Tony Stewart claims that the reason there are reduced practice sessions is that teams can save a lot of money by cutting them out.
When NASCAR returned to racing during the pandemic, it had to do so by eliminating practice and qualifying. It was necessary at the moment as NASCAR didn’t want people exposed to the virus and not disrupt the main racing events.
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NASCAR brought back some forms of practice on certain tracks last year but not to the levels it was before the pandemic.
Many fans and NASCAR professionals would now like NASCAR to resume the usual practice and qualifying sessions as it offers unique experiences to the sport. One such person is Dale Earnhardt Jr., who replying to Fox’s Bob Pockrass tweet, said that he missed broadcasting practice sessions.
“I miss broadcasting practices and trying to learn who was quick and who was looking for speed. Those storylines developing throughout the Friday/Saturday activity were an enjoyable part of my job.” Earnhardt Jr. tweeted.
Announcer Mike Joy also brought up the subject with Tony Stewart and said that it was rather team owners’ decision to not carry out practice sessions.
“So we asked NASCAR about no practice at Daytona, Talladega, and here at Atlanta, the three superspeedways. And they said it was at the request of the team owners. So, team owner, tell us about it”.
I miss broadcasting practices and trying to learn who was quick and who was looking for speed. Those storylines developing throughout the Friday/Saturday activity were an enjoyable part of my job.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 9, 2023
As a team owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, Stewart confirmed that it was the team owners’ decision because it saves them a lot of money by not doing practice sessions.
“It’s just literally the costs to operate these race teams is so high,” Stewart said. “Being able to take that practice day out saves the teams a lot of money.
“And it’s more than just the race cars. It’s hotels. It’s rental cars. All those things add up during the season. These guys know what to do. They know when they go to Talladega and Daytona what they’ve got in the car.”
While it might be good for the team owners, it takes away one of the key experiences of NASCAR and could possibly keep away a significant number of fans from the sport.