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New Hampshire Racindeals

June 30th, 2009

BLIND PIG RACING: There’s an old country adage that says “Even a blind pig gets an acorn every now and then.” This year, we’ve seen two blind pigs get a win, by playing the rain “strategy”. David Reutimann and now, Joey Logano both have won rain shortened races. Races that, had they gone the distance, these drivers would not likely have won. It seemed to me that NASCAR was a little quick to call the New Hampshire race. I guess it was getting dark or something. But if they started these races at noon, this wouldn’t be an issue.

WHO’S IN THE BOOTH?: There’s a lot of talk about why Bill Weber wasn’t in the both. Supposedly there was some kind of incident with him. So they put Ralph Sheheen in his place. Ralph’s been in the booth before in the old TNN days, but TNT’s overall announce crew is just not cutting it. They just have two races to go, so that’s a small blessing.

LAP COUNTS: What’s with the extra lap in the New Hampshire race? I assume it has some significance for the sponsor, but if the broadcasters don’t tell you what that significance is, then what good is the gimmick?

TRUCK SERIES FUTURE: NASCAR is reportedly trying to figure out what to do with the Truck Series. When NASCAR started the series, it was to be a low cost entry level series. They raced on short tracks and tracks that the Cup Series didn’t visit. It was different, it was refreshing, and it was some of the best racing you would ever hope to see. Then they ruined it. They got rid of the halftime break, so then teams had to have pit crew members to go over the wall. That automatically increased the cost. Then they started dropping the smaller tracks in favor of the larger ones (like Daytona). I don’t know how long Camping World’s contract runs as title sponsor, but I suspect that if they don’t renew, the truck series will be no more.

DOUBLE FILE RESTARTS: What does it say about a racing series when the sanctioning body has to put all the leaders in a double file restart just to bring some excitement to a race?

MAYFIELD’S SUIT: Jeremy Mayfield will be in court this week, seeking to get his NASCAR suspension overturned. I started out on Mayfield’s side in this mess. After all, why go through all this trouble if you’re guilty? I was critical of NASCAR’s drug policy, but I stupidly based my criticism on what I read in the media. When I actually read the policy, I didn’t see anything that I could disagree with. What sealed it for me was talking to the doctor at work who administers my company’s drug tests. She said that the only way to test for methamphetamine is to actually take it; there’s no way methamphetamine can be synthesized in the body from a mixture of two other drugs. The amphetamine that is synthesized shows up differently on a drug test, and doctors know to look for it. Of course, all of this assumes that the drug he tested positive for was methamphetamine; I assume that information will come out in court. If Mayfield wins this first court battle and gets reinstated, he plans on going to Daytona to race. You have to know that NASCAR is going to test him again before allowing him on the track, and if he fails that test, he’s toast.

Real Racin’ Writin’

June 24th, 2009

I hated to see Larry Woody retire from the Tennessean a few years ago; he pretty much singlehandedly was responsible for the local racing coverage here in Nashville. Plus he covered Talladega, Bristol and a few other NASCAR races around the southeast. He didn’t stop writing after leaving the Tennessean; he writes for the Nashville City Paper and a web site here and there.

So it was good to see him back at the Fairgrounds Saturday night and catch up with him. He’s still writing for the City Paper, and he’s also writing for a web site called Racin’ Today.

I checked out their site, and it’s well worth a look. On their About page, they say the site is a “response to the decision of major newspapers to exit motorsports coverage.” They’ve got coverage of all forms of racing, so no matter what you follow, you can find coverage of it there.

And take a look at Woody’s columns too while you’re there.

Sears Point Racindeals

June 22nd, 2009

ROAD RAGE: I’m sitting here doing my best to watch this road race that NASCAR insists on having, and I”m just bored out of my head. The new double-file restart is about the only exiting thing in the race. This is what DVR’s were made for.

NOTE TO TNT: Buddy Baker and Eli Gold are available. Just saying.

WE’RE IN THE US, AREN’T WE?:Last time I checked, the measurement standard here in the US wasn’t the metric system; we use miles for length. So why are we running races of 350 kilometers? Back in the 70’s NASCAR mandated that all Cup races be at least 250 miles. As a result of that, the race at the Fairgrounds in Nashville had to be lengthened to 420 laps. Why isn’t the race at Sears Point the minimum 250 miles? (That’s a rhetorical question by the way; I don’t think race fans could stand another hour of racing to make the additional 32 miles.)

ROAD WARRIORS:How many road races have been won by road racing specialists that replace the regular driver on road courses? I don’t think that many have. I think Said won one once a few years ago (that might have been in the B series), but is it really worth it?

CAR-TOONS: I’ve always said that there are just not enough cartoons on racing broadcasts.

DANICA!: It strikes me that NASCAR teams don’t really want Danica Patrick for her ability to drive a car, but more for her looks. Every story you see about her refers to her as “sexy” or whatever. The new rumor is that she’ll be in Roush car next year. I think that would be a big mistake, both to move to NASCAR and especially to move to a Roush car.

Post Michigan RacinDeals

June 19th, 2009

RACE, WHAT RACE?: I completely missed the Michigan race the other day. From what I hear it was another one of those that was won by the engine builder, not by the driver. NASCAR doesn’t have a problem throwing out “competition” cautions, unless it’s to actually increase competition.

