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Fans Call Out Nascar’s “Joke” as They Make a Mockery Out of Practice in Atlanta Motor Speedway

Published 02/22/2024, 11:33 AM EST

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After surviving through a week of unpredictable weather and chaos at the Daytona International Speedway, fans can now look forward to the next race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. This time, however, a sunny forecast comes as much-needed relief to fans after Daytona’s freak weather. Not only is the Cup Series race primed to have clear weather but also the announcement of the schedule puts the fears of any delays at ease. However, the community found themselves back at the NASCAR official’s throats owing to the ‘practice session’ in the Cup Series schedule that fans felt was unusually short.

NASCAR’s schedule for the Ambetter Health 400 stirs up a storm on X

Now that the weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway is only a few hours away, the officials released the schedule for the Ambetter Health 400. With the qualifying schedule at 11:30 AM EST and the race scheduled for 3:00 PM EST, what stood out to keen-eyed fans was the inclusion of Practice 1, which was at an unusually odd time: 12:50 PM. And to many fans, the fact there was even a practice schedule for this weekend was a big surprise.

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So when a user asked Bob Pockrass about what this practice session entailed, the insider revealed, “After qualifying at Atlanta, there is a 10-minute ‘practice’ that is specific to practising pit-road entry because Atlanta has two pit-road speeds — one on the apron in Turn 3 and then another when getting to pit road in Turn 4.”

That’s right! Owing to the treacherous nature of the pit-road entry and exit at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR will allow drivers and teams to practice their stops, perfecting the varying pit limiters to ensure a smooth stop. While the prospect of a pit entry isn’t new, the fact that there was no traditional practice timed at an hour long in sight.

After all, if the officials are going to host a ten-minute practice session either way, what harm is there in extending it further, right? Soon enough, the NASCAR community chimed in to share their opinion on the ten-minute practice session.

The community wastes no time in kick-starting a debate on the short practice session

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For a majority of the community, the prospect of a ten-minute practice session being a viable choice was unfathomable. Users began to question NASCAR. While one user said, “This is a joke,” another also stated, “10 minutes? Lol, that has to be a joke.” This fan had enough as they shared, “Bruh just give them an hour to do whatever. NASCAR complicating it too much.”

While others brought up the Daytona 500 and the lack of such a provision in that case. The user stated, “If NASCAR isn’t gonna let teams have a full practice before Qualifying for the Daytona 500, they should at least give them a few minutes like that to make sure everything is working as it should before their Qualifying attempt.”

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Similarly, some were of the impression that NASCAR needed to introduce regular practice sessions to avoid such one-offs. A user expressed, “Still just boggles my mind that this is the only motorsport that doesn’t have practice weekly. Just doesn’t make sense,” while another concluded with a sarcastic suggestion, “Big idea!! How about just having a normal race weekend with an hour-and-a-half practice like years ago? Oh, that makes too much sense.”

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With that said, it’s also worth mentioning that the practice session could be of vital importance to the teams and crews that are yet to familiarize themselves with the pit-road procedure. However, do you think NASCAR should introduce such sessions across the board?

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Written by:

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed

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Kabir Bajaj Ahmed is an F1 & NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. Known for his storytelling and extensive research skills, he has covered multiple stories on Dale Earnhard Jr and his legendary dad, allowing readers to relive the thunderous days of 'The Intimidator'. Being a racer himself, Kabir can resonate with the motorsport world better than most.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad