All Stars, Can it be better?

zmax

You know, after the All-Star race it’s always the same refrain “It was boring” “It was confusing” and I get it..it is boring. At the end of the day, it’s Stock cars running around in a circle, making pit stops once in a while. This year, it seemed to be amplified, and why? Because we already have stages at every race as it is, so there’s nothing different there.  For some reason NASCAR added a bizarre twist this year by adding an “option tire”,  and (as NASCAR loves to do) put a damper on the tire with a new rule. You have to put on 4, but you can take off 2 if you want, once you take them off, you can’t put them back on. Yeah, I didn’t get it either.

So what can be done? Well if we look at the Charlotte Motor Speedway as a whole, we see the complex has the 1.5 mile oval sure, it also has a 1/4 mile dragstrip, a 4/10’s dirt oval and a road course in the oval infield. So why not explore the options available?

Wouldn’t it be cool to see the “Stars” of NASCAR on a dirt track? We hear every year after the Eldora Truck race that the Cup cars would be awesome on a dirt track, so lets try it. They run the Trucks on dirt at Eldora, and more than a handful of drivers have experience on dirt, so it’s not like the know how isn’t there, heck Goodyear even makes a tire for it. Eldora is a half mile oval, and the Dirt track at Charlotte is only slightly shorter –  It can be done.

Then there’s the road course. We already run 2, and with this road course on the schedule to be part of the season in 2018 it might be nice for the Cup cars to see the road course in advance even in a limited sense. It’s there, may as well use it now.

Now we come to the Drag strip. The “Wildcard”. Honestly, outside of Kurt Busch i’m not sure how much Drag racing experience Cup drivers have, but it would be pretty cool to see the Cup cars on the Dragstrip. Run them 4 wide like the NHRA pros. Top 2 move on and other 2 are done. Single eliminations with 2 qualifying sessions. To me, this track is the most interesting. Let the crews set up the cars as they see fit, to accelerate 1/4 mile at a shot and see what happens. I would expect to see mid 10’s at between 125 and 130 MPH, maybe more, who knows.

It really wouldn’t need to be 1 or the other of these ideas, In my mind it would be a combination of the tracks. Maybe Thursday at the dragstrip, Friday at the Dirt track and the finale on Saturday on the big oval. No extra travel involved, same car all weekend (of course they always have a back up on hand). Each track awarding points for wins and positions, with the finale a lets say 200 mile shootout on the Big oval. Who knows what we might find? Maybe Matt DiBenedetto is a master drag racer, and wins his way into the finale, or maybe Danica turns out to be a dirt track whiz, and wins her way in. One thing for sure it would spice up the All Star race.

What about ticket sales? The drag strip seats way less than the oval, and the dirt track even less so,  tickets would be at a premium. I for one would love to see a drag race between Logano, Johnson, Earnhardt and Busch. Given the opportunity would definitely go, and dirt tracks are popular across the country. If the tickets to these events were a little more exclusive then the oval, and they sell out, all the better.

The crossover aspect for the NHRA and NASCAR are unreal, for 2 sanctioning bodies on the rebuild, the possibility to grow into other markets would be amazing, put some hard core drag racers onto NASCAR and put some NASCAR fans onto the NHRA. For sure if needed, we could get some NHRA pros there on a Thursday night (even if it’s a NHRA race weekend, they don’t race until Friday), heck for that matter get a couple NHRA officials and announcers to help out.

At the end of the day, given what the All Star race is, it would be great to see it expanded and use the facility’s available to NASCARs advantage. Mix up the show and create some excitement where it is sorely lacking. Throw the Cup guys a curve ball and see who comes out a true “All Star”

Ba safe and have fun.

On a side note. If you want to have a little fun between races, be sure and follow Riki Ratchman on his ride across America this year, yes the same Riki from the Cathouse, Headbangers Ball and currently host of Racing Rocks radio. he is raising awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and raising money for the Claires Place foundation. A worthy cause that we here at Lit and Loud fully support.

@RikiRachtman

@clairewineland

clairesplacefoundation.org

#Rikisride17

@RikisRacPac

 

 

 

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Kyle Busch and The Duck Guys.

It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.  It’s not what you got, it’s how you use it.