KENTUCKY CURIOSITY: Didn’t really see much of the Kentucky race either. They had it on in the suite at the Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville, and every now and then I’d take a look. I was kind of hoping that Busch would win, just to see if he smashed the Kentucky trophy.

BRICKYARD TIRES: We’re promised, promised, I tell you, that this year’s Brickyard 400 race will be better. Heck, all Goodyear has to do is make the tires go 12 laps instead of 10, and it’ll be a better race by default. Last year’s Brickyard race was a perfect example of why the Cup series needs more than one tire manufacturer.

NISSAN/HONDA: NASCAR is apparently talking to other foreign car manufacturers, or at least ones who manufacture cars in the US. I’ve never understood why they limited eligible cars to US-owned manufacturers before, and I don’t think I understand why they’re now limiting it to US-made cars. But NASCAR does a lot of stuff I don’t understand.

Actions Detrimental

June 17th, 2009

NASCAR has this catch-all rule they call “Actions detrimental to the sport of stock car racing.” They can use it to pretty much do anything they want to a team or driver that does something they don’t like.

For example, they can use it to suspend and fine a driver $200,000 for being a few thousandths over the engine displacement while competing in an exhibition race.

They can use it to justify suspending a driver indefinitely for violating an unknown substance abuse rule.

So NASCAR can be pretty free with this rule when they want to be.

The question is, why haven’t they suspended Kyle Busch? His actions in victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway last week were certainly detrimental to the sport: you don’t disrespect one of the race sponsors by smashing their product in victory lane, especially if that product is the unique trophy awarded for winning the race.

Awarding a guitar in Nashville (and I’m being generous in saying that Nashville Superspeedway is in Nashville) goes back at least 25 years. It didn’t catch on until Bob Harmon started giving one to the winner of the All American 400. Better men than Busch (from both a talent and personality perspective) have won that trophy: Sauter, Balough, Wallace, Waltrip, Miller, Purvis, St. Amant, Garvey, Query, Anderson, and Gill all have won one of those trophies (some have more than one), and I daresay they would tell you it’s one of their most prized possessions.

What pains me the most about this is that I saw the talent Busch has and became one of his (few) fans. He reminds me of Earnhardt, Sr. on the track. He’s done some incredible things in that race car. But as his former teammate Tony Stewart learned the hard way, what he does outside the car also has ramifications; he just doesn’t seem to know that yet. For example, I was at a snack machine the other day, and I intentionally did not buy candy produced by Busch’s Cup car sponsor.

Busch has a lot of growing up to do. And I think it amounts to just that: growing up.

NASCAR should have stepped up to the plate and either fined or suspended him from competition. By not doing that, they’ve created a precedent that now allows any driver to show blatant disrespect to a sponsor. And in a sport that exists because of sponsorship dollars, I don’t think NASCAR can afford let that precedent stand.

NASCAR Has Jumped the Shark

June 15th, 2009

It’s all downhill from here. NASCAR has officially jumped the shark.

Whether it be punishing drivers and teams way out of proportion to their infraction (see Carl Long), holding drivers to an unknown standard on drug use, or suspending a crew chief until he goes through “sensitivity training”, NASCAR has abandoned their roots and is turning into something that’s not very interesting.

And their ratings show it. NASCAR confused the increased ratings they got when Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was killed at Daytona with actual fan growth. The bump in ratings after Earnhardt’s death was not increased interest in racing, but a macabre interest by the public to see who would get killed next.

NASCAR’s latest idiocy is called “NASCAR Green Clean Air”. It’s supposed to capture the carbon emissions that come from racing. They’re going to plant 10 trees each time they throw a green flag.

This is just another sign that NASCAR is out of touch with reality. Don’t get me wrong, I think planting trees is fine…for the right reasons. But to use a bogus reason like climate change is, well, bogus.

NASCAR has gotten too big and has gotten away from Big Bill France’s vision. There’s nowhere to go but down.

Back From The Dead

June 10th, 2009

About 10 years ago, I registered the RacinDeals.com domain and created a website. I wrote about NASCAR racing mostly. Turns out RacinDeals.com was a blog before blogs even existed. There were several contributors in addition to myself.

I got burned out on racing a few years ago, and transferred the domain and the website over to Nancy Osterhoudt, lock, stock, and barrel. I guess she ran it for a few years, but recently I noticed that the site had gone down. And a few weeks ago I saw that the domain had expired and was up for grabs. I managed to secure it and here we are.

I’m still not as into racing as much as I was 10 years ago. NASCAR has managed to do more to alienate me as a fan than I could ever have imagined. There are a lot of things going on now with NASCAR and in NASCAR though that I want to comment on, and that’s why I restarted this site.

The site is still under construction. As I post this, I haven’t picked out a WordPress theme to use. I’ve got to look in my archives and find the old logo (which I still think is a pretty good one). I think I’ll also post all of my old posts (that I can find) just to give folks some idea of where my head is. But that’ll be over the next few weeks.

I don’t intend to write stuff here daily, although I may occasionally post daily. I’ll try to post something at least once a week though.

Right now I’ve got to get the site presentable. After that, who knows? By the way, if you’re interested in writing for the site, let me know.

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