The Frontstretch: Why Is the Obvious Always So Hard To See? by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday October 30, 2008

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Why Is the Obvious Always So Hard To See?

Voices From The Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday October 30, 2008

 

I have an extremely low tolerance for “stupid.” Fortunately for me, seeing as how “stupid” has reached epidemic proportions worldwide, I have a built in antidote. That antidote consists of 50% laughter, 40% wonderment and amazement and 10% humility; as in, there but for the grace of God go I.

When it comes to NASCAR, I have been laughing, shaking my head a lot and thanking the good Lord above almost on a 24/7 schedule lately. Fortunately, my position here at Frontstretch.com allows me a platform to try and have some influence, or at least offer advice, even if it is mostly ignored. It’s not that it is bad advice or even unpopular — for most of the time, people seem to agree with me — but it is ignored by Daytona Beach none the less. Stupidly, I keep trying (said the author, laughing silently at himself as he looked pleadingly skyward and shaking his head.) Even though it will probably do no good, I will once again lay it all out there to be ignored once again.

NASCAR The Organization
For any GOOD change to be effected, a BIG change has to be made at the very top. Brian France simply has got to go. The man is a buffoon. He is transparent as a politician and is respected about the same. Actually, I take that back —Politicians can be trusted infinitely more than Brian France.

NASCAR can make several changes to improve competition, but the one with the biggest effect would be to remove Brian France as CEO and chairman.

Brian’s father and grandfather were respected. They were in the garage all the time and the men respected them. You might not have agreed with what either of them had to say, but you respected it. Both of them reportedly had a way of making you understand their point. Brian France has none of that. He hides behind Mike Helton. It is time for the France family to recognize what Brian has done to this sport, take note of the lagging attendance, the falling ratings and the general disgust of the very people that line their pockets if they want that pocket lining to continue.

Removing Brian France from his position would be one of the biggest glimmers of hope the true fan has seen since it was given to him. It certainly would not harm the sport in anyway…

The Rules
Simply put, I want to be able to go to the sporting goods store and buy my own copy of the rule book if I want to. I can with any other sport, why not NASCAR? If there is nothing to hide, and everything is above ground, why can’t the average Joe or Jane have a current copy?

Enforcement of the rules is another easy fix. Simply have independent, highly trained officials just as there are in other sports. The commissioner of Major League Baseball or the National Football League does not sit in the booth and make the calls, and the same should hold true in NASCAR.

With technology the way it is, there is no reason that ANY dispute cannot be corrected in a timely fashion, just as it is in football. No excuse whatsoever. This simple change too, would do a tremendous, almost unimaginable amount of good in preserving the ‘integrity’ of the sport — to use a phrase so often quoted from the Ivory Tower.

The Chase
Get rid of it! It was a BS idea to start with and was the Rube Goldberg way of fixing a system that needed ONE minor change—simply to award considerably more points for a win than for being the first loser. That was all that had to be done, end of story.

Consider what the championship battle would be like right now if that were the case. How many more drivers would actually have a chance at the Cup? How much more excitement would that generate compared to as it stands now?

If one driver is running away with it by this point in the season, well by goodness, he should be the champion. He earned it. Don’t use this socialistic, re-distribute the wealth crap that we have now; simply make a win worth WAY more than a second place.

Forget all this ‘mulligan’ crap Jack Roush and others have been spouting lately, that is nothing but a Rube Goldberg fix for a Rube Goldberg system.

As much as I (and the rest of the fans as evidenced by last week’s poll) would not have wanted Kyle Busch to be the ’08 Cup Champion, he should, by all rights, still have a shot at it. The kid was simply mugged by Brian France’s hokie Chase.

Cheating
If caught at blatantly trying to cheat the system…you go home. If the cheating is discovered after the race, you lose all positions and points and are not allowed in the NEXT race, no matter WHO you are or WHO your sponsor is.

Once that precedent is set, cheating will virtually cease or at least be done in an extremely more clever manner (until found out.)

Tires
Goodyear has been doing this racing gig for how many years now?

I don’t pretend to know anything about the contract NASCAR has with Goodyear, other than I’m sure it is mostly about money. There is probably very little in the actual contract about the quality of the services Goodyear is to provide knowing Brian France.

