The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Auto Club 500 by Matt McLaughlin -- Monday February 23, 2009

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Auto Club 500

Matt McLaughlin · Monday February 23, 2009


The Key Moment: Matt Kenseth’s crew was flawless all night, getting him off pit road first on the final sequence of pit stops. Despite Kenseth’s initial Charlie Brown-like resignation over the radio, he was able to hold off the No. 24 car.

In a Nutshell: With all due apologies to Albert Hammond, “It never rains in Southern California, but boy don’t they warn you, that it bores, that it bores…”

Dramatic Moment: For the last twenty laps, Jeff Gordon kept Matt Kenseth honest, but he apparently licked all the red off his candy too early in the run.

What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week

People complain about Pocono all the time, but if there’s any race that needs to be shortened from 500 miles to 300 miles, especially given the starting time, this is it.

Yes, I’m going to beat the same old dead horse one more time. It’s tough to take that we gave up Rockingham for this sorry excuse of a race track. What’s really galling is NASCAR officials said Rockingham had to lose its date due to poor attendance. Did anyone else note just a few gaps in the grandstand seating at Fontana?

Fans at California stand for one of the late race restarts. Not that they had many blocking their view…

Remember last year, when Las Vegas track owner Bruton Smith offered Fontana track GM Gillian Zucker a new job and a nice pay increase? She declined the offer. If I was Ms. Zucker, I’d spend this week at the Las Vegas airport, resume in hand waiting to greet Smith when he arrived in town.

It’s hard to say which was more embarrassing Saturday afternoon: the Truck race itself, or the size of the audience in the grandstands there to watch it? Kyle Busch just spanked the field en route to victory, with more than a nine second gap back to second place Todd Bodine. As for the “crowd,” I’ve seen more people at a middle school lacrosse game in the rain. Qualifying ticket sales were even more embarrassing… but that’s understandable. NASCAR’s top 35 rule has taken all the drama out of qualifying to the point they might as well just draw numbers out of the hat to set the field. It’s not like winning a pole even gains a driver entry into next year’s Bud Shootout, after all.

The Haas Automation decals on Ryan Newman’s car seem to indicate the entry was competing without a sponsor. Gene Haas owns half the team.

Give the folks at FOX points for trying hard to put a positive spin on things. They feel that the ratings for last week’s Daytona 500 “reaffirmed its status as one of America’s premier annual sports events.” They go on to say that their audience of sixteen million viewers beat last year’s Beijing Olympics, a somewhat questionable statistic given 211 million Americans watched that multi-day event.

Here’s the hard numbers, fans: Last year’s 500 garnered a 10.2 Nielsen Rating, while this year’s race drew a 9.2 rating. That’s a drop of nearly 10 percent. FOX says that’s because it rained. Of course, the last time a Daytona 500 was truncated by rain, the race still drew a 9.8 Nielsen rating. It is safe to say that this year’s event was the highest-rated Daytona 500 since a rodent was introduced as part of the broadcast team… Darrell Waltrip notwithstanding.

Hey, maybe I’m too old-fashioned as someone who reads the Bible more than I do the Wall Street Journal, but I’m seeing a dichotomy here. If FOX is going to give us the unamusing and unnecessary Digger segments during their race broadcasts to attract kids, should they also be accepting the softcore porn ads from And if Ms. Danica Patrick ever wishes to raise the issue with the media again as to why she isn’t treated as a serious and talented race car driver but rather just another pretty face, she need only look at the endorsement deals she’s done and let them speak for themselves. Let’s just say I haven’t seen that many big boobs together in one place since Brian France and NASCAR officials delivered their usual “State of the Sport” address during the preseason Media Tour.

I guess there’s a reason I’m a writer, not a network executive. For the life of me, I don’t understand how it’s going to help TV ratings for a race to constantly remind viewers that the Oscars would be airing on a competing network later in the evening. Hey, anyone who’s bored of this column, you might want to go see what Monte Dutton had to say about this weekend’s race! He’s a very talented and funny writer.

While it’s true that Kenseth’s crew has always been the best in the business and Drew Blickensderfer is two for two atop the pit box… don’t forget that this season Kenseth is reunited with his spotter from his championship year, Mike Calinoff. Fortunately for Calinoff, there seems to be plenty of room left on his meaty calves for additional race victory tattoos.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

Kevin Harvick blew an engine, enduring his first DNF in 81 races to bring out the night’s only caution not related to rain.

