MARCH MADNESS: NASCAR EDITION

Madness has descended upon America once again. This week as folks fill in their brackets, one wonders who would win if NASCAR could compete in a bracket-style tournament. What if the best drivers, finishes, moments and hot dogs could complete head-to-head? Here is that bracket.
 

The first two regions match NASCAR’s best finishes against each other as well as regional delicacies. While there are a number of great finishes (the 1979 Daytona 500 race, the 2001 Cracker Barrel 500 when Harvick won in Earnhardt’s car and too many more), these four were chosen for the action, tension and in some cases, sparks. As for the regional delicacies, Texas BBQ put up a good fight, but it’s no contest when you’re talking about the Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog. 
 

The second set of regional brackets pitted the Best Tracks against each other as well as the Best Career Highlights. Best Tracks was a tough bracket to crown a champion. Daytona has been home to so many fantastic finishes and historic moments, but it also has about 400 miles of boring racing in order to get to the amazing finishes. The Lady in Black snuck out the win because it’s the granddaddy of superspeedways and its unique layout (each end has a different turning angle) creates exciting racing. 

The Best Career Highlight was another bracket with many, many worthy candidates. Kulwicki’s championship in ’92 came on the last race of the season as he edged out Bill Elliot by ten points. Kulwicki is also the last driver/owner to win the Cup. So many notable drivers and career highlights, but in the end, Dale Sr.’s emotional first win at Daytona in 1998 edged out the competition.

In a nail-biting championship game, the rough and tumble finish to the 1976 Daytona Finish edged out the satisfying victory of Dale Sr.’s first win at Daytona in 1998.  A "tip of the mustache" to Petty, Pearson and all the drivers, tracks and moments that made this bracket possible.