The Frontstretch: Top Ten Things I Want To Say About The 2009 NASCAR Season by Jeff Meyer -- Wednesday November 25, 2009

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Top Ten Things I Want To Say About The 2009 NASCAR Season

Jeff Meyer · Wednesday November 25, 2009

 

Author’s note: Since the 2009 season was really just a bad re-run of 2008, I simply modified last season’s “end of the year Top Ten.” As long as there is a Chase and Jimmie keeps winning it, this will probably be a yearly tradition.

10. (2008) Brian France could disappear off the face of the earth tomorrow and no one would notice. Well OK, we would notice because someone with some competence would be running the show. However, this guy has been here five years now and still, every time he speaks or appears in public, you are left with a profound sense of waste. This guy is not bright enough to tie the laces on his loafers. Oh, that’s right, loafers don’t have laces!

(2009) Oh yeah! Thank you Brian for never letting us down! You are doing even better than last year! Just goes to prove that “stupid is forever!”

9. (2008) The ban of testing will not save the teams one bit of money. As it has been pointed out on this site before, the teams that could afford testing will spend it some other (possibly more expensive) way. The teams that couldn’t afford massive testing, well, they ain’t got the money to save anyway and are only hurt further.

(2009) The testing ban was simply replaced by “Goodyear tire tests.” One thing that I have figured out, though: Goodyear’s testing of the new “larger tire” is directly linked to NASCAR’s failing “Drive for Diversity.” It’s not so much that the tire is larger, but that the rims are! By developing a short sidewall tire mounted on really big, shiny rims, NASCAR is hoping to attract more minorities into the garage!

8. (2008) Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. This is either the start of something better than either had by themselves or a massive train wreck waiting to happen. DEI was a once proud and formidable contender in the Cup garage that has become nothing more than an also ran. Chip Ganassi Racing, which never really was anything super special in the series, seems to have a super fast revolving door when it comes to personnel. Me, I’m standing aside and betting on the train wreck.

While the No. 42 didn’t find Victory Lane, there were a lot of reasons (surprisingly) for JPM to smile in 2009.

(2009) OK, so I missed the mark with this one! Ol’ “Juablo” had one heck of a season. I can only surmise that, despite the team name, Teresa is not trying to run this show, and her only involvement is to simply have her last name above the door. Good move, Chip!

7. (2008) Sponsors and NASCAR. If NASCAR truly wanted to help the teams, it would put a freeze on any company becoming the “official” anything of NASCAR. They should direct them instead to various teams that need help. Stop stealing the limited dollars that are out there. NASCAR is _not losing money. They are just not making as big of a profit._

(2009) As sponsors in record numbers continue to divest themselves of all things NASCAR, ISC is selling the acreage they bought in New York. They paid $110 million for it a few years ago and hope to sell it before the end of the year for $80 million. Meanwhile, the die-cast business has gone bankrupt, attendance is way down, and the ratings … well, NASCAR is reportedly happy that now, with the offseason finally here, the downward spiral of the ratings should level off a bit! The state of the sport is marvelous!

6. (2008) Kyle Busch. What a year! All I will say about Kyle is thank God for Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus!

(2009) Had Kyle even made the Chase this year, it would have made JJ’s fourth title even more special. As it was, it was still fun to see the meltdown of Kyle that allowed him to focus on winning his first championship in the minor leagues!

5. (2008) Regan Smith got screwed! I still say Smith was forced below the yellow line by Tony Stewart at Talladega, robbing him of his first victory. If that weren’t enough, Smith is named Rookie of the Year for 2008 and still has no set car to drive in ’09! Here’s hoping his current contract allowed him to keep all the prize monies for the ROY award. At least he won’t go hungry.

(2009) The drama of ‘Dega didn’t involve yellow lines this year, but rather fences and physics! What goes up must come down, as the “wing” has proven. But not to worry, ISC had stronger, taller fences installed so all should be OK. Does that mean NASCAR plans to increase the size of the wing? Wouldn’t surprise me a bit! As for Regan Smith … he did manage to run 18 races and won just over a million in prize money this year, so he’s doing better than me!

4. (2008) My “Best T-Shirt I’ve Seen at a Race” Award goes out to an unknown fan at the Nationwide race in St. Louis. It simply read “Kyle Busch Sucks!” This guy got more cheers than Kyle gets boos every time he came back to the stands with a beverage!