Greg Biffle might have had a car fast enough to compete with Kenseth and Gordon, but he overshot his pit board and ran over the air hose on the final pit stop.

The one thing worse than having a car not fast enough to get up front is having a car not fast enough to compete that blows up early. Such was the fate of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I guess that’s the last time the No. 88 team lets Brian Vickers set the valve lash prior to the race.

Mark Martin also suffered a rare blown engine out of the Hendrick shop.

Jeff Gordon had to feel like Tantalus, with his first victory in 42 points races so close… but so far away in those final laps.

Joey Logano looked like he was channeling Casey Atwood out there on the track this weekend.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Kenseth’s engine temperature rose to an alarming degree at one point due to debris on his grill, but a timely caution allowed him to pull up to the pace car and remove that hot dog wrapper on his way to a second straight win.

Third place might not have been what he envisioned, but given two dominating victories in Saturday’s truck and Nationwide races, Kyle Busch had a pretty fair weekend at Fontana.

After Daytona, Brian Vickers has got to be pleased to leave Fontana with a top 10 finish and no reason for Earnhardt Nation to channel their ire at him.

Given this sport’s history of aircraft tragedies, the MWR members aboard the team plane forced to make an emergency landing in Vegas for engine problems have to feel blessed. The situation was so tense that even though Waltrip wasn’t aboard the plane, he took off his shoes and tried to run home when advised the FAA was en route to investigate.

Wow, Kyle Busch and his Nationwide team really seemed to benefit from the return of Jason Ratcliffe back to the pit box after his long suspension for trying to doctor the dyno results after last year’s Michigan race. It must be Jason’s magnetic personality…

Worth Noting

  • A Roush Racing entrant won the February Fontana Neo-classic for the fifth time in as many years.
  • Kenseth has won the first two races of the season, the first time that feat has been accomplished since Jeff Gordon did so in 1997.
  • The top 10 finishers at Fontana drove three Fords, three Chevys, three Toyotas, and Kurt Busch’s lone Dodge.
  • Joey Logano was the top finishing rookie of the race with his 26th place finish. Sweet.
  • Kenseth, Kurt Busch, and Tony Stewart are the only three drivers to score top 10 finishes in both of this season’s points races.
  • All five drivers who posted top 5 finishes in this year’s February Fontana race also finished in the top 10 in last year’s same event. Officially in 2008, 70,000 fans attended that race. This year, many of them did not come back.

What’s the Points?

It is still WAY too early to worry about points to any meaningful degree.

Not surprisingly, considering he’s won the first two points-paying events of the season, Matt Kenseth leads the Cup standings. He has a 81-point lead over Jeff Gordon, who is second in the regular season points tally. Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart are tied for third, a further ten markers behind Gordon. If the season were to end right now… many of us longtime fans would be vastly relieved.

Among the surprises in the top 10 in points right now are: Michael Waltrip (seventh), David Ragan (eighth), and Juan Pablo Montoya (tenth).

Notable drivers who need to dig themselves out of an early season (real early) points hole include Jimmie Johnson (19th), Mark Martin (27th), Jamie McMurray (28th), Jeff Burton (31st, ironically enough), and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (35th). Again, recall we’re just two races deep into the 26-race regular season. Next weekend’s race at Las Vegas could really shuffle the deck, so to speak.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans, with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — I’ll give this one a single can of generic stuff. Air traffic controllers allow passenger aircraft to fly closer together than most of the field ran on Sunday night.

Next Up: The series heads off to Las Vegas to give the folks at FOX a chance to trot out their usual toxic and tortured Elvis routines. Oh, and the race starts about 4:45 EST. What the…

Contact Matt McLaughlin

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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…


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02/23/2009 09:02 AM

Glad to see I didn’t miss much. I did notice that Newman’s car, well from the one rear shot I saw, reminded me of another black and silver car from days gone by.

02/23/2009 09:05 AM

I tuned in about halfway through the race and over half the field was a lap down. I hope that the first part was better than the last. It sure took the boorish booth crew long enough to see Gordon burning up his tires. Matt, I think one can may be too much.