What needs to be done is for NASCAR to simply tell Goodyear, “Make a tire that works or we will find someone who can.” Don’t make excuses for Goodyear. There are none. This new car had been (by NASCAR’s own hype) on the drawing board for years before it was implemented. There simply is no excuse for the lack of attention to the most important part – where the rubber meets the road.

Qualifying
If NASCAR insists on continuing the Chase format then by God, when it comes to the actual Chase, don’t give the leader an advantage just because of the weather. Having first choice of pitstalls is HUGE advantage.

The fix? During the last 10 races of the year, if qualifying is rained out, the order is set for the Top 35 by drawing out of a hat. You can set the ORDER of the draw by the points, but that is it. Top 35-draw first. The ‘go or go-homers’ then may draw from what is left. No, its not perfect, but it is more fair than what we got now.

Yes, someone is still not going to make it in, or even get a chance to draw, but if you are that far down in the points anyway, chances are you weren’t going to make it in even if you did do a qualifying run.

Folks, the concept of racing is a simple one, and has probably been around since the SECOND caveman made a wheel. Within set parameters, you find out whose wheel is the fastest. It should never have evolved to the archaic entity that is NASCAR now.

Alright, now please excuse me while I get on with some more laughter, head shaking and humble prayer.

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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Jeff Meyer
10/30/2008 01:45 AM
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Let me make a quick point.

(For the stupider of you out there.)

Brian France has made a ton of money for the family. There is no doubt of that.

It was however, quick money, at the cost of what his fathers had built before him.

He is nothing but a greedy bastard that cares nothing for the “integrity” of the sport.

It was all about making money. the money tree has been picked.

Move on.

Mark
10/30/2008 07:14 AM
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Good morning Jeff,

I have a sneaking suspicion you will receive a TON of responses to this one. Your points are good, they have foundation, and with some minor tweaks they could work great. The problem is ~ and you said it best ~ there is still the golden rule to deal with. And in this case the rule works this way: He who has the gold (fans and sponsors money) make the rules (continues to screw up NA$CAR).

My suggestion to you….print 25 copies of your article, seal each of them in an envelop and, starting at the TOP of NA$CAR, mail them to the folks “in charge.” Want to at least ensure they get looked at…. mail them certified, return receipt requested. Trust me, someone will see at least one of them. Better yet, start an on-line petition, collect the names over a 30 day period, and then mail it to them. I’ll sign and help pay for the mailing.

Remember what NA$CAR stands for:

Now
All we
Seriously
Care
About is
Revenue

Doug Scholl
10/30/2008 07:46 AM
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I’ll sign that petition!

Douglas
10/30/2008 07:56 AM
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WOW! WOW! WOW!

And for those of you inclined, go to nascar.com and get e-mail addresses.

One is: ktharp@nascar.com, he is in the nascar pr area me thinks!

Johnboy60
10/30/2008 08:23 AM
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You go Jeff! Great story that as far as NASCRAP is concerned will fall on deaf ears, for baby brian feels he is more in tune with the sport than the fans. I for one don’t watch anymore, don’t go anymore, don’t buy race things any more. I am doing my part to shut them down. I get my race fix from Front Stretch.com, which I don’t always agree with,but, and this is a BIG but is that at last I get a HONEST opinion or account. nascrap has NO understanding of honesty. They are truly the new WWE!! And many of the drivers refer to it as the show and not the race, so there we go!!

Douglas
10/30/2008 08:25 AM
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contact info: “www.fanfeedback@
nascar.com”

“nascar@turner.com”

Or addressed to:

Brian France
NASCAR
1801 International Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Douglas
10/30/2008 08:32 AM
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And for “Mark”, YOU, my friend is whats wrong with the current NA$CAR!

YOU! MARK, ask someone else to do what you should be doing!

Your quote: “My suggestion to you….print 25 copies of your article, seal each of them in an envelop and, starting at the TOP of NA$CAR, mail them to the folks “in charge.” Want to at least ensure they get looked at…. mail them certified, return receipt requested. “

Are you lazy? Why don’t you do that youself?

Jeff Meyer writes an outstanding article, and all you can say is: “why don’t you Jeff”, etc.!

Get on board Jeff, or get lost, we the ones trying to get NA$CAR to change don’t need lazy people like yourself helping!