(2009) While waiting in line to pee at the Vegas race this spring, I did see a guy with “Jeff Gordon Sucks” on the front of his shirt. The back? “Jimmie Johnson Swallows.” I don’t know if that is worthy of any award, but the guy did seem to enjoy being the center of a lot of attention and posed for many a photograph!

3. (2008) Jimmie Johnson is no Cale Yarborough. Yes, JJ and Chad are very good and there is no denying what they have done. However, when a sport has changed the point system as drastically as NASCAR has, it’s like saying the ’07 Patriots were better than the ’72 Dolphins simply because they won more games!

(2009) OK, I still stand by statement, but now that Jimmie has four Cups, I actually feel a bit sorry for him. While NASCAR wants you to believe that his feat is the greatest thing to ever, ever happen in the history of all sports, those that really know anything about racing really do look at it with an asterisk. The playoff format has altered the overall approach to racing so much that we will never know how good Jimmie really is. But we do know that the No. 48 team has this system down pat, and essentially uses the first 26 races as a way to beat the testing ban!

2. (2008) Thank you, Dale Jarrett for being my NASCAR hero for all those years. If you thought Tony Stewart got a bit teary eyed last Sunday, you should have seen me during the spring Bristol race!

(2009) Of all the folks that do any broadcasting of the races throughout the year over the various networks, I have to say that Jarrett and Andy Petree are by far the least annoying. Neither have a tendency to say foolish things or act goofy. Unfortunately, we did lose the great Bill Weber from the booth halfway through the year. (That is heavy sarcasm, for those of you that are a fan of it!)

1. (2008) The best thing about the whole 2008 season? Meeting a very special and beautiful Canadian nurse whose favorite driver is the same as mine! At least that will cut down on future arguments on Sunday afternoon as to whose driver is best! Thank you, NASCAR!

(2009) That pretty nurse? Yeah, we’re still an item! After attending several races together at various venues, she still seems to like me … except when I snore. Then, she hits! Overall, a small price to pay for a partner that enjoys the same stuff that you do!

Also, a HUGE THANK YOU must go out to all the faithful readers of the Top Ten! Whether you agreed with my lists this last year or not, you kept on coming back. I hope it has been entertaining. Thank you very much!

Contact Jeff Meyer

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Fred
11/25/2009 04:36 AM
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The #1 quote of the year has to be by Darian Grubb talking to Stewart during the ‘Dega race…“I saw someone up in the stands with a sign saying that they are selling No-Doze.”

I’m still laughing at that almost a month later. :)

Dans Mom
11/25/2009 07:34 AM
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Heads up who would win the ’72 dolphins or the ’07 Patriots? My money is on the ’07 Patriots.

Jimmie Johnson would take Cale Yarborough in a heartbeat. The cars are faster, the technology is better and the chase is harder.

It kills me that the “die hard” fans of the sport hate change, hate the incoming new fans, and hate the expanded TV coverage and exposure of the sport. Sure NASCAR is steeped in tradition – but you can not be selfish about it.

It’s as is the older fans want to hold on to what they HAD and not let anyone else in. “NASCAR is for the south, NASCAR is for Stock Cars, NASCAR championships are 36 races long”.

Actually they aren’t. Like all buiness models NASCAR has expanded internationally, tinkered with it’s product to appeal to a larger crowd, and shortened it’s required time commitment to match the ever shrinking attention span of the american consumer.

So for all you die hards that won’t be back next year. Enjoy your land-line rotary phones and dial-up internet. The rest of us will adapt to an ever changing world.

Maybe someday NASCAR teams will learn to adapt as well and use the first 26 races as a test for the CHASE. Seems to be working for someone. For 4 years the 48 team has their car dialed in when it counts, while everyone else is “tick tick tick tick ticking” their rotary phone.

“Operator… give me the dairy farm”

Animaniac
11/25/2009 07:37 AM
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Anyone else remeber that show Animaniacs?

HELLLOOOOOOO NURSE!”

The TunDOWN!!!
11/25/2009 08:11 AM
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NA&CAR should be banned!?!?!

The Turnip!
11/25/2009 08:14 AM
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Hey Jeff, thanks, a great top ten (10), but as we all know with NA$CRAP, there are literally hundreds of items that could make the top ten list.