02/23/2009 09:26 AM

It’s Drew Blickensderfer, not Dale. 88’s trouble on your mind, Matt? :P

02/23/2009 09:44 AM

That race proved to me that the leader still can’t be passed with the new car. No passing for the lead equals crappy racing.

02/23/2009 10:15 AM

The Daytona 500 was bad, but yesterday’s race was a joke. Putting the drivers on tricycles would have been more exciting.

I didn’t even fight with my wife when she wanted to turn the channel to watch the Oscars.

I am not sure how much longer I can bear to watch such a pitiful product and I am talking about both FOX and NASCAR.

02/23/2009 10:31 AM

Ok, so only passing was in pits? Can tell how into the race I was. I watched reruns of Law & Order SVU.

02/23/2009 10:51 AM

I was like Randy. My wife wanted to watch that ******* Seacrest talk to people about what their clothes – and honestly I really couldn’t think of a reason why the CA race would be a better alternative.

The CA Race: A boring event led by a guy who thinks he knows all.

The Oscars: A boring event for people who think they know all.

The only difference is that the general public still talks about the Oscars the next day. (By noon Monday, Daytona was no longer mentioned in the local media)

02/23/2009 11:04 AM

I rated the race “FF” for fast-forward, which is what I did to my Tivo a LOT while watching this snoozer.

Someone please kill off the pre-race show as a mercy killing! The green flag dropped exactly 82 minutes after the telecast started (which took about 7 minutes to get there with the Tivo after stopping only for the Logano and Shrub interviews)!

Kevin in SoCal
02/23/2009 11:09 AM

There’s no point in Matt reviewing any California Speedway race. He’s so biased against the track and the state that it could be a five-car battle from turn 4 to the finish line and he’d complain that 6th place was 10 seconds behind. I dont want to hear any complaints about the attendance at the Cup race. You had to strain a lot harder to see empty seats this year. There’s no way there were less people there this year. Did you see the crowd around the stage during Raceday? I’m guessing there was about 80,000 this year compared to 70,000 last year. However, the Saturday attendance was completely sparse, I cant argue with that.
And the racing was much better this year than in years past. Multiple drivers lead many laps, instead of one guy leading all the laps. It was just like any other speedway race this time.
And finally, the pre-race graphic of drivers by state showed the reason why NASCAR races in California: 8 drivers are from California, more than any other state.
And again with the late start times. It was overcast but no rain all day. Yet NASCAR decides to start the race late again. And of course as soon as the sun goes down, here comes the rain. At least it was just a light sprinkle compared to last week.
So, any other doubters about Matt Kenseth’s qualifications for the Hall of Fame after he retires?

02/23/2009 11:29 AM

You know what all eight drivers born in California have in common? They’ve moved to North Carolina

02/23/2009 12:00 PM

The reason birds fly upside down over Calif. is that there is nothing in the whole state worth on!!

Kevin in SoCal
02/23/2009 12:47 PM

The whole state is full of liberals, fruits, and nuts, all very worthy of being crapped on!
Thanks for the laugh Johnboy!

Carl D.
02/23/2009 01:04 PM

I had to spend the weekend driving my mother from Columbia, SC to Orlando, FL and back for a funeral. My sympathies to those of you who watched the race yesterday. Sixteen hours in a car with my Mom can be a little trying from time to time, but it ain’t EVER boring.

Kevin in SoCal
02/23/2009 01:10 PM

How can you call it boring? This race was much better than in year’s past. We had several battles for the lead all throughout the race, great pit stops leading to different drivers taking the lead, no cautions for wrecks until the end of the race, which led to several green flag pit stops, and two drivers with something to prove fighting for the win at the end. Yep, sounds like a race at any other speedway on the circuit, but because its California, it must have been boring.
And any race where Dale Jr blows up his engine and DNF’s is a great race to me.

02/23/2009 01:33 PM

What a total bore. I dozed off not once but twice. Kevin in SoCal your life must be really a snooze if you think there was any interesting part of that race. Even Jr’s car didn’t cause any smoke.

We are trying to make every race on the circuit and last night after the race I asked my husband if he understands why I haven’t been in any hurry to go to this track. He responded that it would be a waste of money for sure. To bad because we don’t have many tracks left.

