Dale Earnhardt Jr. ponders a 24-hour NASCAR race

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a big fan of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. He’s competed before, including in the 2001 event with his father Dale Earnhardt Sr.

So as this year’s edition of the Rolex 24 closed in on the finish Sunday, Junior went on Twitter to recall some of his past exploits in the road racing event, including posting several photos of cars he has driven in the annual sports car race at Daytona International Speedway.

So, after taking a walk down Memory Lane, Earnhardt posed an interesting question to his Twitter followers:

That actually is a great question. But could NASCAR Sprint Cup cars really — especially mechanically — run a full 24 hours, even if there were switches of drivers behind the wheel? Would the 750-horsepower, 3,600 pound cars be able to run on a track for so long.

Plus, would a proposed race be run on a road course or a typical NASCAR oval?

That’s where things get a little interesting mathematically.

Using a 1.5-mile oval like Charlotte Motor Speedway as an example, think about it: Since most 500-mile NASCAR races are typically contested in around four hours — give or take — if NASCAR were to seriously consider a 24-hour event, that would mean the race itself would last 3,000 miles!

And, that would mean something like, oh, maybe 44 pit stops!

I know there are fans who like to say they want longer rather than shorter races, but 3,000 miles in total? I question even the heartiest NASCAR fans would want to watch a race that long.

I also have to wonder how many folks would still be watching, let alone still be awake, when a Cup 3,000-miler would finally be completed.

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.