NASCAR Fans React to Daytona 500 Retiring One Tradition

by Shelby Scott
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In the near two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Outsiders have seen labor and product shortages affect all kinds of industries. Now, as Omicron cases surge nationwide, NASCAR is retiring one Daytona 500 tradition due to ongoing supply chain issues. And while race fans aren’t especially happy about it, they expressed understanding and acknowledgment as to the league’s decision.

According to The Spun by Sports Illustrated, ongoing supply chain issues within the auto industry have influenced NASCAR’s decision to abandon its tradition in displaying the Daytona 500’s winning car at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Museum.

As per the outlet, the saddening news came via Motorsports.com’s Nick DeGroot. According to DeGroot, issues such as the notorious semiconductor chip shortage, as well as delays in development and limited access to necessary parts, make displaying the winning racecar a less than ideal decision this year.

“With the introduction of the Next Gen car,” the outlet’s representative stated, “teams can’t afford to lose one of their racecars for the entire year. Supply chain issues,” he continued, “have forced NASCAR to change how things are done, at least just for 2022.”

So far the NASCAR community has expressed recognition of the ongoing supply chain issues. Further, their reactions to the announcement remain lukewarm, with most people simply addressing their disappointment without pointing fingers.

“This makes sense with the new rules,” wrote one race fan, “but is still sad to hear. This was a wonderful condition and I hate to see it go.”

Another offered support for NASCAR’s decision with, “Smart move with teams struggling to get parts and cars.”

Nevertheless, race fans can still look forward to watching the annual event on FOX, Sunday, February 20th.

US Airforce Thunderbirds Return for Daytona 500 Flyover

Current supply chain shortages have put a damper on one fan-favorite Daytona 500 tradition. However, to the relief of sports fans everywhere, another remains in full swing ahead of the February event.

As always, the United States Airforce Thunderbirds will return to NASCAR’s Daytona 500 to perform their annual flyover during the pre-race events.

Straight from the Daytona International Speedway itself, the announcement debuted on the track’s Twitter, much to Outsider excitement.

“The [Air Force Thunderbirds] are back,” reads the caption, followed by a single, patriotic American flag emoji.

The post continued with, “On Sunday, February 20th, the tradition continues as the world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform the flyover before the 64th annual [Daytona 500]!”

Of their upcoming appearance, the Thunderbirds’ commander, Lt. Col. Justin Elliot said, “The Daytona 500 is more than a precisely timed flyover for us. It marks the beginning of our show season and showcases the hard work and dedication of the entire squadron.”

And although Elliot said the Thunderbirds never stop training to improve their demonstration, “we’re excited to begin showcasing our efforts.”

For those planning on watching the Daytona 500, NASCAR stated fans should prepare for the Thunderbirds’ approach just after the National Anthem prior to the race, coming in around 2:45 p.m.

Outsider.com