02/23/2009 01:37 PM

Kevin, don’t worry about Matt dissing your track.

I go to two races in NH every year and the racing is perfectly fine. Fun atmosphere, great sightlines, few cooler restrictions, free parking. But since it’s not North Wilkesboro or Rockingham, and since Davey or Tim Richmond aren’t racing, the venue and the race can’t possibly be any good.

It just amazes me how these internet hacks who never go to a race can comment on how the product is so bad.

And Matt, if Fox (or TNT,or ESPN)really is so bad, why not try writing your Monday column without the benefit of watching the broadcast? At least is would cut down the size of the column to a couple of paragraphs, which would be just about right.

02/23/2009 01:57 PM

Kevin, if you thought the race wasn’t boring enough to bring tears, you were either smoking something or watching a rerun of another race. I fell sound asleep twice and my wife who was supposed to wake me up also fell asleep. I would have missed the last part of the race if I had not gotten a telephone call.

02/23/2009 02:03 PM

Hey Matt, it’s Eric from the old Awesome Bill From Dawsonvill Forum, anyway, couldn’t agree more.

There are so many things wrong with the sport but I’m starting to wonder if they seriously need to drastcially lower the CID of the engines. One has got to figure that the racing was better at 550-650 HP, the speeds were still high and there was less “aero-push”.

02/23/2009 02:29 PM

Another factor to the snoozing is that by 6:15 on the east coast, most folks are tired from running all day, family events, etc. or getting supper and giving the kids baths. Who has time to start watching a race at 6:30 on a Sunday night. My advise to NASCAR all green flags drop at 1:00 pm local time. Take care of the folks who have to drive home after a race and not make them have to take a day off of work to watch a Sunday night race. Hint: this may be why no one shows up to these. They are not worth missing a day of work these days.

02/23/2009 02:37 PM


You must enjoy and prefer the artificial world of plate racing and the multiple passes and big wrecks to award yesterdays race one stale generic beer.

As shown by the results, the race demanded the utmost of car, driver, and team. To win, Kenseth’s combined effort had to be superior in every aspect of racing. The genius is to be appreciated!

Granted, the winner of almost every race has to have those elements, but in the race yesterday, it was required moreso than perhaps other races. The long green runs allowed the truly superior cars to present as well prepared and driven. Teams and drivers not equal to the task clearly fell from contention. NASCAR’s artifical enhanced competition rule, the “lucky dog” didn’t interefere with the natural selection of the fastest.

When the checkered flag fell, there weren’t any false rewards. Kenseth drove brilliantly, his car’s handling was spot on for the duration of the race, and his team’s flawless work created what has to be a satisfying victory for the entire team.

It’s too bad and alarming that you prefer fake races and display disdain for a masterpiece like yesterday’s race by kicking it in the knees.

02/23/2009 03:05 PM

Well, wouldn’t you know it, 6 or 7 laps into this “race”, rain fell and we endured 20+ laps of caution…

A caution that we would not have had to put up with if the race had started when it should start, i.e. 1 pm local time.

I am not going to watch any racing at 9 or 10 on a Sunday night, and certainly not at one of the worst races of the year.

That track is so wide that there literally are 43 separate races going on simultaneously.

I decided to watch the movie “Patton”, which I have only seen about 50 times.

And it still was more entertaining….

I am with Matt – we lost Rockingham for this?

And why do they have 2 races?

So Brian can scout for an NFL team while he is there?

02/23/2009 03:23 PM

It looks as if the ayes have it for a boring race. For those of you who think that was, A. racing and B. exciting, I’m so sorry. An intervention may be your only hope.

02/23/2009 03:26 PM

Try as she might . MS. Zucker has one very tall hurdle to clear in getting the L.A. audience interested in NASCAR . And that hurdle would be FOX . Why would she think the relatively sophisticated So Cal crowd would take NASCAR seriously after listening to the cornpone brothers and their sidekick The Pontificator in the booth make a mockery of the English language and sports broadcasting in general . The L.A. crowd knows what broadcasting is supposed to sound like and NASCAR on FOX isn’t it .
Then there is the horrible camera work , and the worst director in all of sports . He ordered the camera men to stay on his favorite Gordon , lap after lap , even though the announcers were talking about Kenseth .
Continuing to frame stockcar racing as a hillbilly enterprise , or a cartoon with the ridiculous Digger , is not going to induce anyone other than 10 year olds to watch races at Fontana .

