Sunday, March 7, 2010
Like moving furniture with the wife - Make Up Your Mind! (Nascar)
I'm sure by now we've all seen the commercial that has some of the biggest names in nascar saying how things are going back to the way they used to be. More trading paint, more beatin' and bangin' and "letting the drivers' personalities come out". The fans of nascar have been asking for this exact formula to come back to racing and it would have appeared that nascar finally listened to the very people who keep them in business (of course nascar's falling TV ratings probably had something to do with this).
Yes it seemed that the 2010 Sprint Cup season would be like no other and Brian France & company were going to change history or at least repeat it. That is until today - until the 'old school' style of racing reared it's apparent ugly head and nascar reacted the same way they always do. By setting the offending driver down for the rest of the race and after further review, imposing possible additional penalties. What was all that hype about racing they way they used to? Simply an ill-conceived plan to help shore up a tired and too familiar nascar? In any case the fans can't help but feel robbed - a victim of the old bait and switch.
I'm sure we'll hear the spin-doctors doing damage control this week about the safety issues involved and how Carl Edwards took it too far. I'm sure these same paid shills will not dare breath a word of how a certain black #3 used to get away with much worse because that driver was, dare I say, bigger than nascar itself. I can't ever remember the Intimidator being parked for rough driving. That would have started a riot.
Since my soap-box is already out, let's discuss a few other things nascar can't seem to get right. No one, regardless of their position in the point standings, should ever be 'locked in' to a race. The Sprint Cup series is supposed to be world class competition. No one just walks in to this sport unless their experience demonstrates that they deserve to race on this level. Yet, a few races into the season the top 35 drivers in the point standings are guaranteed a starting spot every week. So with 43 starting spots for each of the 36 races, the only suspense during qualifying is watching the underfunded 10 or 12 teams slug it out for the remaining 8 positions. Not too exciting.
And while we're talking about qualifying, why should the fastest qualifier start at the front? I've been involved in and a fan of all types of racing for a number of years and what most people call real racing starts the fastest cars at the back of the grid and the slower cars up front. If a team can out qualify the rest of the pack, make them show how good they are by working their way through the pack during the race. This way the winner will have truly demonstrated his superior skill behind the wheel.
You'd think that as long as nascar has been around, they would have perfected the sport of stock car racing. But when you look at 'the Chase' and the Lucky Dog rule you can see they have a lot more work to do.