Tomorrow is the Daytona 500. Aside from the struggle of having to balance it with Valentine’s Day (thanks, NASCAR) I’ll be watching closely to see what promos (Fox or cross-network) run during the five-hour broadcast.

I just caught this promo running today, featuring some of the sports’ biggest stars and bad boys in their own right – Tony Stewart (go 14!), Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Darrell Waltrip, and Kyle Busch.

I know that NASCAR has been trying for a few years now to broaden its appeal (even though it’s already the biggest spectator sport in the world in terms of per-event-attendance and fan base.) So, when I first caught the Fox promo, with its heavy historical references, I thought it was just a bad idea. I mean, NASCAR fans don’t exactly have to be reminded about the equivalent of their Super Bowl and the official start of the season. But when I noticed that it also made reference, both in the SOT’s and cards, to the new rule changes, I smiled and gave it a thumbs up.

You see, the new rule change will probably create a more aggressive and exciting race for fans. It will most likely also create some tension and angry drivers as they battle to win the biggest and most prestigious race of their careers. It was for this reason, that a fist fight erupted in 1979 (also referenced in the promo) that, for the first time, brought national attention to the sport of racing!

So, kudos to Fox for not only knowing the sport and understanding its fans, but for knowing how to create a “water cooler” event before it even happens,  thereby reaching a broader audience in return. Way to balance.

Now, let’s go racin’, boys!