Like clockwork, NASCAR teams have traditionally kicked off the season with three days of preseason Sprint Cup testing at the famed Daytona International Speedway on the first Monday after the first of January.
This year, today [Tuesday] would have been the second day of single-car runs in qualifying setup mode for the first group of teams -- half of 'em show up the first week, the rest in the next -- but thanks to NASCAR's testing moratorium on any and all sanctioned tracks for 2009, the tradition has halted.
Indeed, NASCAR fans won't get a glimpse of new drivers with new teams or a chance to read about how this driver paced one session and that driver paced another. It's a loss for NASCAR media types because of how dead -- save for team mergers and Elliott Sadler's surprising, litigious release -- the offseason really can be.
But, for the first time since teams felt it was important to focus ridiculous amounts of effort, money and time on a two-lap qualifying run for the season's first race that won't matter for hardly any driver, fans aren't subjected to mindless chatter about who's fast and who's not.
And drivers like Tony Stewart, who understands being at Daytona for three days to take part in mostly single-car runs is so pointless and so boring that he has paid out of his own pocket for a driver to test for him, won't have to deal with NASCAR's most pedestrian event of the year.
In Case You Forgot, NASCAR's Preseason Daytona Testing Should Have Started originally appeared on Motorsports Main on Tue, 06 Jan 2009 13:51:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.