But why continue to pick on the “colorful” character called KYLE BUSCH? What would the year have been without him and his attitude???

BORING!

Even more so than it was! I like the guy, he is different! And creates a real emotional scene most of the time! You go Kyle! (or maybe you find another Kyle exciting, as in Kyle Petty). Talk about bland!

Now, to say that Juan Pablum had one “heck of a season” is a bit of a stretch! You dislike Kyle, but he is a WINNER!

While Juan Pablum WON NOTHING!

HUH?

And DEI? Didn’t Teresa do the right thing in merging to “right-the-ship”? After all, the grandstander, no-good, step-son wasn’t about to help out!

And, your observation “ By developing a short sidewall tire mounted on really big, shiny rims, NASCAR is hoping to attract more minorities into the garage”!

You could have taken this a step further, not only do thye have nice shiny wheels, low profile tires, but they go “porpoising” down the track just like a LOW-RIDER!

The POS/COT should be where it belongs, in the parking lot giving demonstrations!

And certainly last but not least, big thanks for keeping us entertained throughout the year!

Hope the creative juices flow next year as they did this year, although your going to have the same stuff to work with!

How sad is that?

Cheers!

The Turnip!
11/25/2009 08:57 AM
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And for Dans Mom, HUH?

Lets see, so you think “The Chase” is a “good change”?

So you think the POS, is a “good change?

So you think King Brain Farce is “in the groove”? (as far as running an organization)

Please, please, remember, there are “good changes”, and there are “bad changes”, and in the NA$CRAP realm, there are “STUPID CHANGES”!

So yes, I a VERY PROUD I have not accepted, nor will accept, ANY of the above mentioned changes, NOT WHEN IT COMES TO MY MONEY ANYWAY!

And, to continue my diatribe, your “Maybe someday NASCAR teams will learn to adapt as well and use the first 26 races as a test for the CHASE. Seems to be working for someone. For 4 years the 48 team has their car dialed in when it counts, while everyone else is “tick tick tick tick ticking” their rotary phone”!

Why do I get the idea you simply either don’t pay attention, don’t think, or really don’t understand???

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!

The Hendrick organization has way over 100 Engineers employed to go over every part, every rule, every simple little thing to help their cars go that little bit faster. Gee, one could say that for every HUNDREDTH of a second gained on the race track, Hendrick spent $20million! (Jr. & the 88 excepted of course, after all it does take a driver of some talent to be able to use the HUNDREDTH of a second)!

What other teams have the $$$$$ to spend circumventing the “no-testing” ban? As has been stated almost every week, even though on-track testing is banned, testing, at even greater expense has been continued, just in a different way! (even in the column above, #9)

Money, in this case, talks!

And what? A land line telephone? Never heard of such a thing, we at the house still use two
(2) tin cans and a string! In our case, one string, between the house and the barn is about 100yds long, kinda tough to talk when the wind is blowing!

Now, what’s this “land line” your talking about?

And, I would glady relinquish my nick name to you “The Turnip”, because it seems you have accepted blindly and dumbly what King Brian has told you!

Or you could call yourself, THE RUTABAGA!

Dang, I would be hard pressed and ready for the asylum if I accepted ANY of the changes made in NA$CRAP over the past 5 or so years!

Whoops, gotta run, the PONY EXPRESS Rider just rode in, got a letter to mail!

Walt B
11/25/2009 09:04 AM
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Jimmy would take Cale? The racing is harder? Are we sure Dan’s Mom is really not Brian’s Mom

Johnboy60
11/25/2009 09:14 AM
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Turnip, Dans Mom has to be one of the “new” fans that uses Sunday’s to smoke their funny cigs. and see, though blurry, the race in brian farce’s eyes. I can only guess they have the same supplier. to debate her logic is silly as she has no logic and no “past history” to judge today’s POS cars!!

JohnP
11/25/2009 09:14 AM
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Fun top 10 list actually..

I’ve heard about the new “larger” tire for half a season. If the info here is correct, they arn’t larger. Just a low profile sidewall style. That will actually send more fans away in the long (short maybe) run.