Cannonball Run, Ray Stevens

 

cobbIf you were to take the New York Yankees and let them play the Buffalo Bisons what would you expect? You’d have to give the advantage to the Yankees, they come into the game with the best coaches, players and support staff – in other words it would be a wildly unbalanced matchup. The Bisons would obviously try their best but it would be massively unfair.

So when Kyle Busch goes down to race in the Xfinity series or the Camping World trucks it’s the same situation. He has the equipment, the sponsor dollars and the crews that a Sprint Cup team has, hell even better than some Sprint Cup teams.  It’s not an even playing field.

All you have to do is look back a couple weeks to the Fontana Xfinity race. Kyle blew a tire on the last lap, on the back stretch and still finished second. He was that far ahead. it’s just not a fair fight.

Should there be Sprint Cup drivers racing in the Xfinity or Truck series? I still have to say yes. If we look at those series as feeders for the Cup series, every lap that the guys run is more experience for the younger guys running those series full time. You can’t learn to race Dale Jr. or Harvick unless you race them for position. The Texas race last year was a great example of that. Eric Jones and Dale Jr. raced hard for a lot of laps, gaining valuable experience for young Jones.

Kyle puts such an emphasis on winning, that’s what he wants and strives for, but it’s not becoming. Padding your win total on the backs of the youth and rookies does not impress me. Would Harvick be happy to win and Xfinity series race? Yes of course, but it’s not the be all end all for him. It’s a fun afternoon getting a look at the track for the next day and exposure for his sponsors.

The one thing I would say about those guys running in the lower series is this, if a Cup driver wants to run that’s cool, it helps the up and coming drivers. But the cars they drive should not be tied to them or their Cup teams. In other words Kyle could drive a Toyota, but not for Gibbs and if he wants to drive a Truck, fine but not in KBR, let him drive a Tri Star racing Toyota, or a Thor Sport Racing Toyota – even the playing field a little bit. In the long run, he helps the teams learn set-ups they may never have thought of, and maybe sell some sponsors on the race cars that a calibre driver like him or them can attract.

Kyle wins this years in the lower series don’t impress me, they seem bullying, he has the better teams all around. You expect him to win those races. I would be more shocked if he constantly finished in the bottom half of the field. If he wants to impress, lets see him win in a Jennifer Jo Cobb truck, or a Derrike Cope car.

Are you really surprised at the outcome of the Phil Robertson “Invocation” at the Texas NASCAR race?  I wasn’t. This is a guy who is anti woman, anti gay and racist in general. Heck, you can even hear him blasting vegetarians. He follows a strict interpretation of the bible and is not shy about expressing those views, as is his right. The problem comes when NASCAR lets it happen on their watch. There was nothing in his speech that represented the racers or fans there that night, as is the tradition. I’m not a religious guy, but I have no problem with a good invocation before the race. Wishing for good weather and safety for all, always with a nod to our servicemen and women is a great tradition. I even got a kick out of the “My Smokin Hot Wife” preacher. But what Robertson did was a full on political statement and frankly offensive to those in the crowd and or watching on TV who wasn’t a Christian Conservative.

Is this NASCAR’s fault?  I don’t know. When you sponsor a race you get a package that allows for certain things. But after the recent spat of bad press having nothing to do with racing, maybe you reconsider who is speaking on national TV to your audience. If as you (NASCAR) say, you want an all inclusive sport, you really need to control your message a lot better.

Be Safe and Have Fun..

Racing, Rock N Roll and the world.

nascar

 

“We, and all others who believe in freedom as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees” Franklin Roosevelt

We live in a dangerous world, That is the sad fact. The terrible happenings in Paris on Friday the 13th last week illustrate that. We can argue all day about the hows and whys, point fingers at this or that politician and assign blame. But this is a moot point. There is no quick fix, no magic solution that will render the world a safer place. But it’s the one we have to live in for now, and we better figure out how.

I watched my worlds collide on the 13th. The space between my music and racing friends evaporated. The outpouring of emotion, raw emotion was obvious and heartfelt. The compassion people displayed was beautiful. As I expect it to be. It takes a hard hearted person to not be affected by the events in Paris. Both groups of friends converged, some outraged at the events in the concert venue, others at the fact we were racing as this was unfolding. But all in agreement over the horrors in Paris.