Kevin in SoCal
02/23/2009 04:05 PM

I’m 33 years old and in decent shape. You people who fell asleep must either be over 60 and overdue for your naps, or in horrible shape that just sitting on the couch tires you out. I’ve never fallen asleep at any race with 43 850-horsepower engines zooming past me, even on TV.

Jim, thank you for the support. Despite the haters pre-conceived opinions, this was a better race than previous years at this track.

02/23/2009 04:11 PM

Gee, Marshall, apparently the rest of us just aren’t worthy of California polish. If that’s true, we in the Midwest and Southeast are more than willing to keep the races here where they might be run at a decent hour of the day.

One other thing—I“m a retired English teacher, and those little language slip-ups don’t bother me a bit. Maybe you should check into the use of colloquism in the language. Perhaps you should have watched the Oscars—maybe they’re more suited to your taste.

I do agree with you about Digger; he’s about as annoying as it gets.

02/23/2009 04:43 PM

You are dead on again this week!
My question for the “speedway owners” is, and has been for years: If you have a blank parcel of land, and want to build a racetrack, why copy Michigan, or Charlotte? They are always boring! Why would you not copy Richmond? Anybody?

02/23/2009 04:51 PM

Kevin – Just because it was better than last year does not mean it was a good race, just that it was better than last years race. I have nothing against So. Cal. I actually lived there for 9 years, but the racing at this track has never been good. Prior to Brian France taking over, even Michigan could put on a good show. It’s those silly looking cars that make the racing so poor. When was the last time there was a decent Bristol race? At least I didn’t have to endure the silly rule that the trucks have to put up with. NASCAR is getting more like wrestling all the time. When they come up with a rule that says you can’t get tires and gas on the same stop, I figure it’s time for me to stop watching. Maybe that was why there were so many empty seats for the truck race.

Carl D.
02/23/2009 05:01 PM


You keep saying that this year’s Fontana race was better than the Fontana races of previous years. That’s like comparing waterboarding with, well, watching a race broadcast on FOX. True, there are various degrees of torture, but none are actually pleasant.

02/23/2009 05:45 PM

Compared to Mr. McLaughlin’s biased writing and opinions, the race was a gem.

02/23/2009 05:53 PM

Compared to USAC Midgets and Sprinters, the World of Outlaw Sprinter or Indy Cars…any NASCAR event is, by comparison, boring…those “Heavy Metal” TAXI CABS just aren’t real race cars.

Doug in Washington (State)
02/23/2009 06:02 PM

You lost Rockingham for this:

Fontana Est. Attendance (February Race):
2009: 78,000
2008: 70,000 (25,000 Monday)
2007: 87,000
2006: 85,000
2005: 90,000

Rockingham (Feb):
2004: 50,000
2003: 40,000

The racing may be bad (like it’s better on any of the cookie-cutter Downforce tracks) but economics still win out. I know, I know, folks are gonna say the numbers are inflated. Of course they are. But for both locales.

Sure, I’d love to see Rockingham (and North Wilkesboro) back, but it’s not gonna happen. Not with King Brian in charge. Cookie Cutter Cars on Cookie Cutter Courses, that’s his thing.

I agree that California doesn’t deserve 2 races, but neither does Michigan, Atlanta, Charlotte, or Texas. None of those tracks produce exciting racing. Of course, with these topheavy boxcars you could hold a race on ice in Fairbanks and it probably wouldn’t be exciting.

02/23/2009 06:08 PM

This race, in a word, was boring. In fact it defined the word boring. I’ve attended a race a ACS and it’s just as bad in person as it is on tv. As for the announced attendence, did any of you see all the empty seats. 78,000!!! Come on. Tell me another fairy tale. They must have been counting all of Digger’s buddies too. All three races had to rate about 1.5 on a scale of 10 on the snooze meter. And they took away Rockingham’s race for this sad excuse for a race track. All I’ve got to say is nas$car is reaping what they’ve sown.

