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Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday June 1, 2005
Without beating around the bush, the Coca-Cola 600 was an utter and total FARCE!
I said it in this week’s ‘Mirror Driving’, and I will say it again here. 22 cautions, at Charlotte is LUDICROUS! If the last week’s race had been at Bristol, I could grasp it. Not at Charlotte.
The previous record of cautions at Charlotte was 14. The previous record for cautions at ANY race was 20, which was done twice at Bristol. It’s not very often that a race actually breaks a caution record for its particular track, but when Charlotte breaks Bristol’s record, something is way out of whack.
Consider this: The longest green flag run last week, in a 600 mile race mind you, was 46 laps! After that the longest was 34!
Why? How has it gotten to this point? Let’s take a look at my questions and theories, and you tell me if I’m wrong, or at least write and explain it to me.
Why was the track ground in the first place? I believe it was indirect pressure from NASCAR. With all the talk about moving dates away from the traditional tracks in the south, including the all-star nonsense, I think LMS and Humpy Wheeler were trying desperately to do anything to make the ‘show’ more ‘exciting’. Or kissing up to the NASCAR brass if you will, in an attempt to keep their dates.
They definitely made the show more exciting. That is, if you get excited about seeing the pace car going round and round with its pretty lights flashing. But what else did they accomplish?
Well, let’s see….more cautions equal more commercial time to fill, so that’s got to amount to a lot of extra bucks. More cautions equal more time for fans in the stands to visit the concession vendors, so they are happy. More trips to the restrooms, so I guess that means more toilet paper, the toilet paper vendor is happy….the list could go on and on.
Keep in mind that Lowe’s Motor Speedway is NOT owned by ISC (NASCAR’s conjoined twin). If it was, I would really be crying foul! But the bottom line is, the longer the race, the more money for NASCAR.
What else was accomplished? Well, they took a great race-track with lots of character, and made it downright dangerous. Who ever complained about the quality of the races at Charlotte anyway? So they made the track faster. That doesn’t make the racing any better. There is a reason you don’t race certain kinds of race-cars on certain tracks; they go too fast for practicality. All we got the last two weeks out of Charlotte was a lot of torn up race-cars. All in the name of making the ‘show’ more ‘exciting’.
No thanks NASCAR! I want RACING! 46 laps the longest under green, what a crock!
Stay off the wall,
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Actually they do have a provision for running in the rain but only at the road courses.
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
Fan Coun-ci-What? Just What Is It That NASCAR Wants To Study?
Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.