The problem is that some of the tweets played right into the terrorists hands. There were hundreds that expressed “We need to stop the race and stop tweeting about it” And I understand. Of course the primary focus at the minute is to worry about our friends in Paris. But my second thought is NO. If we do that we allow the terrorists to win. That’s exactly what they want. To disrupt our way of life.

 

As a musician who takes a different stage everyday, you forget how vulnerable you are up there. Hope the EODM guys and crew are ok

So many rock fans at Bataclan are dead,wounded or in the scariest position they’ve ever been in their lives.We just played there This is awful

http://randonesia.tumblr.com/

The tweets from Lzzy Hale, And the blog post from Randy Blythe (Singer Lamb Of God) illustrate a point. They must use common sense. It’s not just themselves at risk, or all they have to think about. It’s the fans in the seats as well. No one likes cancelled concerts. But When you potentially have the lives of a couple thousand people in your hands, caution has to prevail. Five Finger Death Punch is in Europe now, and cancelling shows, Halestorm will be there in early 2016 and Lamb Of God just cancelled their tour.

What has this got to do with racing? I recently heard an CNN interview where the guest illustrated the dangers we face with our “soft targets” like our sports venues, concert halls and transit systems, and the need for tighter security. He pointed out that we have had attacks on our soil before and we need to be ready.

What’s the answer in North America? Should we stop all rock shows, or races? I say No. I take solace in the fact that we are Americans. And we live like Americans do. Places like Oklahoma City, New York and Boston have shown us that while we may stumble, we always get up. 9/11 did not stop our lives, we took a deep breath and pressed on. I take comfort that be it a concert hall, racetrack or wherever, I am surrounded by my American Family and while we may squabble over this and that policy or idea, when our backs are to the wall, we can stand shoulder to shoulder in defence of each other. So in the event of even tighter security, be patient, be vigilant and be thankful of those men and women who’s ultimate desire is to keep us safe at whatever the cost.

And to Lzzy, FFDP and all the rest I would say, whenever you feel safe enough to go on stage, do it. While I can’t imagine the worries from the stage, I can say as Rock fans in the crowd we have your back.

Because here’s the thing. The terrorists are cowards. They can only catch us flat footed once. We’ll be prepared the next time. Remember. United 93, our 3 brave men on the train in France, the list goes on and on.

On 9/11 I was working at SLP. I remember we met that afternoon. Terry, John, Dan, Jean and myself. The question was “what do we do now?” It was Terry who said “We are going to open the doors, and whoever wants to can come to work. We are going to build Camaros until someone tells us not to”. And that has always stuck with me, we have to keep rolling.

So go to the Concert, Race, Football game and as we head into the holiday season, enjoy all the festivity’s. Keep living life. keep your eyes on each other, be vigilant and be prepared to help out in the awful event something does happen. Be good to each other and we will win in the end.

I address this in my American voice, but it goes for my Canadian friends as well, I’ve seen first hand the bravery and compassion they have as well. We all stand together.

Be Safe and Have Fun.

On a personal note: I am not one to advocate for war. I am not willing to send my brothers and sisters into harms way on a whim. But I have to ask myself “how much is enough?”. We let Hitler run unchecked for 2 years before we engaged Germany and we know how that turned out. We cannot allow ISIS to go unchallenged without ground troops any longer. But I understand the dilemma. If we crush ISIS then what? How long until the next threat emerges. But at this point in the current world climate I don’t think we have a choice but to act.

NASCAR, Tainted Love.

             

Joey Logano (22) and Matt Kenseth (20) tangle in Ttun 1 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va., Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)
 (AP Photo/Don Petersen)

                                                               Once I ran to you, now I’ll run from you.

NASCAR how can Kenseth crashing out Logano be more detrimental to the sport than Harvick single handedly eliminating 3 contenders in Talledega? Are you going to go explain to FedEx, Mountain Dew/Nationwide and Dollar General why their drivers had no chance to even try and improve their finishing positions? If you’re going to use the term “Integrity” to explain your actions towards Kenseth you better take a look in the mirror. Those are big name sponsors investing a lot of big money into their drivers and the appearance that there was not even a sporting chance for their teams is a black eye for you. It’s not like there is no precedence for penalizing Harvick. Remember what you did to Truex Jr.? If you breed and encourage an atmosphere of aggression and refuse to step in and control it, you can’t be surprised when sooner or latter a driver or drivers take matters into their own hands.