I’ve got to agree with Turnip though. I started out thinking Kyle Bush is an ass. Well, he most likely is. I didn’t like him. However I’ve grown to respect the guy. When he wins and bows to booing fans tickles me a lot. It’s like a finger in the eye and he seems to enjoy it. He seems to be the only driver that actually likes to be disliked. Just like Earnheart Sr and Darrell Waltrip. The fans NEED a bad guy in Nascar. Bush fills that void. I’m not a fan of Bush, don’t get me wrong, but Nascar is full of “company” line drivers and pretty boys. Kyle is a refreshing break of the “cookie cutter driver”. And that’s coming from a Tony Stewart fan.

JohnP
11/25/2009 09:41 AM
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@ DansMom

You need to explain a horrible overnight TV Neslon rating for Homestead of 3.2

At one time it was over 6

And while your at it, also come up with a reason there are so many empty seats at the tracks. I waited for a couple years to get good tickets to the Dover race. Now they have advertising banners stretched across thousands of empty seats.

So, what is your answer other then age bias?

JohnP
11/25/2009 10:05 AM
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@ DansMom

“Maybe someday NASCAR teams will learn to adapt as well and use the first 26 races as a test for the CHASE. Seems to be working for someone.”

You got one thing right DansMom.

This is the reason for the fall of Nascar.

I’ve said it where ever I’ve been able to, as have a lot of other fans.

Who will pay big bucks to attend, or spend an afternoon watching 26 weeks of testing?

Sorry for posting 3 times in a row. Guess I just like real Nascar racing and love the sport in general.

Since the start of The Chase TV viewership has declined almost 50%.

It’s just so sad to see KoolAid France in action

Ken
11/25/2009 10:07 AM
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I’ve been around a while. I remember exactly where I was as I listened to the radio when Fireball Roberts was killed. Generic drivers driving generic cars on generic cars is not what interests me or many other old time fans. They abandoned tracks with a personality and neutered Bristol. They took away the race cars and replaced them with IROC cars. They took the drivers and changed them to corporate clones.

It’s NOT the economy stupid. A bad economy would increase the TV audience. People would stay home and watch the race on TV rather than going out and spend money. If you can’t attract fans for free, how can you expect to attract fans if they have to pay money to attend the races?

dans mom
11/25/2009 10:34 AM
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Turnip…
Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. My commodore 64 doesn’t load up my dial-up internet fast enough. I did however use my dot matrix printer to print out a response to your post. You’ll recieve it in the mail in 3-5 buisness days.

dans mom
11/25/2009 10:57 AM
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Dominance has been a part of the sport for years. Petty won over 200 races, do you think he accomplished that on a small bank roll? When changes are made – you have to adapt.

Jeff Gordon won a large portion of his races because he was the first to take a fast pit crew and use them to his advantage. What happened… now everyone trains pit crews and hires the best people around. Tire changers can’t be engineers who have nothing else to do on race day. They have to be perfect everytime.

As for the declining attendance. Sometimes you have to prune before you grow. The NASCAR you all keep descibing is the NASCAR of yesteryear, which in your minds is wonderful. But really, go back and watch races from 20-30 years ago. It’s not any better than it is today. The sport is more competative now than ever, the coverage is broader, and now it’s in High Def.

The bottom line is that NASCAR from 20 years ago is gone forever. The Chase is here and it defines the Champion. The COT is here and it is what the drivers race. The mile and a half tracks dominate the schedule – so make that the #1 priority in your research.

There will always be teams with more money than others. Petty, Childress, currently Hendrick – who’s next? With that, the rich get richer and everyone else has to adapt to find an advantage.

There is plenty going on in today’s NASCAR (or just plain NASCAR for short). If you don’t like it why do you watch? Why post on these columns? Why waste time in it?

Mark
11/25/2009 11:51 AM
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Now we have Jeff Gordon winning lots of races by being the first to use a fast pit crew to his advantage ? One more time people , NASCAR has been around far longer than the 1990s . Making use of faster pit crews ? How about the Wood Brothers in the 1960s , how about the Childress crew winning the fastest pit crew competition almost every year in the 1980s . In spite of what the NASCAR and Hendrick PR departments are trying to brainwash us with , there was racing before Gordon and Johnson . Much better racing . In fact , the best driver Hendrick ever had was Tim Richmond .

The fact that Montoya is running so well might mean that Teresa does in fact control that particular team . Its not as though any of Chips teams have ever done much in CUP racing . Teresas’teams sure have over the years . Maybe the one who just happens to have his name over the door is Chip .

