The Frontstretch: Week 2 At Auto Club Speedway... Like It Never Even Happened by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday February 26, 2009

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Week 2 At Auto Club Speedway... Like It Never Even Happened

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday February 26, 2009


Everyone is talking about how boring the events (well the racing ones, anyway) are at California’s Auto Club Speedway; and quite frankly, I would have to agree. Of all the tracks that the Series races at, ACS is the last place I would ever visit… or even want to. Oh sure, I might go to one – if I were walking down the street in L.A., glanced down, and found a free ticket lying on the ground – but that would be the only way. Oddly enough, I will be in L.A. shortly after the Vegas race, and I could see that happening – an unused ticket from a week and a half ago, lying on the ground in the middle of the street. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

But what is the point of NASCAR going to California in the first place? During the whole offseason, the sport is getting everyone pumped for Daytona and the new season. Optimism among fans — even cynical ones such as myself — is high. Time to hear the roar of the engines again! Daytona is usually exciting, and then…and then… there’s Auto Club Speedway to kill your buzz.

But just when you think it’s not going to get any worse … it does. Not only is a race at ACS like kissing your sister; but now, we got to kiss her again during the Chase! Who thinks this crap up?

Here is a novel idea for NASCAR; if you really want to save the teams money because you think they are too stupid to manage themselves, how about shortening the season to 35 races! Simply remove one of the California dates. Don’t reassign it to another track (Lord knows they’d screw that up even more) but simply do away with it! Presto! The teams save millions, the fans are spared, and everyone is happy.

Things were so bad that the biggest news all weekend to come out of ACS is… that there is no news! To be honest, toward the end there, when it started raining, I secretly hoped it would pour like a cow pissing on a flat rock, just to see how NASCAR would handle it! But unfortunately, that was not to be. Oh, well; at least Kenseth got to actually race for a win this week.

Hey Matt, I couldn’t run roughshod over this field. Can I stay in Victory Lane with you?

And then, there was all this Kyle Busch hype! OMG! Kyle became the first boy in NASCAR history to win a Truck race and a Nationwide race on the same day! And what did he prove…? We saw last week how he reacts when he doesn’t win, even after putting on a great show. Like I said yesterday in Mirror Driving …the Truck and Nationwide Series are ExtendZe for Kyle’s ego. It’s like David Poole auditioning for a writing spot here on! (We have openings, by the way!) If some other Truck Series or Nationwide regular had done it, then it would be noteworthy; but honestly, if Kyle didn’t have the best stuff and was not winning — say, a continual backmarker — he wouldn’t be pulling double duty. You know it… and I know it.

Finally, in other NASCAR news this weekend…

The final television ratings for the race at ACS were a raving success! Believe it or not, this last week’s race was, and I quote, “the top-rated, most-watched sports event of the week, and was one of the highest-rated prime time programs among several popular demographic categories, including adults 18-49. According to Nielsen Media Research, the race posted a 6.0/10 national household rating/share, with 10.2 million viewers watching, by far the highest-rated and most-watched sports event of the week.”

And just what did NASCAR beat by a margin almost as big as Kyle’s win over Todd Bodine in the Truck race? The final round of the Northern Trust Open! Yup, that’s right… golf! Brian France, like Kyle, must be proud! (And I’m a golfer!)

Just one more whack on this deceased equine before I go… what is up with the demographic of “adults 18-49?” That’s a pretty safe category, isn’t it? Don’t they usually break stuff like that down a lot further? I mean, c’mon… isn’t “adults 18-49” pretty much all-inclusive of the “several popular demographic categories?” Oh yeah, there is that “Digger demographic;” you know, the one that includes kids 1-12! I bet they did pretty good there, too!

As the final kicker to show what a newsworthy race the Fontana debacle has become, here is a headline from an ESPN story that came out this week…

HMS (Hendrick Motorsports): Engines blew due to bad parts.”

In direct opposition from perfectly good parts, I suppose! Imagine that!

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

Kevin in SoCal
02/26/2009 01:55 AM

Geezus frickin’ criminy. Cant you guys think up anything better to write about than how bad the Fontana track is? Give it a rest already. That horse is so dead and so beaten the flies have given up and gone home.

02/26/2009 02:07 AM

That was an article?!? I guess FS really is short on staff.

M. B. Voelker
02/26/2009 08:02 AM

Good grief.

Frontstretch editorial policy — when you can’t find a real story to write about whine about how horrible Nascar is. And don’t forget to throw a few cheap shots at Kyle Busch.

Its not even worth the usual spiel about putting your money where your mouth is and starting a better series is you really think Nascar so horrible.

Your mother needs to apply a wooden spoon where it would do some good because you’re acting like my 3yo does when the laws of physics won’t obey his every whim.

Annie Mack
02/26/2009 08:36 AM

I liked it, Jeff. I realize that there are fans who actually think Nascar is doing a good job, but they truly are in the minority. Why do we still watch if the racing is so bad? Because we have that deep-down burning hope that the France family will actually watch one of their races and see just how boring it is! You see, once you walk away from the sport the odds are you won’t go back because there are so many other things out there to occupy your interests. So we all meander around the edges and watch the last 1/2 hour of races and keep informed through outlets like The Frontstretch just in case something good happens (like Kyle Busch DOES go Formula 1 <fingers crossed> or Digger ends up as roadkill) and we can again look forward to 1pm on Sunday. Until then we will continue to gripe. After years of spending our hard-earned dollars and the precious hours of our lives on Nascar, we have earned the right to grumble and growl. Kevin in SoCal—I’d love to read an article you write on how great the racing is at Fontana. Perhaps we missed something that your smog-filled eyes were able to see.

02/26/2009 09:03 AM

Wow, what a jerk. Your comment that “Matt Kenseth actually got to race for a win.” was cheap and low class. I don’t think some magical power just reached down and put his car in the lead when the rain started.

Don’t like Kyle Busch? A lot of people don’t but there’s no denying his talent.

What if another driver, say one with a lot of popularity, had won two races in one day? I’ll bet you would have been on the “how wonderful he is” bandwagon.

I do agree that ACS needs to lose one of its two dates. In fact, it would be OK with me if that track lost two dates and we put Rockingham and North Wilkesboro back on the schedule.

02/26/2009 12:12 PM

Entertaining piece, thanks! Entertaining….

Kevin in SoCal
02/26/2009 12:32 PM

Annie: I dont think the racing is the best on the circuit, or even in the top half. I just think its better than the fans and the writers give it credit for. But I guess I’m just easily entertained, as all I care about is watching 43 cars on any racetrack. A race is a race, to me. Plus the track is the closest to me and the closest to Los Angeles, and I want to keep one date there.

02/26/2009 05:56 PM

Kevin, save some money and go to Phoenix. You’ll never go back to Fontana again.

Kevin in SoCal
02/27/2009 01:39 AM

Someone on another board said Phoenix sucks too and deserves to lose a date. I guess he was mad because Phoenix was part of the shuffle that saw Texas and California get two dates while Rockingham lost both theirs and Darlington lost one.

Lunar Tunes
02/28/2009 01:08 AM

I think the first three comments prove the whole point of the article!


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

Voices From The Cheap Seats: The Tale Of Two Tires
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
BSNews! NASCAR CEO Given "Special" Award Amidst Lavish Fanfare
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Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.