Summer Bedgood · Thursday May 23, 2013
So we learned something new over the weekend. Apparently math is not a strong point in NASCAR nation. Average finishes are not to be calculated lightly, or else black helicopters will fly and fly and fly. The tinfoil hats will start crinkling, and everyone will again live on a grassy knoll. There is no escaping it; everything is a conspiracy.
So when SPEED somehow miscalculated Jimmie Johnson’s average finish after the first four segments, everyone flipped the heck out when Johnson was placed fourth instead of 11th. It was just … craziness. In fact, I’m shocked there wasn’t a riot directly outside of the racetrack or NASCAR headquarters within about 10 minutes. Hysteria, mass chaos, gnashing of teeth. There was some dark stuff going down.
No, really, sometimes you NASCAR fans completely flip your “stuff” at the drop of a hat. I can understand there being confusion, questions, and some chaos considering that we were getting two different numbers from supposedly reliable sources. I was just a little shocked at how quickly everyone jumped to NASCAR favoring Johnson rather than SPEED screwing up. I was also shocked at how angry at everyone got. I mean, really, aren’t there more important things to get upset about?
Now onto your questions:
“I saw that Danica Patrick got a section in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Please enlighten me as to how in the name of all things racing that happened and why on earth she deserves that. Because if all it takes is a bikini shot to get me a sponsor that will send me racing, sign me up.” Brian
Something tells me you wouldn’t look that great in a bikini, Brian.
Anyway, I’m sure you’re referring to the picture that Bob Pockrass of Sporting News posted on Twitter. (Seen here: https://twitter.com/bobpockrass/status/337316489025691649/photo/1)
In all fairness, it was for her pole position at Daytona. You don’t have to like her to agree that it was an historic moment for NASCAR considering she was the first woman to ever get a pole in the Sprint Cup Series. That’s more along the lines of why there is a display there. It’s not a tribute to Danica Patrick’s career as much as it is to that one moment. Simply put, it’s meant to mark a memorable moment for the sport and not much else.
Now, could Patrick potentially have her own entire display or section in the Hall when all is said and done? Perhaps, but that’s years away (assuming she stays in the sport that long) and I would hope that she’d have to do more than win a pole and finish in the top 10 a couple times to earn that.
As far as whether or not she’s worth an actual induction … I doubt she’ll have the stats for it, but the fact that she’s the first semi-competitive female in recent memory might very well earn her that distinction. That doesn’t mean that it’s fair or that I like it, but the 2013 Daytona 500 will be remembered more for Patrick’s pole than Jimmie Johnson’s wins. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
“Summer, I’m a fan of both IndyCar and NASCAR and like watching the two series. I always find it interesting to see how drives do when they cross over, and I couldn’t help but notice A.J. Allmendinger over the weekend. Fifth fastest in Indy 500 qualifying! Heck, why doesn’t he just stay where he is? He wasn’t that great in NASCAR anyway.” Leslie
I’m not an IndyCar aficionado or anything, but the IndyCar correspondents here at The Frontstretch have lead me to believe that qualifying in IndyCar is about the same as it is in NASCAR: It’s a big deal until the green flag flies.
However, I don’t think anyone would argue that Allmendinger is a better open wheel driver than he is a stock car driver. If he does as well in the Indianapolis 500 as he has done so far in qualifying, Roger Penske just may well decide to keep him right where he is. He’s, for the most part, out of the eyes of controversy (drug test, anyone?) and he can still succeed at a high level in motorsports.
In fact, as much as I like Allmendinger, I do hope he stays where he is. He has a much better chance of winning and continuing to compete in IndyCar will be like a fresh start for him. I’ll certainly miss ‘Dinger’s pre-qualifying, rain delay, talk show interviews where he almost always seemed to make us laugh, but it’s not exactly hard to flip the channel if need be. I do sincerely wish him well.
“You know the sport is in bad shape when even the All-Star Race sucks. National anthem singers can’t sing, commercials make watching the race impossible, and the same people win every weekend. Why should I keep watching?” Ryan
Well I thought the All-Star Race was great up until the final segment, so I don’t really know what you’re talking about there.
You’re really using national anthems as a reason that the sport is going downhill? Really? Go to YouTube and type in “mangled national anthem.” I guarantee you there will be more of them than you can possibly go through in one sitting, and I guarantee you most of them ¬_won’t_ be NASCAR. Sometimes people screw up or can’t sing the National Anthem very well. It happens. But it’s not a reflection on NASCAR.
Commercials pay the bills. It’s either that or Pay-Per-View. Take your pick.
The same people win every week? We’ve had seven different winners in 11 races. Five of the first races of the year were won by five different drivers. How much more diversity do you want?
Unfortunately, you’re not alone in your thinking. I see people saying the same thing almost every day. What’s strange is that these are the same people who celebrate the days of old when there was very little diversity as to who could win a race on any given weekend and when races were won in margins of laps and not seconds (or less).
Sometimes I just think expectations are too high, and I don’t really understand why. In terms of sheer numbers, the sport is more competitive than it ever has been and there are usually more than just two or three teams who can win on any given weekend. Sure the tide shifts throughout a year where one team seems to hold an advantage, then another is left holding the trophy at the end of the year. But how is that evidence of non-competition? If anything, it shows that there is opportunity for several teams to succeed and you truly can’t count anyone out.
Seriously, I don’t understand the logic behind these types of comments. Some of the things you mentioned aren’t even in NASCAR’s control, and the rest of it just isn’t backed up by statistics. I don’t know if it’s lethargy or a resistance to change, but I really don’t understand why the competition is constantly criticized. Not every single lap of every single race is fun to watch, but you can’t convince me that it was any different 20 years ago.
Certainly there are things that need improved but I’d hardly argue that the sport is dying and certainly not for the reasons you listed. Common sense should prevail here, and this just isn’t it.
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