The Frontstretch: Fans Have Questions, We Have Answers: NASCAR Thursday Roundup by Summer Bedgood -- Thursday September 27, 2012

Go to site navigation Go to article

Fans Have Questions, We Have Answers: NASCAR Thursday Roundup

Summer Bedgood · Thursday September 27, 2012


So far, the Chase for the Sprint Cup has gotten off to a rather anti-climactic start and as such it seems that many fans are disappointed. They want excitement, drama, and some good racing. Who wouldn’t? But if you look at the two tracks they have raced at lately, is it really that much of a surprise?

Actually, I’m not even sure that is what fans want. While I didn’t think last Sunday’s race Loudon was anywhere close to exciting, I didn’t think it was terrible! Sure Hamlin dominated, which didn’t help, there was still some racing throughout the pack and I personally enjoy keeping up with the other contenders. However, no one else seemed to feel the same way.

Perhaps I’m just easy to please, but there is almost always an interesting storyline to follow. I know this is a Q&A column for me to answer, but I have one for everyone else. What do you look for in a race, and what makes you hate or love it? Because honestly, I don’t know anymore!

Anyway, let’s get to your questions. And be sure to send yours in for next week!

Out of all of the racetracks that you personally have visited, what is your favorite track? Least favorite? What track do you recommend for someone making their first trip to a top-tier series race?


I’ll admit that I am a bit biased towards Kansas Speedway, having grown up less than an hour away from the track for most of my life. It really is a great track, though, for a fan to attend. There isn’t a bad seat in the house—I’ve sat in the front row and still didn’t miss anything—and the access is usually pretty open to the everyday fan. It’s a great time.

However, on an experience level, I’d have to say Daytona International Speedway really does beat all. First of all, it’s absolutely gigantic which was really intimidating for a newbie who was trying to find my way around the garage without losing track of where the media center was!

Daytona really is a beautiful sight during the month of February. Remember to bring some Smores.

Daytona is a great track for someone who has never been in person before, and not just because of the close racing and electric environment. The area around the racetrack is worth a gander, too. I could have spent the Daytona 500 weekend in the area without ever having gone into the track and would have enjoyed every minute of it. Having grown up in Kansas, oceans weren’t exactly in my backyard, so maybe I was way too easily impressed. But there are so many good local restaurants, shops, and the salty ocean air is so refreshing.

The hotels and travel can be expensive for those outside the area, but if you can make it work, do it! I promise you will never, ever regret a weekend in Daytona.

The season is coming to an end soon. What team do you think should truly win with more than just the points system if you could choose in relation to hard work, driver, etc?


If I understand your question, you want me to pick a champion based on something other than just the points that are awarded.

I personally don’t have a problem with the points system, or the Chase itself, and I do believe that whoever ends up winning it will earn it. That’s not to say that the other drivers haven’t worked hard or put enough effort into it. It just means that the champion was just that much better, and that’s not a bad thing.

“Hey Marty, if you want to contend for a Cup title, you might want to win more than once every five years or so.”

However, if I had to pick a driver who would be a great story and “beat the odds” so to speak, I think I would have to go with one of the MWR drivers. Both Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer are representing Michael Waltrip Racing, a team that basically started from the ground up in what used to be a movie theater, and has been able to win and now make the Chase in just a few short years. Now, don’t get me wrong — that’s not going to in any way, shape, or form happen. Truex has been too inconsistent and Bowyer doesn’t quite have the consistent speed to keep up with the top three right now of Johnson, Keselowski, and Hamlin.

But in terms of “hard work”, this team is a great poster child for that sentiment.

Do you think JJ winning this year’s title would be good or bad for NASCAR?


I really only think the benefit that could come from that is from outside the sport. In other words, Johnson’s dominance could garner some outside media attention which would get both “NASCAR” and “Jimmie Johnson” into the minds of people who don’t normally watch.

And that’s good, because we’d need them to replace those who quit watching the sport altogether because they are sick and tired of seeing the same guy win over and over and over again.

If I’m not being over-dramatic, I don’t ¬_really_ think that NASCAR will take a massive hit just because of Jimmie Johnson. A good chunk of NASCAR fans tune in to support their favorite driver, and they’re not going to let their support waiver just because of one guy. Additionally, I’m sure most of you are well aware that nothing is ever guaranteed in this sport. Johnson could go into the final race with a sizable lead and there are still plenty of fans who would tune in simply because all it would take is a blown engine, crappy pit call, or another driver’s stupidity to bring everything back to a level playing ground.

That also holds true for the next season. Even if Johnson takes and holds the lead from Dover on through the end of Homestead and there is absolutely no fight for it, there is no reason to think the same thing will happen next year. Every season is different and no one Johnson championship was ever exactly the same. There were new players, different storylines. Honestly, that’s probably why so many fans keep coming back every year, because almost nothing is guaranteed.

So, in short, my answer is neither. I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing for the sport, but I don’t believe it will be devastating either.

Connect with Summer!

Contact Summer Bedgood

The Frontstretch Newsletter, back in 2014 gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up now. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!

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 Summer Bedgood and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

Carl D.
09/27/2012 07:42 AM


I agree that New Hampshire would have been a little more exciting if Hamlin hadn’t been so dominant. You can’t fault the track or Nascar for that; sometimes one team just has the whole field covered. That’s racing.

I certainly can’t speak for anyone but myself, but to me, great racing starts with a track that forces a driver to either race other drivers hard and/or drive smart. That’s why the short tracks, Darlington, the road courses, and to an extent, the plate tracks, tend to provide the best races and the best finishes. I’m not saying that intermediates like Charlotte, Atlanta, Vegas, and Texas don’t put on a good show from time to time, but more often than not, that’s where you find the mystery debris and cautions brought out for minor scrapes and such… Nascar often has to bunch the pack back up to generate excitement at those tracks. This isn’t news to anyone who follows the sport, but you asked.

If it were up to me, Nascar would race once at every intermediate track except Charlotte, would run two races at each of the short tracks, Darlington, and the road courses, and would bring in more tracks like Iowa Speedway. And I would limit the chase races at intermediate track races to two. You’re still going to have some stinkers, but hey… sometimes the Miami Heat plays the Charlotte Bobcats.

That’s my two cents.

Michael in SoCal
09/27/2012 12:14 PM

I’m down with Carl D’s thoughts on the schedule, and the Chase.

09/27/2012 02:10 PM

Question Summer:

My feeling is the car is a big reason for the single file racing, lack of passing, and the overall poor product that is being shown as Cup racing each week.

My question is, has anyone addressed this with the new car. I haven’t heard anything about it. Please tell me the powers that be have addressed this with the new car. Its one of the few things that is giving me hope for the future because right now there isn’t much to be hopeful for.

Andy D
09/27/2012 11:34 PM

A good race for me has the majority of passing on the track instead of the pits.

A good race is green for the last 40 laps.

A good race is one where all of the cars are painted the same as last week so that I know who is who at a glance.

A good race on TV is one that has frequent field updates separate from the ticker and a minimum amount of in-car nonsense.