M.B. Voelker
10/30/2008 09:29 AM
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One day someone who thinks that its “obvious” how to “fix” Nascar will have the guts to go out and raise the financial backing, convince people with key knowledge to join him, and start a competing series.

If its really obvious that the new way is infinitely better owners, drivers, sponsors, fans, and media will promptly abandon Nascar for the new series.

I’m not holding my breath though. Talk come easy. Action is hard.

I’ve previously suggested that those who hate Nascar should get a new job rather than hypocritically make their living off something they dislike so much.

Here’s a new suggestion — go inside for a while. Do what it takes to become a Nascar official and take a look at the system from the inside, privy to all the info that doesn’t make it to fans and reporters.

Then, if you still think it needs fixing, you’ll actually know something about running a racing series when you back up your words with the action of building a better racing series.

I’m still not holding my breath.

Douglas
10/30/2008 09:55 AM
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Hey M.B Voelker, so what are you smoking this morning?

Yep M.B., your complacency and foolish arguments are really going to bring back “TRUE RACING”!

Right on man!

And if you think NA$CAR is so good, G.W. wants to talk to you!

You want to roll over and believe lies that’s your problem!

Douglas
10/30/2008 10:08 AM
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And hey M.B., right after we buy NA$CAR, we can buy the Miami Dolphins, and right after that the Detroit Lions, and right after that the Oakland Raiders, and right after that, the Carolina Hurricanes, yep just a brilliant idea you have!

Ken Smith
10/30/2008 10:24 AM
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The one thing that I think would make the racing a lot more interesting is changing how the caution periods are handled. When I worked at the local short tracks, a caution was thrown, the problem was taken care of, and the green was immediatley thrown again. We didn’t wait for everyone to go to the pits and put on new tires, re-fuel, etc. Take care of the reason for the caution, and AS SOON as it is taken care of throw the greena again! If they want to take the chance that they can pit and get back on the track before that OK. If not, they stay out until they really need to pit.

Mark
10/30/2008 11:10 AM
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Douglas…. your quote…. “Get on board Jeff, or get lost, we the ones trying to get NA$CAR to change don’t need lazy people like yourself helping!”

I think you got a little keyboard-tied there buddy.

Trust me, I have contacted NA$CAR… and you can believe this, they don’t listen to me either. They have their agenda are will, by God, stick to it… hell or high water. Just relax dude, no need to pick web-site fights.

Good day!

Douglas
10/30/2008 11:15 AM
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Actually Ken Smith, thats the way they do it!

It just so happens that by the time the “phony debris”, or whatever, is “cleaned” of the track, they signal next time around is green, really no “extra” laps taken. Some car pit, some don’t!

But, maybe they should not allow any pitting when the yellow is out! All green flag pit stops!

But yellow flags and such are not the biggest issues in NA$CRAP!

Graceann
10/30/2008 11:18 AM
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Where do we sign?

Douglas
10/30/2008 11:24 AM
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NOTICE: BIG ERROR! MY RANTING SHOULD HAVE SAID: “GET ON BOARD MARK” (not Jeff), so sorry, wish I could change that!

Hey Mark, right on, BUT it is frustrating to have a poster here tell someone else, the writer in this case”, to do his work for him.

And don’t give up too quick on writing to NA$CAR, they know by the volume of mail that something is not right! We simply need to keep the pressure on! And don’t forget the sponsors!

By not buying tickets, which we do not do anymore, and by writing sponsors, which i continue to do, the pressure will get to NA$CAR and changes will be made!

I am an optimist!

Guess my biggest complaint here is having lazy fans!

Mr X
10/30/2008 11:25 AM
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M. B. Voelker,
Aren’t you just recycling the 60’s slogan “America love it or leave it”?
So what are you saying, we should all just accept things, keep quiet and follow the line to the slaughter factory? What are you supposed to do if you disagree with something and aren’t a millionaire?

I think it’s obvious from ratings and attendance that something needs to be fixed. It’s our job as fans to call them out when they have strayed. You philosophy of love it or leave it (or if you’re rich enough start a new one) really dis-empowers the majority of people. The majority of normal people are supposed to eat crap and keep their mouth shut if they don’t find it palatable.