JohnP
11/25/2009 11:53 AM
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Ken said:

“It’s NOT the economy stupid. A bad economy would increase the TV audience. People would stay home and watch the race on TV rather than going out and spend money. If you can’t attract fans for free, how can you expect to attract fans if they have to pay money to attend the races?”

Well said Ken. Tv is free, if they can’t attract fans there, they can’t attract fans anywhere.

@ DansMom:
Pruning down is good for scrubs and flowers.

However, in the grown up world sponsor money is dictated to Nascar and all the individual teams based on track attendance and TV viewership.

That attendance and TV viewership is way down.

That’s the near future for the teams. That’s why there merging.

Nascar employees can stick there head in the mud. But eventually they will drown if they don’t pull it out of the mud.

By the way DansMom. You could make a much better argument without the insults because some of what you say is true. But your insults ruin your posts.

The Turnip!
11/25/2009 05:38 PM
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Gee, can I be crass enough to say THANK YOU to all those posters here that support, or kinda support, my response to “Dans Mom”! (wouldn’t you hate to be Dan?)

Me also thinks the “elevator does not go all the way up” on that one!

Example from Dans Mom: “The sport is more competative now than ever, the coverage is broader, and now it’s in High Def.”

So, the sport is more competitive (per Dans Mom), BECAUSE it is broadcast in HD?

How funny is that comment?

And this one “As for the declining attendance. Sometimes you have to prune before you grow.”

PRUNING”? The fans not showing up is called “pruning”?

HOLY CRAP!

And this one: “With that, the rich get richer and everyone else has to adapt to find an advantage.”

“and everyone else has to adapt”?

What in the hell does that mean? that the other teams need to go rob a bank? Or become a criminal just like Rick Hendrick?

“Adapt”?

People, I’m getting sick! very sick!

Can hardly wait for this response!

Or maybe Dans Mom should give me the name of the supplier her and King Brain Farce uses, has to be the same one, they are both in the very same LaLa land!

And finally, sorry it took so long to respond, but the chisel I use to inscribe these words in the rock is getting dull!

Bad Wolf
11/25/2009 06:56 PM
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I remember when Open Wheel was brought out of the stone age in the mid ’90s, then turned into a spec series and pruned for future growth. Look how good that turned out. It used to be when I attended the Indy 500 pre ’96 that the stands were filled to capacity and to get tickets you had to renew within a week of the race or be on a waiting list. Now they are as easy to get as a ticket to California.

I’m starting to think that some posters (or should I say Pousers) here and elsewhere are on the payroll of Nascar and it is their job to engage in damage control.

mkrcr
11/25/2009 08:23 PM
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@Dans Mom “Like all buiness models NASCAR has expanded internationally, tinkered with it’s product to appeal to a larger crowd, and shortened it’s required time commitment to match the ever shrinking attention span of the american consume”
They did far more than “tinker” with their product. The broad sword changes made, in hopes of attracting short sighted fans like you, is just the tip of said sword. You come in after watching the “Brian France Show” and have the audacity to attack longtime, diehard fans who’ve had more loyalty to this sport than you’ll ever have. The blessing is that you probably fit right in to that short attention span demo and you’ll be gone, long before us old fans actually abandon this sport. You see there’s a concept that you, and others like you, fail to understand. Most of the fans that post here have actually been involved in the sport. Whether it be at the track or on the track,as a diehard in the stands or busting wrenches in the pits. We LOVE this sport and are justified in our criticism. We’ve been there and done that and paid our dues. Where’s your F’in check?

jaymatt
11/26/2009 01:02 AM
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To Turnip & all the others who show dans mom to be the fool she is—right on & a big thanks. I had a lot to say about this latest crazy post of hers, but you all beat me to it.

Who’s payroll is she on, NASCAR’s, Hendrick’s, or both?

The Turnip!
11/26/2009 08:49 AM
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Well, here it is Thanksgiving Morning, all quiet here in the country, and by the way HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all, and just doing some details here.

So, with some gleeful joy, I would just love to again provide a quote from our favorite NA$CRAP employee, Dans Mom, so here it is, please sit down when you read this, and also please don’t have a mouthfull of food!

Quote (from Dans Mom): “The Chase is here and it defines the Champion.”

