Nashville Sings a Nice NASCAR Tune · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday April 19, 2006
Q: I thought the Busch race went really well in Nashville this week. It’s weird to see a concrete track that big. Why do you think NASCAR doesn’t run the Cup cars there? Is it because the place doesn’t seat enough? KnightAlumni
A: Their owners don’t have enough clout, basically. Nashville Superspeedway is owned by the same people who own Dover (plus Memphis Motorsports Park and Gateway International Raceway). There has been talk about Dover dropping one of its dates and moving it to Nashville, but that’s just talk at the moment. Nashville has several things going for it "" the design of the speedway is unique, you’re 30 minutes away from Music Row, and it has quite possibly one of the best entry/egress plans of any facility (the state of Tennessee built a multi-lane connector from the speedway to Tennessee Route 840, which is basically an Interstate without the name). However, it has a lot working against it, too. The speedway is built in a rural area away from the majority of the metro area population (which has put a crimp in the crowd sizes), and there aren’t nearly enough grandstands for a full Cup crowd.
But if NASCAR gave it a date, the people would come and the owners would make sure they all had a place to sit. The problem is, NASCAR thinks the track is too close to Bristol, Atlanta, and Talladega, and with Kentucky probably about to wrench a date away from another track in the near future, Nashville is much unloved by the Cup brass. It’s sad, too "" anyone who went to the national Ford Mustang gathering held there recently can attest to how well the place lends itself to motorsports events.
Q: Why does NASCAR treat Robby Gordon like a red-headed stepchild? Debris my rosey red (deleted). Do they have one guy devoted solely to screwing Robby over, or a whole six-man crew? herb willett
A: I suspect it’s because Robby hasn’t conformed enough for their liking. I personally happen to like guys that go a little sideways sometimes. They make racing more interesting, even when they’re truly being nincompoops. Gordon’s helmet pitch in 2005 put NASCAR on every sports highlight reel for a solid week. Maybe that’s what NASCAR is thinking this time around "" get Robby riled up, let him pitch a fit, and use the resulting highlights in that week’s ad campaign. As for debris cautions, move over a seat…this section of the choir is full already. If the debris isn’t big enough to tell what it is without using a sniper scope, leave it on the track and stay green.
Q: (On Kurt Busch): I liked what Harvick said in one of his press conferences: "Looks like Kurt has forgotten the punch from Spencer a few years back." Some of the veterans in the garage should step up and talk to him. Rajeev Jaswal
A: Well, one or two more "slip-ups," and I suspect someone in the garage is going to use Busch to bring out a caution.
Q: I’d like to point out to Fox that a race starts when the green flag is waved. I’m tired of getting a caution and then coming back in the middle of the second lap past green. Do they not realize a lot of the good stuff happens on restarts and on the first lap after a restart? Where can we complain about this? ZAPman
A: Remember how all Web sites used to have the "Contact Us" option in their menu bar, like this site has? For some reason, a lot of the big sites have started taking that option away "" like FoxSports.com. Hmm. I went over there to try to find someone for you to gripe to, and I consider myself pretty web-savvy, but I couldn’t find a "Contact Us" button. About as close as I could come was to find Larry McReynolds’ column, along with a way to ask him questions directly. But Larry doesn’t have any control over it and I don’t want our readers to flood Larry with this question, and then have him wonder to himself for a month how he all of a sudden became the de facto FoxSports.com webmaster.
I leave you with the inimitable Peter Finch, as Howard Beale from the movie Network: "I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "˜I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’"
Q: Please tell me I won’t have to see those Kasey Kahne commercials anymore with the girls mouthing "Kasey! Kasey!" right before they back into the sign. Please. Sick of Number Nine
A: I would tell you that, but they don’t let me tell lies around here.
Have a question or comment for Jess, or just want to tell him how much you love that special Allstate commercial? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and you might be in this very column next week!
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