NASCAR are you really going to blame older drivers for not accommodating the styles of younger drivers? (IE: Logano) You are right to say the sport has a history of young brash drivers coming into the sport and ruffling some feathers, But you know what always happens? The veteran drivers let them know real quick that you don’t win here with your bumpers, you win with your skill. And there is a long list of those who didn’t learn the lesson and had short careers. You love to bring up Dale Sr. and rightly so. But Dale was also a master of letting the youngsters know what was and was not acceptable driving in a NASCAR cup series race. We have plenty of talent down in the truck and Xfinity series who are outstanding drivers and already understand what it takes to be a successful Cup driver. Think back to Erik Jones running Dale Jr in Texas just this year; great driver getting major props from his elders.

NASCAR, speaking of Talledega, you seem confused as to the definition of attempt; “an act of trying to achieve something, typically one that is unsuccessful or not certain to succeed.”

In other words, you did “attempt” a GWC finish in Talledega and failed. The race was over after the first one, according to your stated rule change. The green flew after they left the restart zone, the lights went green and you threw out the yellow again; an “attempt”  All the nonsense of Harvick’s actions was completely unnecessary, the race was over, but in your zeal to get the outcome you wanted, you actually lost even more integrity.

NASCAR, you cannot abdicate your responsibility in regards to the Martinsville incident. Did you drive the car into Logano? No but you did let the situation fester for 2 weeks after Kansas? Yes, you knew what Kenseth’s stated goals were and chose to do nothing about it. Big Bill Sr and Jr would never have let it get that far, they would have sat down both drivers and laid out the lay of the land long before we even got to Martinsville, however the headlines were good until Martinsville and you had to step in, because the results made you look bad. “Boys will be boys” up until it affects you directly.

I keep hearing that the pressure of the chase is getting to some drivers. But the reality is the drivers just want a fair shot at the Cup. If Logano with a faster car in Kansas had trouble getting by a blocking Kenseth, that’s on him and his skill. He had 5 more laps to get around and failure to achieve a pass cleanly in that time would be a indication of his ability.

Judging by the support from other drivers for Kenseth, coming from the likes of Dale Jr, Hamlin, Amerola, Biffle and Gordon I would be surprised if this is the last we see of Logano having a hard time, but we’ll see. I can’t figure out the admiration of Logano. History shows him to be a socially inept, reckless driver who has already caused injury. If he is the new “face” of NASCAR, I don’t see a bright future.

Did NASCAR have to penalize Kenseth? Of course, but not because he was laps down or because he affected the finish of the race, they had to because of the aggression of the hit. He wasn’t trying to just spin Logano, He was trying to make sure he was out for good. That level of rage has no place on the race track but on the flip side to say that Patricks actions were less sever because it wasn’t for the lead is offensive to the other teams in the pits. A team racing hard for 20th is no less passionate then someone racing for the lead, the penalty’s should have been the same or none at all,

What it boils down to is, this Chase is tainted; not just from Kenseth’s actions, but NASCAR’s actions. You cannot allow 3 drivers to affect the outcome for 5 drivers. The frankly bizarre application of the rules and who gets penalized has scared it for this season. No amount of spin is going to pull this up out of the quagmire. Will I watch? Yes but only because I have a boatload of respect for Jeff Gordon; regardless of how he got there, I’m going to pull for him to go out on top.

Be Safe and Have Fun.

NASCAR, Confusion sets in.

I’ll admit. I’m a drag racer. I am not immersed in NASCAR like I am drag racing, but I am a fan none-the-less… a casual fan. I watch the races, read the results but have no vested interest in any particular driver or series. But NASCAR fascinates me as a sanctioning body. The seeming opposing signals they send to the fan base. If the messages confuse me, for sure it confuses others.

Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano, there’s a lot here. On the surface what you see is exactly what it looks like, Logano spun Kenseth; but lets dig a little deeper. First of all lets rewind 10 laps leading up to the spin. Kenseth was blocking a clearly faster car doing exactly what he should have, how long should Logano have dealt with that? He (Logano) did exactly what he had to do, now let’s go deeper. By spinning Kenseth, Logano put him in a really bad position in regards to the chase, thus knocking out a serious competitor, now…lets go even deeper. We are talking about drivers here who represent multi million dollar sponsors. Can either go back to their sponsors and explain doing any less that they did? No. Those sponsors are on the car to see results and any driver not giving 100% to get those results is not going to be sponsored long. There is a long long line of talented young drivers nipping at their heels looking for a shot. The end result is that neither driver did anything wrong, but Kenseth got the short end of the stick.

