Eric Jones, Brad Kaz Laskey, Laskey Larson discussed on NASCAR on NBC

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Practice eric jones later similar crashed through the barrier that prompted nascar track officials to make even more changes as probably where i got half my gray hair but bdo with the cool part was that we adapt it right. We made some changes. We move that back attire. Pack we were willing willing to do that. I didn't see it happen in real time. But i saw the highlight right after it happened. Because you know everything's happening so quickly. I just said holy cow i you can't go straight through the chicane you've gotta turn you gotta break. You gotta turn bubba put that on display for everybody you know and you replayed it all the time so it. It was definitely One of those crazy highlight things that You look at and you say this is a dicey place. It's deceiving how fast you are and where you need to put on the brakes and the drivers are learning. You know every other road course. Watkins glen and sonoma's you're already familiar with it. Everybody's got lots of laps They come out here for the first time getting their breaking zones right getting their passing zones. Right all played into how they made their way around the track. S looking at that. You know we were trying to work. Within the parameters of the oval during that time and we'd worked on that chicane several times trying to replicate somewhat of a bus. Stop like they had to watkins glen. Naturally they were scrubbing speed but as their radar drivers. They're gonna figure out the fastest way through anything so practices progress. They figured out how to make that faster. And they were cutting corners to make faster than we saw what happened with bubba being nimble and being able to change. And that's car willing to make us change at that point We we made some changes. And thus we've again changed that chicane you know post years after to make an even deeper to cut more speed which is made it more competitive but it was one of those moments like. Oh no what have we done right like what. What are we created back there. You know with a car. Hit that hard in that bad so just starting to think automatically. What can we do to make different. How can we change it. How can we get it to where we get through the rest the weekend and still being a good competitive drag still make it work You know working with carpe. That point marcus to make sure we made those changes but yeah it was that first initial thought of oh craft we kinda scenario so yeah. The crashes by jones and wallace might have been the indelible images of the rebels inaugural weekend if the race had lacked for drama. It didn't i. There was the fourteen car pile up on a late restart that was triggered. When brad kaz laskey overshot. The i turn on the side larsen on the outside back through the junior too hard through kids. Laskey larson both into the wall. Big bird budget coming out again and then off. The final restart was the memorable battle between johnson and tricks with blaney emerging. The victor go. I was starting to head towards victory lane as kind of normal for for a race and i was watching it on on speedway tv and i don't normally cuss but i let whole each that. That was that was the storybook ending. You want it right. You wanted that last minute. Doug flutie hail mary kind of kind of competition anyway. And we got it and had a buddy of mine's Did you pay someone to do that. Because that could not have been better scripted. And that chicane i mean. That's the whole reason that we put that chicane in was marcus. Wanted passing zone a place where you have some drama right there before the start finish and it paid off big it would turn out to be the closest that johnson would get to winning during the final three seasons of his cup career and even despite the the seven times series champion believes it's helpless which the royals reputation for being a worthwhile risk. Think it's been a great success. I think the media attention. Maybe even some of the complaining from the drivers to the challenges that they deal with their has helped build the story about that racetrack. And i know everybody tunes and watches as a result for marcus smith. The finish was validation of vision. There's incredible is incredible. I mean we had a a last lap last. Turn pass for the lead It was it put competition As the number one story. I think of the of the day Drivers were tested. The cars were tested when they got through the first turn right into the to the infield portion of the rebel and they got him without a wreck for the first lap. Breathe the sigh of relief. Honestly because that it's a challenging deceiving challenging Turn when you're coming past the start. Finish line and heartbreak and left in the infield And you don't want to give up your spot so that that moment was really key for me and of course the finish with With blaney passing the two cars that were running first and second Jimmy in in martin and Blaney coming through for the win. That was one of those storybook things that happens and jimmy was going for it Going for broke stay in the in the playoffs at the time and gave it all they had and took a risk. And that's what racing is all about taking risks to win and i think that All played out really well here. I got that feeling that it was Gonna work frankly before the race. Even even started because of the excitement was was at an all time. High the the anticipation and The the pop circumstance was all really Fantastic for the sport and then the race itself was incredibly competitive and entertaining and challenging drivers so all this things pulled together It's encouraging i think for for the whole sport to look at what was accomplished accomplished is that we saw that. We need to keep taking risks. That's part of the dna of nascar are and risks with with new tracks and new designs and challenges that we wouldn't have done before Those are part of the the foundation of the sport overall. So it's got to be part of our future. The future of nascar already has been significantly impacted by the roseville. A dirt race made its debut at bristol motor speedway in twenty twenty one and will return next year with a season opening exhibition race on a short-track inside the los angeles coliseum. The twenty twenty two schedule will mark. The third consecutive season of several major moves. That marcus smith says can be traced factories road course baby. It absolutely is The thing that i would look back on for the sport to have the encouragement to say yes to an idea that normally would have said no way too because it worked you know and if people felt like it didn't work That it wasn't a success. Then you know all the people could say you know. I told you so. It wouldn't work but taking risks again. Or what made the sport what it is and taking risks at new ideas Things that you don't think can be done. Our part of our success in part of our future dirt on bristol. The high banks atlanta motor speedway. That's very controversial. Right now going to kota. These are important things for us as a sport to take risks on and do things that you might be challenging but It's gonna it's gonna be part of our future. And i think we've just started. I think the ruble mark two things one was that the collaboration and the effort between the teams the tracks and the sanctioning body could produce great results. We all saw it. It got got national notoriety. Among i mean i have friends of mine who are not typical Fans of nascar call me. That was the most incredible race. I've ever watched in my life. Formula one fans who are friends of mine. Who like call me and said that that was amazing. So it showed. What collaboration do it. Also it also put to rest some of the concerns of what change can bring that if we reinvent ourself we rethink what we're presenting to the fans that it can be a good thing and we've certainly seen over the last couple of years and the changes that we've had Again with that. Collaboration as the foundation for it great things have happened in our sport. Thanks for listening to this narrative episode of the nascar. Nbc podcast and our. Thanks to nbc. Sports producer. joe. Matak for helping.

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