Hot 20 – Pepsi and Coke be Damned…It is the Firecracker 400

It is the Firecracker 400, stupid.

The distance run and the sponsors may have changed, but for thirty years the gateway to summer race at Daytona was known as the Firecracker 400 (250 for its first four runs). It might not be as big as the 500 or have the glamour of the Southern 500, but winning this one means something. Its name should mean something as well.

This was a race won five times by David Pearson. Four times by Cale Yarborough. Multiple winners included Fireball Roberts, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and A.J. Foyt long before NASCAR and the race track (pretty much one and the same) sold out to Pepsi. They dropped the Firecracker brand and then, less than 20 years later, we discovered why it is so stupid to re-brand a race to please a sponsor. Pepsi was gone, Coca Cola replaced it, and now we have the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. What bovine excrement that is, and I’m drinking a damn Diet Coke as I type this. Love the taste but I wonder how much it would take me to sell out to become Coke Zero Thornton, Esq., powered by Coca-Cola.

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Then again, unless my wife or my mother gets paid off, I am guessing they would continue calling me by the name they have always done so. As Coke has not paid me a dime, forgive me for being a traditionalist. The Firecracker 400 it is.

I do not mind change if it betters tradition. I think points earned over an entire season still best recognizes the best over the course of that season, not through a contrived playoff. I think wins should be worth more than they are, like 70 points instead of a maximum of 48. I think this Saturday night’s Coke Zero Firecracker 400 will be one hell of a good race to watch. I think someone working for Rick Hendrick is going to win it. As that is what has happened over the past three events raced there, I see no reason to think it is going to change this weekend.

Yes, I guess tradition can be a bit of a pain sometimes, especially if you happen to be driving a Ford or a Toyota this Saturday night at Daytona.

(Based on points, with winners awarded 25 bonus points, rather than 3)

Pos – Driver – Points – Wins
1 – Jimmie Johnson – 660 – 3
2 – Jeff Gordon – 640 – 1
3 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 638 – 2
4 – Brad Keselowski – 604 – 2
5 – Carl Edwards – 580 – 2
6 – Joey Logano – 563 – 2
7 – Matt Kenseth – 555 – 0
8 – Kevin Harvick – 553 – 2
9 – Kyle Busch – 530 – 1
10 – Ryan Newman – 514 – 0
11 – Paul Menard – 488 – 0
12 – Denny Hamlin – 477 – 1
13 – Kyle Larson – 474 – 0
14 – Greg Biffle – 474 – 0
15 – Clint Bowyer – 473 – 0
16 – Kasey Kahne – 465 – 0
17 – Tony Stewart – 460 – 0
18 – Austin Dillon – 455 – 0
19 – Brian Vickers – 442 – 0
20 – Marcos Ambrose – 438 – 0

 

1 COMMENT

  1. What? They Changed the name?

    I’ve called it the Firecracker 400 since I was a small child.

    It was, is and will always be “The Firecracker 400”.

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