Will there be retribution for this? Lets look at the sponsors perspective. Would you want your name on a car driven by a guy seeking vengeance on a competitor, resulting in a possible injury? Do you want your car driven to the max of it’s capabilities?  Yes of course. This has become a very corporate sport, make no mistake, every driver carrying a major sponsor is very aware of the brand or brands they represent, as well they should. Those sponsors are paying the bills, not just for themselves but the whole team. So the answer is probably Yes, but only in some innocuous way that seems dramatic but won’t make any real difference.

Why is Brian France ever on TV or radio? If you spend the early part of the season speaking about safety and the need to improve it, how can you watch the actions of Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth and praise it as a smart wise move? OK the end result was that Kenseth recovered and finished 14 in Kansas, but we all know that just as easily he could have hit the wall and been out of the race at the very least. It sends a bad message that doesn’t need to be sent at all. Even if Mr. France thought it was great as a fan, he is the head of the sport and as such needs to look on and judge in the public sphere from a neutral point of view. I wonder had the drivers names be different and it had been driver X running in 30th place spinning driver Y running in 2nd in the same situation would his reaction have been the same? Those back markers are running for results just as hard as the front runners are.

NASCAR loves that rulebook. They love to play with it and tinker with it and the best part is they love to talk about it, Steve O’Donnell and Mr. France are always out there, explaining, justifying and talking about plans for rules, it’s crazy! The vast majority of fans could care less and this is readily apparent when fans start calling radio shows or get on social media asking “What is this all about, what does this mean to my driver?” it’s to much info that doesn’t need to be discussed among the general public. I guess it’s the reality TV world where everyone’s a star and the heads of NASCAR want their 15 minutes of fame, even if it damages the sport overall. I’ll say this, you would be hard pressed to find a Bill France Jr. press conference on-line anywhere, he understood that his role was behind the scenes, not in the spotlight. That should be reserved for the racing.

Do I care about the “Green White Checker” rule? I don’t. It’s another unnecessary rule change to fix a non existing problem. Did Austin Dillon crash in Daytona because of a “Green White Checker” restart? No. He crashed coming to the checker in a pack racing situation, with 7 to go before the Hornish spin they were running 3 wide front to back stacked up as they had the previous run until Ragan spun the caution before. Even if they had run under green until the end, the pack would have been no less tight. It wasn’t the restart that causes crashes, it’s racing that causes them. So unless you’re going to ban the checkered flag, just leave well enough alone. But, here’s what NASCAR has accomplished. IF there is a G/W/C restart, they have put the biggest target on the back of whomever is leading. Because all the cars will know they have one shot, better make it count.

monsterOne final thing that Kenny Wallace brought up this week on SXM the Late Shift; Paint schemes. It seems to me that the ever changing sponsor roles week to week on the cars is a confusing situation. What car is your favorite running? Is Harvick in the Red and White Budweiser car, or the Black and White Jimmy Johns car? (For example) Kenny speculated that it was an effort to move more diecasts off the shelves. I’m not sure that’s it, but I do agree. All the changes in paint schemes dilutes a driver or teams brand. It would be nice to see a team with a color scheme that represents all the sponsors and with a simple change of badges the sponsor on the car can change. IE: Harvick could have a standard Red, Black and white paint job and switch the logos race to race as is appropriate. That way all the fans would recognize instantly Harvicks car. Kurt Busch and Monster energy have a great new situation, co-sponsors of the car with Haas Automation almost the whole season in 2016 with a shared paint scheme, if it goes as planned the car will run both colors and sponsors most of the season with each getting equal attention on the car. I think this is a great idea and hope to see more teams follow suit.

Be Safe, Have Fun.