02/23/2009 06:34 PM

I have to agree w/ Kevin from SoCal. After the truck race and the nationwide race I was expecting a snooze fest, but the race was actually not that bad. If they had raced the same race at lowe’s you would not here near the amount of complaints because of the location of the track. The races at Lowe’s were boring last year. In the All star race and the 600 last year if you got out front even on old tires compared to others on new tires you ran away from the field. Really this track is the same as Michigan but everyone saves their vitriol for Cali.

As for Fox they were pretty bad yesterday. There were so many drivers they did not cover yesterday. They really never explained what happened to most of the drivers throughout the field. The RCR cars are a good example of cars they ignored, with the exception of Harvick.

They were showing JPM, Stewart and McMurray racing for 10th and just as JPM was diving to the bottom in the process of passing the other 2 cars they cut to a in car camera of Harvick riding by himself. My guess is that there was probably a lot more racing throughout the field that got ignored.

02/23/2009 06:54 PM

78,000? That goes beyond wishful thinking to downright delusional.

02/23/2009 06:59 PM

As an added note, the last time they ran the spring race at the Rock (2004) it drew a 6.3 rating. California got a 5.2 Sunday. So which race really had more eyeballs reading all those sponsor logos on the cars?

the old 3rd sacker
02/23/2009 06:59 PM

The Key Moment? 9:05 PM EST,,,,bedtime here. 5:00 AM EST Monday is the wakeup call assuming I still have a job to go to. Sunday night racing…sorry folks, it’s snooze time.

02/23/2009 07:12 PM

It just plain sucked.

Master Braytak
02/23/2009 07:30 PM

Matt, Thanks for watching the races so I don’t have to. Your recaps are all I need to know what I missed. Sundays are so much more productive now, and my blood pressure is lower.

I was Nascar way before Nascar was cool, and now I’m out before the implosion of the sport. I saw the inane Digger cartoon on my way out to the shop, and that was what kept me from turning the race on yesterday. My Nascar was serious and never turned into a cartoon. I also read last week that King Brian was meeting with Al Gore to figure out how to make Nascar more green. In the famous words of Cosmo Kramer; “I’m Out!!!”

02/23/2009 10:50 PM

Good news, Bad news. Nope, sorry. Bad news, Bad news. First we got cheated out of the only racy laps at Daytona, the last 50. Second, & this is worse news. We got in every boring lap at Whatever the hell they call it speedway in Calif. Yes you are correct, Monte is everything you said he was.

Kevin in SoCal
02/23/2009 11:01 PM

Matt @ 7:59pm, you cannot compare ratings from different years. NASCAR TV ratings are down across the board from 2004. Please post the Rockingham 2004 ratings with the California 2004 ratings for a more accurate comparison.

Shawn @ 7:34pm, thank you for the support. You are right in that if this race was at Michigan or Charlotte or Texas, there would be nothing but high marks for the racing. But as I said in my first post, if there was a 5-wide drag race for the win from turn 4, the haters would complain that 6th place was 10 seconds back so the race was just a parade. I also feel that if there was another speedway track in this 2nd date, would you all be complaining this loudly that we gave up Rockingham for it? I doubt it.

And I believe the 78,000 figure. I guessed 80,000 based on what I saw. The only place with empty seats was in the extreme corners. I dunno whether you saw other empty seats or your hatred just made you see empty.

02/24/2009 06:05 AM

OK, we’ll play your way.

As noted, 2004 Rockingham, with it’s less than covted winter date….6.3

Labor Day weekend 2004 at Cali, 4.4.

02/24/2009 11:18 AM

Kevin in SoCal,

Not a bash on you in anyway, but have you ever been to Irwindale? How about Orange Show? Maybe Saugus when it was open? How about Willow Springs?

Ever seen a race from the Rock or North Wilksboro? I figure you have not because if you had you would not defend that crappy Fontana track.

Kevin in SoCal
02/24/2009 12:50 PM

Matt, where’s the spring ratings from California, in May I believe?

Mike, I’ve never been to Irwindale in person but I’ve watching the All-Star Shootout in January a few times.
Never been to Orange Show, Saugus or Perris even, but I have been to Willow Springs with friends to watch and help out their efforts.

I started watching NASCAR in 2003 so I only saw a few Rockingham races. I’ve only seen North Wilksboro on ESPN Classic. I watched the Rockingham ARCA race last year and it looked like a parade with Joey Logano out front all day.