Kevin in SoCal
10/30/2008 12:03 PM
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Its always great when someone with a different opinion than yours is shouted down and run out of town. Its what makes America the best country in the world.

mmmmm
10/30/2008 12:38 PM
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Jeff great story ! the only thing you missed is nascar can’t hear and can’t read unless you send money. Reprint the story place it a envlope
with a pile of one hundred dollar bills make that pile very large
and you might get some one attention. on second thought make that a very large container of hundred dollar bills !nuts make that a very large, naw ! crap just send a brinks truck full! mmmmmmmmmmmmm

Rosemary
10/30/2008 12:42 PM
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M.B. Voelker’s remarks are not moronic. Every time NASCAR makes a change, fans go ballistic. And then NASCAR tries to fix it with more changes, and we go ballistic again. I still think the introduction of the Chase was a slap in the face to Matt Kenseth and others before him who ran away with a championship, and now people are talking about how to Jimmie-proof the Chase. No more change is needed if we can’t go back to the old points system, unless you want to set the bar even higher, because Chad Knaus and Company are going to keep challenging whatever system NASCAR comes up with. Sorry if I got off the track, but all this complaining gets to me. Sometimes you just have to let things play out for the PTB to see it.

Douglas
10/30/2008 12:56 PM
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Hey Mr. X, right on!

And Rosemary! For you a question?? ??

You really think that Brian and his band of thieves would change anything to improve the product without our bitchin?

Larry Burton
10/30/2008 01:59 PM
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When Brian France passes away are Nascar is bankrupted will you see him gone! I agree with most of your comments Jeff. The one thing I disagree with is the qualifying rainouts. Most of the time during a race weekend they have time to qualify at a diffent time than when qualifying was originally scheduled so they could qualify them then. Heck, they could even qualify them right before the race instead of all the prerace hoopla that no one cares about. And, you are right, the only thing wrong with the old system was not rewarding the winner enough points for the win, other than that there was nothing wrong with the system. As far as Kyle Busch is concerned, did anyone see the article on Jayski’s a week or two ago about some suspension issues on the Toyota’s that Nascar had deemed a little far out there and had disallowed? And, has anyone noticed how less dominant Busch has been in a while when earlier in season he was almost unbeatable? I knew somthing was going on with the Toyotas the way they were running and dominating in CUP Racing but this suspension issued has not been publicized much. Reckon Nascar wanted to keep it a secret to avoid being embarrassed at letting them get bay with it so long?

Paul F.
10/30/2008 02:05 PM
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Brian needs to grow some balls. He’s a business man where his fathers were race fans. It’s amazing how the racing bug passed up the guy who’s daddy was running the top organization of the most badass sport imaginable. He’s not a racing fan so he doesn’t care.

Or maybe he’ll just “spill his soda” again.

Douglas
10/30/2008 02:34 PM
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A bad thought! A very bad thought!

Has Brian “reproduced”?

I hope the France gene stops there! At least the Brian gene!

Señor Obvious
10/30/2008 03:40 PM
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“The commissioner of Major League Baseball or the National Football League does not sit in the booth and make the calls, and the same should hold true in NASCAR.”

Mr Meyer, I present Bud Selig.

All Star game ends in a Tie.

Phillies have to wait two days to win a game that, by the rules, they had won two days earlier.

And both times he was at the game.

For what it’s worth, I’d take Brian France any day over Bud “The Explitive” Selig.

chase
10/30/2008 03:44 PM
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Jeff – what an amazing column! You told it like it is – until Brian is gone NASCAR will continue its spiral descent into oblivion. Its been astounding to me all the horrible things he’s done. I do think that whatever it is he drinks or smokes has affected his brain functions rendering him incapable of seeing the forest through the trees. Petition – I’ll gladly sign it as others above have stated. Wonder whats wrong with NASCAR’s Board of Directors?????

Rosemary
10/30/2008 05:22 PM
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Good question, Douglas! My thought was that if we left it alone for a while, Brian and Company would see the light themselves. But now I can see the light myself…The only way to keep NASCAR alive is for the fans to continue fighting for it. Maybe we are going about it the wrong way.

D Jones
10/30/2008 05:29 PM
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Jeff, great column. You wrote what everybody has been saying for years. You wrote it more as a fan than a blogger.

