Thursday, March 22, 2007

NASCAR Inspections vs Practice

Why does Dale Jarrett look so concerned? (These pix were taken from the Neon Garage at the Vegas race.)

He was intently watching the action on the track. The track was busy with his fellow competitors who are already out on the track for practice. DJ's car was still in the inspection bay.

I remember a few years ago, Hermie Sadler complained that the 'back burners' (my term, not his) were always struggling to get through inspection while the other cars had a full use of the practice session. It was always ironic that those who needed the practice most were not able to utilize the full session. Most fans did not take notice of that situation when Hermie said it. After all, it was someone who was not a regular to the series, and one who traditionally did not run up front.

This year, we have some name drivers that are now being hampered by the inspection process cutting into practice time. There will soon be a few name drivers who will discover that being at the back of the line is going to hurt them.

To be fair, this situation usually only happens the first few races of the year, as the teams usually get the cars in better shape before heading into inspection later in the season. And this year, due to the Car of Tomorrow, the inspections will be open for a full day before the first practice both for Bristol and for Martinsville. NASCAR says that in this case they want plenty of time to work with the teams on the new car.

Now, should NASCAR create longer or earlier inspection times for the rest of the races? In my opinion, no!

This process has been in place for quite awhile. A few years ago, when we were having problems filling the field, there were no problems getting the cars through tech in plenty of time. The situation this year is made larger due to the huge entry lists. NASCAR should not be adjusting their rules based on something that will cycle out.

And if NASCAR were to make that large of an adjustment, then the howling would begin that it was made to help some of the 'big names' that are low in the points. Send up the black helicopters again!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam in NASCAR!

A few short weeks ago, the NASCAR Nation was up in arms over the uncomplimentary comments by two Washington legislators. The news was broken by Charlotte Observer writer, and Sirius "Morning Drive" Host, and BTW, a fellow blogspot blogger,
David Poole. One political pundit, House Speaker Frank Chopp, made the mistake of disparaging one of our sports most beloved icons, Richard Petty. The other, House member Larry Seaquist, spouted awful comments about the fans. (Later, he claimed he was saying it about Int. Speedway Corp...yeah, uh huh, right!)

"These people are not the kind of people you would want living next door to you. They'd be the ones with the junky cars in the front yard and would try to slip around the law"

Well now, Mr. do have a Basketball team in your state right? The Seattle Sonics? They are an NBA team, right? Well, Mr. Seaguest, were you aware that there was a NASCAR event in Las Vegas, where there was an estimated participation of 160,000 fans? As a reminder, Las Vegas recently hosted the NBA All-stars, 3 weeks before the NASCAR race. There is one very important fact that Mr. Seaquist really needs to know, if he were to begin comparing the two events, as cited in this article from The Las Vegas Sun

1 Number of arrests reported by Metro during the three-day NASCAR weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

403 Number of arrests reported by Metro during the four-day NBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas

Enough said!


Now, a few comments about attending the LVMS race.

There is absolutely no way to compare being at the race, to sitting home on the couch with remote in hand. (Ok, I admit it, not only is the remote in my hand, but the mouse for TWO computers with Trackpass and Raceview playing, and listening to not one, but TWO drivers scanners!) The sounds of the track cannot be duplicated, even if you follow the directions and "Crank It UP!" The sound of the cars bounces off of the opposite walls and echoes through out the facility. The sounds of the field passing by as the green flag flies can be felt in your heart! And believe it or not, the smell of hot asphalt and burning rubber, for a bit, can be quite the aroma!

Enough said!


I adore my Sirius radio. I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to catch up on my NASCAR-related favorite shows, when they are replayed. I find it bizarre though, that I keep hitting the exact same spots of the 'replay!' And frankly, Tony, as much as I adore you, I really did think your complaints about LVMS crossed over into whining. Tony, I know you don't like a lot of the LVMS facility or experience, but then again, you are being paid millions of bucks to go fast and turn left. If driving on the edge, and being irritated by your fans watching you in the garage bothers you so much, you have options.

Enough said!


It looks as if there is a huge broo-ha-ha brewing with the sponsorship issues in NASCAR. This will bear watching, as it could cause future sponsors to not want to enter our sport. That would be bad, very bad.

Enough said, but it still bears watching!


Car of Tomorrow is now Car of Next Week! We will find out how it performs, and which teams were on the ball! And for those of you who wonder where the 'street version' of the COT can be found, just come out here! We have a ton of that type of rear wing appearing on cars out here!

Enough said! I promise!