Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

November 11, 2008

NASCAR: All Over But The Shouting

About nine o’clock on Sunday night, I realized I’d completely missed the Phoenix Cup race. As it turns out, I didn’t miss much. Jimmie Johnson won again and virtually clinched the title. Here are a few random thoughts I’ve had about the race and the season.

  • Top Dog: You’ve got to wonder what Jeff Gordon’s thinking. It’s been 40 races since he won. Have we seen a changing of the guard at Hendrick Motorsports? Remind me of when Roush started pushing Mark Martin out for his younger drivers like Kenseth and Busch.
  • Retire already: What is it about motorsports that makes drivers who are past their prime think they can still win races? Kyle Petty, Mark Martin, Bill Elliot, Kenny Schrader, and much as I hate to say it, Sterling Marlin all really need to rethink their involvement in the sport’s highest level. Yeah, I know Martin’s going to “run for the championship” next year in a Hendrick car. While I’d actually like to see him win it, I don’t think it’ll happen. I don’t see Hendrick giving him the same equipment he’s giving Johnson.
  • Is this the US? The race Sunday was a 500k race. I guess that sounds more impressive than the “CHECKER O‚ÄôREILLY AUTO PARTS 311 PRESENTED BY PENNZOIL”. But still, this is the US. Make the race 300 miles like those at that gawdawful New Hamshire track.
  • What’s Yer Point: Kyle Busch has to be cussing NASCAR for that new gimmicky points system. It’s gonna cost him a bunch of money. Under the old system, he’d probably end up finishing third. Under this new scheme, he could end up anywhere from 7th to 12th. NASCAR needs to fix what wasn’t broken to begin with.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: There’s a lot of talk about different teams merging and otherwise getting new ownership money. Before they do that, they ought to ask Ray Evernham and Richard Petty how that’s working out.
  • No Testing For You: NASCAR has indicated that they’re going to possibly ban testing next year, at least for the first part of the year. This is in order to help cut costs for the teams. Here’s an idea: if you want to cut costs, limit the number of teams per owner (whether real or on paper) to two. Right now there are three or four owners who pretty much stink up the show. If your favorite driver isn’t driving for one of those teams, he doesn’t have a realistic chance of winning.

Next week is the last race of the season. I remember when I counted the days from the last race of the year to the Daytona 500. NASCAR has changed so much in the last few years that it’s just not much fun to watch anymore. And based on this year’s TV ratings (which are mostly flat or lower than last year’s), I’m not the only one NASCAR is losing. They’ve got to know that some of the stuff they’re doing is turning fans off. I don’t have the answer, but I know the product they’re putting out now can’t compare to even the mid-90’s. We’ve already seen some of the lower tier sanctioning bodies go out of business (ASA comes to mind). If I were a NASCAR stockholder I’d be concerned.

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