@ Doug, I think Brian has twins. If true, how scary is that?

I have written to ESPN. I’m still waiting for a reply. It’s been about 6 weeks.

D Jones
10/30/2008 05:32 PM
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Correction to my post. Should’ve typed NASCAR instead of ESPN. I regret the error.

Douglas
10/30/2008 05:48 PM
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Hey Senior’ obvious!

Where did that come from! The Bud selig thing? First, the allstar game is really meaningless, it is only to showcase the “all stars”, mission accomplished!

And you want the world series won on a rainout?

YIKES!

At least Selig takes command and does whats good for the game and the fans, and the teams!

Brian France should have his cojones!

You play some 195 games, and it should end in a “rainout”? How sick is that?

Señor Obvious
10/30/2008 09:17 PM
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I’m not saying that what he did was wrong, (it was) just that despite what Jeff said, Bud Selig (Satan) does indeed sit in the booth and make decisions.

Baseball rules: Official games do NOT end in a tie unless it can not be completed and no matter what the circumstances, an official game is 5 innings. If it’s called mid-inning in the sixth, and can’t resume the same day, then they go back to the last complete inning to determine a winner. NOT suspend a game that is more than half over for two days.

Now, ethically, you can NOT bitch about the way that NASCAR makes their own rules to fit what they think is entertainment, then say that Baseball, a sport with clear cut rules about what an official game is, should be able to make up rules at the discretion of the commissioner.

That’s the main thing I like about NASCAR. They don’t have the SOB Bud Selig, an ILLEGAL baseball commissioner in charge.

Sorry, but when you take a TEAM OWNER and make him commissioner of baseball, that’s corruption that spits in the face of the fans.

You guys don’t know corrupt leadership. I loved baseball and that bastard and the rest of the owners at the time took it away when Selig led a group of owners to remove Fay Vincent, who found Selig guilty of collusion, basically price-fixing the free-agent market, and in turn, they made Selig acting commissioner while his daughter ran the Brewers. Then six years later, they made him Commissioner.

THAT’S where it came from Douglas. There’s a lot more that that corrupt bastard did, including making sure that socialism reigns with revenue sharing and then removing the lifetime ban on George Steinbrenner so that he could “share” all that unearned revenue with teams like the Brewers.

You know how pissed you are at France? Multiply it by about 50 and you have my feelings toward the baseball hierarchy.

I love the game. I hate the people who run it though.

2012 can’t come fast enough for me.

But heck, I can’t complain.

Ken Smith
10/30/2008 11:50 PM
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What kind of wacky shit is Douglas smoking? Trying to tell us that NA$CAR throws the green as soon as the debris or wreck is cleaned up? They ALWAYS wait until everybody that wants to has pitted before throwing the green once again! Has Douglas ever been to, or even watched a NA$CAR race? What an idiot !!

Ren FS Publisher
10/31/2008 05:27 AM
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Sr. O, While I agree with you about Bud Selig, the rules that apply in the regular season do not apply in the Championship season.

As I understand it, even in regular season, if the game is completed before the next scheduled game, which is kind of hard to do with a game a day, a game can be suspended overnight, even if it’s over five innings. If it’s tied, no matter how many innings have been played, it can be suspended up to the end of the regular season, and played then if it will affect which team make the playoffs.

Can’t stand Selig though. I feel your pain. Got his position through a coup that he led. It’s like having Fidel Castro as Baseball Commissioner.

Actually, I think Fidel respected the game more so maybe not.

Jeff G
10/31/2008 07:25 AM
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Hey Jeff!
Great artical. Be careful though. Brian might buy out Frontstreatch just to stop such good work as yours. Just ask your co-worker Matt M. He has experienced it!!

Keep up the good work Frontstretch staff!!

Douglas
10/31/2008 09:12 AM
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Hey Ken Smith, MAYBE 100+ RACES ACTUALLY ATTENDED! (of the NA$CAR variety, plus many, many more of other racing) HUNDREDS ALL TOLD!

Or more, who counts? None this year though!

Not sure where your coming from on this yellow flag thing! The sequence is always the same! Please pay attention this weekend, the SEQUENCE IS ALWAYS THE SAME!

