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Bob Seger had the monster hit "Night Moves," the Bee Gees topped the chart with "Night Fever," even Shakespeare said, "good night parting is such sweet sorrow." All the world is in love with night. NASCAR's love affair with the night really exploded in 1992 when the All-Star Race, then known as The Winston, was staged under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The skeptics didn't believe a superspeedway could hold a night race. Well, they were proven wrong. The race was held and featured a dramatic finish with Kyle Petty and Davey Allison crashing across the start-finish line. In an instant, the legend of "One Hot Night" was born and NASCAR embraced the darkness.
After One Hot Night, every new speedway had to have lights. Texas, Kansas, and Chicagoland Speedway were all constructed with lights. Even existing speedways like Daytona,
Some two decades later, the rush to stage races under the lights seems to have peaked. Richmond moved its spring race to the daytime and next year Texas Motor Speedway will host two daytime events. The uniqueness of the nighttime has dissipated and it no longer guarantees a sellout. Fans want to bring their kids and that's a real challenge when the green drops in the dark.
A race under the lights does bring a certain element of excitement as the light dances off the cars and the sparks fly from underneath the chassis. All that being said, the movement to run in the sun speaks to fans getting home on the same day and being able to bring the kids and expose them to racing. By cutting back on night racing, the remaining night races will stand out even more. I applaud the move to realign the schedule and achieve balance.
"That all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun." With all due respect to the Bard, I'm going with the Beatles: "Here comes the sun and I say it's alright"