Nascar thoughts, October 2015

images 5As I watch NASCAR racing this season, I’m left thinking I must not understand what I’m looking at. I think the racing is great; some of the best I’ve ever seen. Great drivers, great competition and great coverage. But then I hear the commentators (TV, Radio, writers, etc etc). “We need rule tweeks, we need new packages”, etc etc, I’m left wondering what race they’re looking at. The commentators seem to long for a era that in reality never existed. They long for close competitive racing and OK that’s a noble desirable thing to want, but the reality is that the racing right now is no more good or bad that it has been in the past. Are there stinkers? Yes, but history shows there has always been stinkers.

Lets look at a couple tracks at 5 year intervals, both the Fall races for consistency. Starting in 1970 the interval between first and second are as follows.

Dover, Fall race.                                         Charlotte, Fall race

1970- 27 Seconds                                       1970- Under Caution

1975- 1.3                                                     1975- .26

1980-.47                                                      1980- 1.83

1985-1 lap 3 seconds                                  1985- 1.0

1990- 1.38                                                   1990- 2.59

1995- 2.34                                                   1995- .97

2000- 6.75                                                   2000- 1.16

2005- .80                                                     2005- .309

2010- 2.63                                                   2010- 1.86

2015- 2.63                                                   2015- .703

What do we see? Outside the Dover 1985 runaway, all the races are reasonably close. If we throw out 1970 and 1985 and average, the gap between 1st and 2nd is 2.03 seconds. Charlotte (discounting the 1970 under caution race) is down to a 1.18 second gap, for a 500 mile race, those are pretty close average finish gaps.  By the way. I started in 1970 on purpose. Pre 1970 it was not at all unusual to have races finish with the leader being several laps ahead of second place. I mean like 4 or 5 laps. In my opinion the racing really started to tighten up after 1970 to today.

The stinkers of course in this stretch are the 1970 and 1985 Dover races as well as the 1970 Charlotte Under Caution finish. These are random choices, but display overall that the racing is consistent. There are front runners and back markers. A handful of drivers have a chance to win on Sunday and more then a few have no realistic chance. That’s how it’s always been and no “rule package tweaks” are going to remedy this.

So what’s going on? What is different that causes this turmoil? I think it’s the unprecedented access social media and 24/7 radio and TV allows to all aspects of the sport. From drivers, to race tracks the NASCAR itself and that a dangerous biased source to look to for guidance. You can’t rely on a driver fan driven fanbase to set your expectations. Fans of driver X will always scream when driver Y gets a perceived advantage, yet remain silent when driver X gets the same advantage..

Lets look at the recent restart controversy. A driver was accused of “jumping” the restart. NASCAR heard the outcry and acted. Next race a driver was Black flagged and penalized; now the restart zone is expanded. OK, but now NASCAR has inserted itself in the restarts. Hypothetically let’s jump ahead to Homestead. Last restart and a driver “Jumps” the restart. Is NASCAR going to penalize that driver running for the Sprint Cup? If it’s Dale Jr? And if they don’t act how are they going to explain that, after already setting the precedent. As I’ve heard more than once on Dave Moody’s show “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”

I’ve seen the tweets, heard the calls and seen the stories. The sanctioning body has way to much focus on the fans. Are there smart fans? Absolutely, sometimes the level of knowledge is astounding and sends me to the computer to verify. but the majority are just screamers who when you boil it down are screaming because their driver didn’t do well and no amount of rule changes are going to fix that. If you look to “HarvickKing” or “DaleJrGod” for guidance, you’re probably not getting unbiased advice.

And we have another problem. According to a study from YouGov.org it’s estimated that 28% of social media users are trolls, simply looking to stir the pot and see how much chaos they can cause. So when you break down the biased fans and the trolls who do you listen to on social media for guidance? I don’t know, it may take an enlarged social media team to interpret what true fans really think, or maybe it’s time to stop listening to them altogether and simply race the cars and let the chips fall where they may. 1 winner and 42 cars behind him. In the “old” days this was enough. When we just had a Sunday race and Monday morning newspaper article. The folks on their couch couldn’t give a crap about the minor details some lose their minds over now.

I love Twitter, Facebook and all the rest. I love the access it gives, the inside tidbits it reveals, but I also respect the power it can wield and recognize it’s a medium to be respected. I can foresee a day when teams and sports pull back, when the outcry from fans or the trouble trolls cause creates a headache that’s just not worth the hassle, I hope it doesn’t happen. For the hardcore race fan who loves the sport and hungers for ever more information, I hope we never lose this recent access. They listen at NASCAR. Brian France and Steve O’Donnell are on record several times stating that indeed they do listen to the fan input.