INCREDIBLE!

SIMPLY, FRIGGIN INCREDIBLE!

What an absolute AWESOME statement!

Now I am beginning to wonder how old “Dan” is and maybe he needs some help!

Or better yet, I thought all the turkeys were in the oven!

JohnP
11/26/2009 12:57 PM
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To all above:

DansMom is clearly a poser. She knows nothing of the sport, the history of the sport, or the fans of the sport.

Jeff Myer quote, The Author:

10. (2008) Brian France could disappear off the face of the earth tomorrow and no one would notice. Well OK, we would notice because someone with some competence would be running the show. However, this guy has been here five years now and still, every time he speaks or appears in public, you are left with a profound sense of waste. This guy is not bright enough to tie the laces on his loafers. Oh, that’s right, loafers don’t have laces!

(2009) Oh yeah! Thank you Brian for never letting us down! You are doing even better than last year! Just goes to prove that “stupid is forever!”

Gotta love it, man, that could of been #1 as far as this long time fan is concerned. There is a popular quote in this area. Three generations, and it’s over. Can I say, Brian France is over. Please sell Nascar and have someone with an ounce of intellegence buy it. Burton Smith comes to mind.

O

Cons 5
11/26/2009 04:11 PM
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A military friend of mine has a good saying that really applies to Brian France. He is someone that is truly “a pitiful waste of rations”

The Turnip!
11/27/2009 08:44 AM
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Hey Bad Wolf, as regards the IRL!

My candid thoughts about the IRL vs. CHAMP CAR, or whatever it might have been called.

Overall, the creation of the IRL is/was the best thing to ever happen to open wheel racing. Lets examine why I think this way:

1. CHAMP CAR (CC) was going no where! It was NOT exciting, it was not competitive.

2. It had a couple of owners who “ruled the roost”, and the CC series was their little play toy.

3. Car counts were at their lowest with CC! Race dates were dwindling!

4. Then came along the IRL! A gutsy move!

5. Then along came their “SPEC CAR”! Another gutsy, but effective move!

6. Today, there are more and more race dates on the IRL calendar.

7. Today the IRL has some of the most exciting wheel to wheel racing your heart can stand!

Now, lets look at the total of the individual pieces of the IRL! A competitive car. A “spec” car! That provides really good, if not GREAT racing!

Stop and think, whether you are a supporter of the IRL or not, they designed & developed, and put on the race track, a “spec” car, that is a REAL RACE CAR!

It can be adjusted, the smaller teams can run with the bigger teams, the racing is “self-leveling”, meaning each teams resources dictate overall performance levels. But with a very few exceptions, most cars are on the same lap, each and every race, a very few exceptions. (Milka Duno excepted, where did she come from?)

The IRL car, is a REAL RACE CAR! It can be totally adjusted, it handles very well, it is competitive, and when the IRL has a specific issue at a race track, such as “single file racing”, which they did at one track, the IRL makes an IMMEDIATE change to the car, a simple change to the car, to allow and promote GOOD SOLID wheel to wheel racing!

Being a REAL RACE CAR, the IRL car has ZERO TIRE ISSUES! Not like the POS that due to it’s design simply will not allow a tire to go the distance! Thus each and every race’s outcome is dependent on how long an individual tire lasts! EVERY RACE!

Why in the hell couldn’t big bucks NA$CRAP design and implememnt a similar design vehicle, and why does NA$CRAP refuse to acknowledge that the car, the illustrious POS, needs changes!

I give the IRL, and Tony George full credit for doing something, the right thing in this case, and love the IRL!

The Turnip!
11/27/2009 08:48 AM
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Oh, lest I forget, I am NOT a fan of “spec car racing”, such as the IROC SERIES we compare the POS with.

But if it has to be, then the IRL has to be the “model” for running a spec car series!

NA$CRAP take note please!

Bad Wolf
11/27/2009 01:03 PM
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Turnip, you’re 100% correct about the IRL, and I was a huge fan of Tony George starting it just for the fact I enjoy oval racing more than road races. The one thing I really miss is the Ford vs Chevy vs Buick vs Mercedes battles we had back in the early ’90s.

