The Frontstretch: NASCAR Mailbox: Rough Week For The Reids, Busch, Version II And More by Summer Bedgood -- Thursday October 3, 2013

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It’s a bird … it’s a plane … it’s the Goodyear blimp!

This weekend in Kansas, Goodyear is bringing a tire compound that was last (and first) raced at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The tire was intended to generate tire wear while minimalizing the potential for blowouts. What was considered to be a success by drivers and fans alike will make its return this weekend in Kansas, beginning with a test session on Thursday.

Personally, I’m looking forward to it. With no major tire issues at Atlanta and some darn fine racing, I’m expecting some of the same this weekend in Kansas. For the longest time, track position has been king. Gone are the days of two-tire strategy calls in order to find a balance between tire wear and track position. Once the leader gets out front in clean air, they’re gone. It’s basically a glorified race for second.

With the right amount of tire wear, though, the racing suddenly becomes more exciting. Strategy comes into play, cars with fresher tires can move up through the field faster, and it allows for more passing.

Though this is only one piece of the puzzle—some sort of change will need to be made towards the aero package in order for the issue to be completely alleviated—it is a great step in the right direction. Hopefully the race in Kansas this weekend is a success and we can get back to some fantastic racing and passing on the racing surface instead of on pit road.



We talked about this in Mirror Driving, but I will repeat myself here. I feel sorry for Marty Reid. Though he certainly wasn’t going to go down as one of the best racing commentators in the entire history of motorsports, I didn’t think he was terrible. Sure he made some mistakes, and perhaps more than someone at his level in that profession should make. However, he knew what he was doing and ESPN didn’t just decide to hire some Joe Schmoe off the street.

Like you, I wish him well. It must be pretty embarrassing to call the race a lap early and then have to do it again during the real checkered flag.

As far as the Waltrips, both of them know the sport very well and are good on TV. They may be loud, but they will always do what they can to represent the sport well.

“I am an avid NASCAR fan who missed the practices at Dover because I do not get Fox2. I enjoy phone calls from my NASCAR friends but last weekend they were all calling me asking what we can do to get NASCAR to stay on Fox1? In fact, some of my friends have given up following NASCAR because the only races they get to watch are the ones on the network. I realize money makes the decisions but more and easier to get exposure might bring some fans back and sure help keep the ones that haven’t given up yet. Like the boyfriend you promised you’d never forget when you left for college….when you can’t watch racing it fades like the boyfriend did a few weeks after getting to school!!! My whole weekend schedule is planned around the Cup race!” Polly

I have a simple suggestion: be vocal. Tweet, e-mail, and Facebook Fox Sports 1 and tell them that you want NASCAR programming on there more often. There are many like you who either can’t afford or don’t want a more expensive TV package to get Fox Sports 2. Why would they, anyway, when SPEED used to provide them with all that programming in the first place?

Miss practice and qualifying because you don’t have FOX Sports 1? You’re not alone — make sure you let them know that racing is relevant and Soccer isn’t.

I really hate it for the fans, too, because by all accounts this has been a successful move for Fox. Their audience has grown as a result of covering a wide range of sports, but they’ve kept enough racing programming to attempt to keep their previous audience happy. I wish I had better advice other than to keep banging down their door. The best I can do is to offer some hope that I believe someone like NBC Sports will pick up the slack once the current TV contract expires. I don’t know what kind of TV package NBC Sports is usually in, but perhaps that is more accessible?

Someone will see the growing needs and wants of racing fans and bring them some more racing programming where Fox Sports 1 has left them hanging. I don’t know how long that will take, but it will happen eventually.

Hang tight and be persistent. Someone will eventually listen…

“I keep waiting for Kyle Busch to implode, but he hasn’t done it yet. Has Busch finally grown up?!” Tom

I think the one piece of evidence that proves to me that Kyle Busch has finally reached a mentally sound place is when he said after Loudon, “If we finish second at every race the rest of the season, we’ll win the championship.”

Each season since 2009 we’ve heard about “The New Kyle”. Will he continue to rise to the occasion, or revert back to his self-destructive tendencies if things go sideways?

Can you imagine the Kyle Busch of 2008 saying that? Heck, no! He would have been so pissed off, he’d have verbally mauled any reporter within spitting distance. The fact that he acknowledges the need for consistency and that going for broke every week won’t win him the championship is a huge improvement for him. Just with that admission alone, I don’t think he will have any sort of mental breakdown.

So, yes, it appears that Busch finally has this whole NASCAR championship thing figured out. Now he’ll just have to find a way to beat Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson to do it.

Connect with Summer!

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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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10/03/2013 12:22 PM

My wife and I haven’t had cable/sat for over a decade. We simply do not watch TV….except during football season. In our opinion 99.9% of modern TV is complete useless crap. We buy DVD’s of old tv shows and watch that.

So basically the only time I might watch a nascar race is on FOX. Otherwise, I might catch it on the radio…but only if I don’t have anything else to do.

More and more folks, especially the younger crowd, are dumping TV altogether and doing everything online. TV, movies, sports…..all online. Those Verizon and AT&T bills aren’t cheap.

Old Fan Bill
10/03/2013 12:50 PM

The only thing that that DW represents well is his self.
Did Mikey represent the sport well with the Richmond fiasco and what followed?

10/03/2013 01:01 PM

Dude, I’m sorry, but Marty Reid was HEINOUSLY awful. He didn’t just occasionally screw up positions. He got everyone one’s names wrong, and frequently had the appearance of having not watched the race at ALL.

But the biggest flub for him? He literally began a telecast by saying “I’m here with Brickyard 400 winner Dale Jarrett and Brickyard 400 winning crewchief… uuh… uuuuuuh… YOU! I KNOW YOU!” pointing at Andy Petree. You don’t know the name of the guy you’ve worked with for like 5 years? Horrible.

Good god I miss Eli Gold and Buddy Baker and Ned Jarrett.

Old Fan Bill
10/03/2013 01:09 PM

john: I would add Benny Parsons to that list.

10/03/2013 07:04 PM

Up here in Canada, we are still getting SPEED, and while it does have any of the NASCAR shows that FS1 and FS2 have on, it still has the shows that eventually killed the old SPEED, like “Dumbest Stuff On Wheel”, “Are You Faster Than A Redneck”, etc. And they show the same commercials over and over and over! But, the commercials are mainly promos for NASCAR and SPEED shows. Too, whenever there is a racing show on, and they cut away to the FOX Sportscenter, they just show these promo commercials here. The funniest was last week with the Barrett-Jackson auction on Friday. The auction was bouncing back and forth between FS1 and FS2. We didn’t have to change the channel up here. The only thing was that the Truck race from Vegas was shown late Saturday night after the auction ended. And RaceHub is on every night at 6:00 (repeated at 11:00 and several times between 6:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. the next morning. They have also been replaying all the Cup races from this year during the weekdays. On Thursday, they replay last weekend’s races. It is like SPEED never left, except for the repetitive promo commercials! Well, at least we don’t get bombarded with those, “Free diagnosis for your computer” scam commercials! Ya, the diagnosis is free, but to fix the problems will only cost a thousand dollars!

Bill B
10/03/2013 07:15 PM

I miss being able to catch all the practices even if I only watch them passively (while doing other things). However, I am thinking this might be a good thing in the long run. Maybe a little scarcity will allow me to tolerate the boring races a little bit better.