The Frontstretch: NASCAR Mailbox: Bristol, Trucks, And Weather Gone Nuts by Summer Bedgood -- Wednesday March 13, 2013

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NASCAR Mailbox: Bristol, Trucks, And Weather Gone Nuts

Summer Bedgood · Wednesday March 13, 2013


I have a confession to make: I’m addicted to social media.

Even when I’m not posting and updating my various blogs, pages, and, of course, tweeting, I’m usually perusing through the latest updates from friends, family, and just about anyone who will let me view their page. I love knowing what’s going on in the world and, probably more so, hate feeling left out. So when I’m quietly browsing Twitter and suddenly I see non-NASCAR or sports related accounts tweeting about Jeff Gordon, I have to take a closer look.

This week, a video with the four-time champion was sweeping the Internet, and everyone seemed to be getting quite a kick out of it. The video featured Jeff Gordon going to a used car lot while undercover, and taking a test drive in a Chevy Camaro. He then proceeds to give this supposed used car salesman the ride of his life by making all kinds of crazy maneuvers. It’s hilarious to watch the salesman’s reaction and, let’s be honest, the moves are awesome!

But, perhaps too awesome. After all, Gordon may be a four time NASCAR champion, but that’s not the same thing as being a skilled stunt driver. Also, the way they immediately jumped in the Camaro even when Gordon said he didn’t want it was odd. As funny as it was, it just seemed too, well staged.

Turns out it was. The driving was done mostly by a stunt driver and around 75 people were involved in the project. It was staged.

However, it was still freaking hilarious and Pepsi did a great job by generating some buzz. If you still haven’t seen it, you can watch it here.

Now, onto your questions:

“What is the best thing and worst thing you like about racing at Bristol?” Brian

That’s hard to answer. Personally, I enjoy the fact that the cars are so close together. Bristol is about as close as you can get to a flushing toilet bowl. They can’t get “spread out” or have large gaps between cars. Even if the first place car is much faster than the second place car, he’ll still have lapped traffic to deal with. It makes the race fun to watch, and you never know what is going to happen.

However, the downside of that little racing room is that it’s extremely difficult to pass. It’s difficult to pass in the generation of cars that they had previously been racing as it was – though with this car, it remains to be seen. Add in a half-mile racetrack and very little racing room from the apron to the wall and suddenly you have a recipe for single-file racing. Though some reconfigurations to both the track and the car at times changed that, it’s still harder to pass at Bristol than, say, Texas, Kansas, or Atlanta.

Will a new car coupled with the reconfiguration from 2012 have an effect at the track that prides itself on “Racin’ the Way it Oughta Be”?

In fact, for the longest time, the only way to pass was with a technique known as the “bump and run”—which I hate. If the only way for you to pass is to knock the other guy out of the way, maybe you shouldn’t be passing. I’d rather see the drivers race based on skill than playing bumper cars. It just feels like we’re being cheated when that’s all that is happening.

Still, I prefer Bristol to mile-and-a-half racetracks and I’m really looking forward to this weekend. What about you?

“Is NASCAR trying to fix the break between truck races? 6 weeks is far too long of a gap.” Brian

Yes, for those wondering, we did have two Brian’s with questions this week.

I agree that it’s too long, but right now even adding Eldora and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park was a complete shock. NASCAR really isn’t focused on giving the development series a full schedule when the other two series are racing all but two months of the year. I’m not saying they wouldn’t like to, but it’s certainly not at the top of their to-do list. Based on their recent changes, it appears that adding diversity to the series and test driving ideas like dirt track racing and going across the border is more along their lines of interest.

Part of the gaps that we see in the schedule are NASCAR’s attempt to line up the beginning and the end of the season. Because there are so few races in the Truck Series as opposed to the others, there are bound to be gaps. However, I think it would be much more productive to maybe have an on again, off again schedule rather than “race, gap, gap, gap, gap, gap, race, _gap, gap_….” kind of schedule that we have now.

After intense superspeedway racing, the Truck Series puts it in park for almost two months. Time to tighten up the schedule!

Hopefully this season goes well for the series and it eventually becomes a priority to add more races.

“Is it going to snow in Bristol on Thursday and over the weekend?” Jeff

Well I can’t say this for sure, but, no, the forecast shows it’s supposed to be sunny and in the mid-40s. It’s supposed to have snowed on Wednesday night, but otherwise there is no snow during the rest of the week or weekend.

The only day there is a threat to on-track racing is Saturday, when the chance of rain is 40%. However, it wouldn’t be a NASCAR weekend without a little bit of a threat from Mother Nature now would it?

Connect with Summer!

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
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Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
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Carl D.
03/14/2013 11:51 AM

The Pepsi video was hilarious. A lot of people believed it was real and had some nasty things to say about Jeff Gordon. However, I think most people can tell it was a staged production.

There was a show on a few months back called “I Get That A Lot” in which Gordon pretended to be an employee at an auto parts store. He kept trying to pitch a certain brand of oil to customers who didn’t want it. Gordon actually got one guy so angry that he walked out and Gordon went after him in the parking lot, begging to him to come back in and buy the oil. It was hilarious. What made it even funnier was that Gordon’s picture was on the front of the bottles he kept showing to the customers, but no one noticed. Jeff can be a funny guy when Clint Bowyer isn’t around.

Kevin in SoCal
03/14/2013 01:14 PM

There used to be more Truck races at the beginning of the season, but with the recent realignment, NASCAR decided it was too much money to have the trucks come out to Las Vegas, Phoenix, or California so early in the season. So we have the big 6-week gap between the first and second race. And the IRL hasnt started yet, so there are little to no opportunities for companion races. Its just the way it is right now.

03/14/2013 02:13 PM

Companion truck races usually suck (since they’re usually at mile and a halfs and feature Cup invaders) so if the current schedule means LESS of them, good.

But couldn’t they at least throw ONE race, maybe NEAR Charlotte, into the mix, at a short track? Something to tide us over, the wait sucks.

Still can’t wait for Mosport. My camper’s ready!