So, lets step back and appreciate what we are watching, great racing, good finishes and great drivers. There are no “Good old days” we are watching them. Line em up and let the guys and gals have at it, may the best driver win. That’s how it’s always been and should be. If you’re a tweeter, facebooker or radio show caller be careful what you post or say, If you tag NASCAR you never know who up top may be reading or listening and being influenced by it.

Be Safe and Have Fun.

All race references and statistics come thanks to http://www.racing-reference.info/ it’s a great source for historical Nascar data.

NASCAR ramblings. September 10th.

kyle-busch-jimmie-johnson-nascar-sprint-cup-series-bojangles-southern-500

I thought that the first Daytona races were awesome, I thought Vegas, California and Phoenix were awesome races. I thought the Watkins Glen and Sonoma races were amazing, but I was wrong…according to NASCAR. The Southern 500 with the new low drag package was the one that was amazing, ooops, my bad, I guess I’m just an ignorant viewer who doesn’t know good racing.

I’ve said it before I don’t understand NASCARS obsession with rules. Set a rules package at the start of the year and let the teams race it out. Try as you might you will never have parody and you cannot legislate good racing. It will happen if the circumstances dictate it will. There will always be the haves and have nots, in terms of budgets, know how, experience and skill. A rules package will never turn a 43rd place car into a 1st place car.

If you watched the race you would have thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread according to the folks calling the race on NBC; but what did we really see? A car finished first and 43 cars later someone finished last. Shocking I know. But hmmm…Isn’t that what always happens? they’ll tell you “yes but the loop data shows more passing occurred” but that’s like saying “last time I cracked an egg the shell broke into 10 pieces but this time holding it this way it only broke into 6” lets do it again and see what happens. Guess what, the loop data will be completely different again, maybe better but maybe worse..

Was it a good race? Yes. Was it remarkably different when you strip away the hype? No. Once the green flew after the last caution Carl Edwards jumped out to the lead and no one could touch him.  It wasn’t even close. Was there great racing back in the pack. Yes, but there always is. It was as good a race as all the rest. No better, no worse.

All that being said the “Throwback” weekend was pretty cool. The paint schemes were awesome. But if I had to make a suggestion, I would have called it a Heritage weekend, because really, there was so much more going on then the paint jobs; it reminded me of a hall of fame weekend.

Special shoutout to Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing. Of all the Paint jobs out there, this one, The Flat Black with Teal Lettering supporting “National Ovarian Cancer Awaerness” just popped out every time it passed the camera. So congrats to that team. Job well done.

Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet Thanks Motorsport.com for Pic.

I will say this about the coverage, maybe NBC and or Fox could leave the front pair for a minute or two. Sometimes the coverage gives the impression that the racing is bad, of course it looks bad if you only show the front runners and only break away when a car spins. But back in the pack people are racing for position all over the place. Show some of that.

I will never understand why we race at INDY if NASCAR wants good racing. It’s never happened there, and never will; the track is not suited for Stock cars.

I’ve heard behind the scenes NASCAR wants more cautions. For Two reasons. One: They tighten up the pack and reset the field. and Two: They want crashes, now this one I can’t buy. The safety concious NASCAR would never want that, but then I think…they refuse to address the lug nut problem. “Self regulate” that’s what I always hear. “They will self regulate” Really? Let me get this straight, If NASCAR says “we will allow you to run a 50 gallon fuel cell, but you can only put 25 gallons in it” no team is going to try and run more fuel in the car? they’re racers and it’s racing, everyone will try for any and all advantages they can. Leave it up to them to put 5 lug nuts on and we will continue to see what we have, loose wheels. Until in the ultimate nightmare situation. Hypothetically Bowyer or Gordon is running, on the bubble for the chase and detect a loose wheel with 30 to go, eliminating a chance at a top 10 if they pit. You think they’re going to pit? Or are they going to tough it out until the end? (oh wait, that could happen this weekend) Now the wheel falls off and flies into the crowd. How does NASCAR explain their way out of that one? Sorry, all season this change has been insanity to me.

Here we go into Richmond, the last race before the chase, one thing for sure there will be a lot to talk about.

Be Safe and Have Fun