast on Tuesday that he recognizes why networks have gone that direction but wants consistent start times across the board for all events.
“I understand what the argument is all about,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I also like the continuity of a start time that is consistent across the board for every single race.”
Earnhardt Jr. fueled his argument by using the NFL’s slated season schedule, as the league has set time slots for games each week. He hopes that taking that path can allow NASCAR fans to intuitively know when the races start each week without searching it daily.
Earnhardt Jr. also admitted that he has no clue what the start time is for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 At Daytona this upcoming Sunday or any race beyond that this year.
NASCAR has committed to this varied time scheduled throughout the 2021 season. In April alone, Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 is on Saturday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. It’s followed by the Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday, April 18 at 3 p.m. ET, and the Geico 500 is on Sunday, April 18 at 2 p.m. ET.
If Earnhardt Jr. is not a fan of this schedule layout, there are likely plenty of others that feel the same.
Will NASCAR change it?
The increased NASCAR coverage over the years has seen a much more diligent effort in marketing the sport.
A tremendous amount of research goes into choosing what they believe are the appropriate time slots for each race. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s stance with the entire situation is that he wants to be set start times for each day.
NASCAR has several instances this season where the Sunday races flip between 2 p.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET. That alone brings more confusion rather than creating a consistent time slot for the events.
NASCAR has embraced putting the races in these varying start times. Still, it not a great look for the sport if a prominent former driver such as Earnhardt Jr. is struggling to figure it all out.