Yellow comes out, work for whatever begins, and lets say it is simple debris, of which NA$CRAP is famous for, so the yellow flies, the pace car picks up the field, the trucks are dispatched to “look” for the debris and pick it up, so these service trucks make at least a lap, stop to do their work, meanwhile, the pits are now open, the cars make their pit stop, the pace car now has it’s lights turned off, everyone comes out of the pits and lines up, the green flies, generally in three laps or less.

And remember, at tracks like Talladega, a lap under caution takes about 3+ minutes.

I guess I wonder just how many races you attend, or even watch and understand!

NA$CAR does not “wait” until everyone has pitted, they simply do what they need to do and then give the “one-to-go” signal. Who pits and when does not concern NA$CAR!

Gee, sounds like I am sticking up for NA$CAR, well, that’s the way it works anyway, pay close attention this weekend!

My suggestion to you is: this weekend, just watch the sequence of events by NA$CAR when the yellow flies, pay zero attention to the pits, count the laps under yellow, watch the clean up vehicles, and watch when the “one-to-go” is given, that even occurs when a service vehicle is still on the track, hoping it will be safely tucked away by the time the cars come back around. And again, in this case “size matters”, the longer the track, the more time under yellow!

Isn’t education grand?

Ken Smith
10/31/2008 09:33 AM
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Douglas – Watch A race! The yellow waves – a truck is dispatched to pick up a little piece of aluminum – which normally takes less than a lap! The truck returns to the pit area and the green could be thrown at any time. But No – they then call the pits open, and wait another lap while all the lead lap cars pit – then they wait another lap for the laps down cars to pit – then they wait another lap for everybody to get all lined up – and then they give them a one to go – and then they throw the green!

Yes – education is wonderful – Pay attention!!

thomas dalfonzo
10/31/2008 07:53 PM
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This is only my fifth year following NASCAR, and even I know how much of an idiot Brian France is.

Jeff, giving France the axe is the best solution to this problem. It should also serve as a reminder that the title of NASCAR chairman should not be given to just anybody, no matter what your name is or what your family has done.

There is one person that should take over NASCAR: me. I want to take over the sport of NASCAR, and I am very serious about it. I have the best credential to being NASCAR chairman: just being another average NASCAR race fan.

I have also made a huge portfolio of changes to the sport that I feel are the right thing to do. I would do the following:

Throw away the points and base the championship system on winning races.

All drivers will receive $1,000 for every lap lead in a Cup race.

Make the NASCAR Rule Book available to the public.

Go with Hoosier Tires (Good-bye, Goodyear forever.)

Banish Toyota for life. No foreign cars are allowed in NASCAR. In its place will come Pontiac, Buick, Cadillac, Lincoln, Mercury, Saturn, and Chrysler.

Throw away the top 35 in owner points, and make all qualifying sessions 50-lap heat races.

Ban Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon for life.

Move Darlington back to Labor Day weekend.

All current Cup tracks (excluding road courses) will host only one race.

Move the season finale to Bristol (save the best for last).

Reopen Rockingham and North Wilkesboro.

Build a NASCAR series devoted exclusively to road courses.

Give the title sponsor of NASCAR’s top tier to Coca-Cola.

Allow teams to build race cars from production street cars.

Build brand new NASCAR race tracks across the country.

And the biggest change of all…

Somehow, someway, bring back Dale Earnhardt.

If anyone thinks that I should be running NASCAR, give a shout out. I wish there were some way that I could take the sport over right now, because I’m dying and determined to save this sport from oblivion. I can’t wait to kick Brian France out of the big chair and put my butt in it. I would look forward to serving you, the fans, for years to come.

Douglas
11/01/2008 08:36 AM
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We will see! We will see!

RE: the YELLOW flag thingy!

Now on a few of the very short tracks, sometimes they do that, but normally they do not run “extra laps” to let everyone pit!

Brings up an interesting point! Should I, or should I not, try to watch the Sunday parade at Texas! We will see.

then we can continue our “argument”!

Ain’t this fun? And keeps one on top of their game for sure!

Douglas
11/01/2008 08:42 AM
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OH! But then, NA$CAR would have to let everyone pit at the same time, all the time, at every track regardless of size so as not to give the lead lap cars the advantage! Mayhem in the pits at the smaller tracks for sure!

 

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Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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