The Frontstretch: Don’t Muck Up the Trucks! by Cheryl Walker -- Monday June 13, 2005

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Don’t Muck Up the Trucks!

Cheryl Walker · Monday June 13, 2005


As a young teenager in school in the 70s, I was one of the very few that chose a carton of skimmed milk to go with my lunch. There were plenty of cartons of whole milk available, but I always felt that its texture was just too thick, and its flavor a little ‘off’. Nowadays it does my heart good to see how the number of gallons of skimmed milk has increased in grocery stores, and I am hoping that there are many more students selecting cartons of skimmed milk at school cafeterias everywhere as well.

I thought skimmed milk was a refreshing wholesome drink long before lots of other people did. It always feels good to find out that something you have long preferred ends up being appreciated by others over time.

In a very small way, that must be how the NASCAR long-time fans feel about the soaring popularity of their favorite sport these days. I envy them for having been around when the legends ran, and for being able to experience racing at tracks that are now long gone. It must be gratifying for them to be able to tell new fans some great stories from the past, and to be able to recall the fathers and grandfathers of some of the current superstars.

Along with all of that ‘sharing of racing joy,’ I am certain there is also a little bit of over-protectiveness by the old-timers, as well as some sorrow at seeing the changes that have occurred. I have read in various places their hesitancy in accepting these changes, and have had conversations with folks that are experiencing bittersweet feelings about how far the sport has come, as well as where it seems to be heading.

I do understand that. I can even say that at various times I have tasted a few kinds of ‘super skimmed’ milk that dairies around my area have produced, in order to have the benefits of the skimmed, but with the thick and gooey texture of whole milk. I think they’re tampering with something that is just fine as it is, but I am sure there are a few folks out there that like the new product. The fact that I think such attempts at changing something I like are silly doesn’t mean they don’t really serve a purpose. I need to accept that all folks don’t appreciate the skimmed milk that I’ve grown up on.

In the same way, in the relatively short time that I have been a NASCAR fan, I have grown very fond of the Craftsman Truck Series. If the Cup Series is the polished and famous one of the top three, and the Busch Series is the boot camp that is the prelude to that, then the Craftsman Truck Series is the wild and petulant one, the ‘raw’ one: it has been touched the least by fame, media focus, and rule changes.

I am very happy to see the trucks gaining more attention, and seeing more of the Cup stars coming in for either occasional or regular rides. However, I am beginning to feel a few of the old-timers’ feelings about unwanted changes, and am fretting about the loss of the series ‘innocence.’

Professionally written, I suppose I would say, “I am glad this great series is getting the attention it deserves, and that people everywhere are discovering the excitement and great racing delivered every race day.”

But, in a raw and rebellious way, I would say, “Don’t muck up the trucks!”

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
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Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
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06/13/2005 11:37 PM
All good points Cheryl and as a long time fan (first race was 1961 Daytona 500) i can understand your feelings about the CTS.

But unlike many that rail and rant about saving the past I realize the business side of things dictates change. I hated to see Rockingham go but when there are no sellouts and owners can’t afford improvements to facilities you stand to lose out.

I’ll also note some CTS changes you may not be aware of. This is quoted from a Journal Now piece of last week.

“Davis’ [ Bill Davis, a Truck and Cup owner] solution: Truck-Cup doubleheader weekends, instead of Busch-Cup doubleheaders, and pair the Busch series instead with the struggling Indy Racing League.

Indeed, there has been talk for several months among NASCAR officials about revamping the Busch series in some way, still undetermined, to make it more than just a minor-league Saturday version of Sunday’s Nextel Cup races. But track promoters love having Cup drivers in Saturday Busch fields, because that makes the Saturday races more attractive to fans. And Cup team owners have become the major supporters of the Busch series. Saturday’s top five Busch finishers here drive for top Cup team owners, and fully half the Busch fields are dominated by Cup drivers and Cup owners, a number growing almost weekly.”

This is just an idea at the moment and with the current “Danicamania” sweeping the IRL their crowd count is increasing.
Charlie D.
06/15/2005 08:35 AM
Skimmed milk aside, you know you’re already too late with this article.

NASCAR just this past weekend took some spoiler away from the trucks at this race.

Why in the world would you mess with the rules when reportedly most everyone agrees the CTS is the best racing NASCAR has to offer?

Why, because NASCAR has the propensity to make change even when change is not needed. Change is only good if there is a problem, but NASCAR is not happy unless it uses its un-yielding power.

All you have to do is look at the Cup series and see what tampering with success will get you. Two organizations that dominate the cup schedule.

Just three or four years ago you had Gibbs, Hendrix, Roush, DEI, Yates and others vying for wins every week.

So much for change. Go figure!


Cheryl is no longer a contributor to the Frotnstretch, having branched out on her own, starting CawsnJaws with her son Josh. If you'd like to see more of Cheryl's Frontstretch articles, check out her bio and archive page.