The IRL now has the best racing out there, but they will not gain ratings by being on the Versus channel, and the pure spec series aspect does hurt the viewership because the average viewer wants to be able to relate to what is on the track. I watch all the IRL races I can, but will not upgrade my Dish network just to get the Versus channel.

The sad thing is the whole open wheel split could have been avoided if cooler heads would have prevailed. It’s been a long time ago but I seem to remember Tony George and others wanted to make some changes to CART, adding more ovals, lowering cost etc. but the entrenched beaurocracy would have none of it and they failed to realize how big Tony’s track figured into their series. Long story short the series was split and decades of growth and recognition were tossed in the trash. The late ’80s to mid ’90s were the glory years with the manufacturers battles between the different engine makes and drivers that were household names with real personalities. The old gaurd like Big Al, Rick Mears, Mario, Gordon Johncock and AJ were closing in on retirement and passing the baton to the likes of Arie Luyendyk, Little Al, Micheal Andretti and Emo Fittapaldi. Who cannot forget the end of Indy in ’89, with Emo taking out Little Al coming out of turn 3?

I’m fine with the IRL, and they have great racing, but I would love to see the manufactures getting back into it by way of engine packages. I would also love to see Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Robby Gordon go to the IRL. If the IRL was smart they would do whatever was needed to get some of the big names into their series, and with the way Nascar is going I could see it happening if the money was right.

Back in ’96 I wanted to go to Indy, but the others in my group out voted me and we went to the Innagural US 500 in Michigan instead. Sitting in the parking lot before the race everybody had their car radios tuned to the Indy 500, and cheers would erupt everytime there was a crash at Indy, and the popular refrain was that the real drivers were in Michigan. Well, imagine the horror when all the real drivers at the US 500 took each other out on the Charade Lap coming out of turn 4 before getting the green flag. I swear it was just like in the movies with everything in slow motion and dead silent in the stands. Over the scanners we heard someone in the booth proclaim “ I can’t believe it, God really does love Tony George”

This is the race where Greg Moore did a 360 spin at speed on the backstretch, then calmly came over the radio and said he may need a new set of drawers.

The IRL now is where Nascar was in the ’70s coverage wise, and they need to get their races where they are more widely accessable to the fans. I am one of the cool people who are on the IRL bandwagon and hope it can grow in a positive way, and think it is poised for growth if done right.

The Turnip!
11/27/2009 04:36 PM
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Hey Bad Wolf, darn, I plumb forgot about the now infamous US 500 at MIS!

I remember vividly hating that event and what it thought it stood for!

And living then, or at least working in the Detroit area at the time, a friend of a friend hosted a racing program on a Detroit Radio station. Listening one night, they had on the gal that was promoting the US 500, and it was a call-in show!

Well, didn’t take me long to call in, and I actually got on the program, she kept saying that, among other things, they expected a “full field” of cars!

So I asked her what a “full field” of cars would be, she said 18 (or so)!

I of course said “WHAT”?

And diligently explained that with their new format of starting, i.e. 3 wide, a “full field” would be 33 cars!

Needless to say she had no response, and cut to commercial, I was able to still stay on as a call in guest, they changed the subject, not sure what to anymore, but I also destroyed that statement! Actually I think she used the word “sellout” or something like that! Anyway, a testy exchange she had no answers for, and after a series of commercials I was cut loose. I told my friend about this, he called his buddy, the host, and both got a good chuckle as I seemed to have really put her on the spot about her knowledge of racing.

Anyway, yeh, the IRL is maybe not the most ideal series! But, and I have stated this before, there has been some racing on TV on the high speed tracks that almost gave me a heart attack they race so close.

And I attended the last race at MIS where Dario got airborne, and low and behold, after being upside down, in the air, with Kanaan going underneath him, he walked away, GEE, he was not in the COT! Amazing!

I like your memory about the start of the US 500, almost forgot that part, the pile up BEFORE the start!

Well, frankly, I never miss at least May practice at the SPEEDWAY, the sound of the cars at speed, coming down the straight, diving into turn one WITHOUT LIFTING!

I get goose bumps just thinking about it!

And neither here nor there about the IRL, but my fondest memory if ?INDY is Jimmy Clark! In the Lotus Ford! was there my friend, was there! (of course I am Scottish of heritage, so Jimmie was my favorite), over and above even Jackie Stewart who is an old family friend.

Don’t we wish NA$CRAP was so exciting?

 

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