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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Voices from the Heartland: Almost On Cue, Bruton Dangles a Carrot & Other NASCAR Tidbits

Last week, this space was solely devoted to what needs to happen for NASCAR, as a sport, to keep from fading into oblivion. At the top of that list was the total removal of Brian France as the head man in Daytona.

France’s removal, in my opinion, would be the single most ray of hope that we diehard fans could ever wish for. More so even than say, moving the Labor Day race back to Darlington. But we all know that will never happen.

While I did strongly advocate Brian’s removal, in words that even people who have been given ‘signs’ by comedian Bill Engvall could understand, I stopped short of saying that the France family should be removed altogether. Honestly, while the total de-France-ing of NASCAR may not be a bad thing, I would be content (pending further review) with Jim France (Brian’s uncle) running the show. A total France sellout could only be wishful thinking and, as such, I never even thought of it.

For years now, there has been a fantasy by the fans that someone should start a second race series. However, as appealing as that may be, we all know that there is only one man that could even attempt to have the where-with-al to do that, and that man is Bruton Smith. Smith is the man behind Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI), which owns and operates all your “…Motor Speedway” tracks, such as Bristol, Lowe’s and Texas, to name a few.

Now, Bruton is known for stirring things up, but his statements this last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway have really set me to salivating! While having breakfast with a few reporters, the topic of his long known desire of the outright purchase of NASCAR from the France family was brought up.

“I stand by that,” Smith said. “And it’s getting closer.”

Whether Bruton said that because he reads Frontstretch on a daily basis and was trying to appease me, I don’t know. But whatever the reason, it sure is a tasty looking carrot that he has dangled out there, isn’t it?!

Now, I’m not going to sit here and blatantly say that Bruton Smith is the messiah of stock car racing as we know it, but I will say that a NASCAR world with Bruton at the helm would be a hell of a lot better than the fantasy world Brian France has created! Bruton knows how to build a product to sell to the customer. France built a product to sell to himself. ‘Nuff said!

From the “Totally out of touch with reality” department…

“But I still think what wins on Sunday sells on Monday, even in a weakened economy. People relate to what they drive and what their favorite driver drives. That’s a given.” – Jim Hunter, Vice President of Corporate Communications, NASCAR

Right, Jim! Why, just the other day I ordered a new rear-wheel-drive Chevy Impala, with optional wing and splitter at my local dealership. They had none in stock. So, I went to the Ford dealer, figuring I could get basically the same car… no luck. So, I tried the Toyota dealer… same darn thing! Seems they are ALL on back order due to high customer demand!

More NASCAR “reality”…

“It’s a science project that we’re involved in with Goodyear,” said John Darby, Sprint Cup series director. “Obviously, a change that major would probably never see a racetrack for five years. You’ve got tire technology, you’ve got wheel manufacturers and you’ve got brake manufacturers. It’s just so many components on something like that that it would be as big a change as when we left bias-ply and went to radial tires.”

Voices says BS! With a capitol BS! They can mandate anything else or sudden fix this or that, and they have in the past! If NASCAR had any balls, they would flat out tell Goodyear, do it and do it by February of 2009! It’s not rocket science for goodness sake, it’s a wheel! Goodyear, and all the other necessary component manufacturers could have it done in record time. They just need some incentive! (See ‘if NASCAR had any balls’ part!)

From the “I hope it was an accident or I hope they catch the guy…” department…

It was reported that a woman, sitting in here RV at TMS this last weekend, was struck in the arm by a .30 caliber bullet. The bullet entered the roof of the RV at an angle and struck her arm as she was sitting at the table.

Now, it is a known fact that a bullet shot straight up in the air will NOT kill you or have any penetrating power when it comes back to Earth to hit you on the head. The reason is because, once the bullet reaches its apex (that’s ‘as high as it goes’ for some of you), it falls back to earth TUMBLING, not spinning as when it left the barrel of the firearm. Thus it becomes nothing more than a metal ‘hailstone’ as it were.

However, if said bullet is fired at an ANGLE, the bullet now has a TRAJECTORY and will SPIN, just as it was when it left the barrel, throughout the ARC of said trajectory and will retain a lot of its PENETRATING power.

Given all that, and given that detectives can determine the angle of which the bullet penetrated the RV, with a little (OK, good) detective and research work, you should be able to get a general idea of exactly where the bullet came from. Yes, it probably came from over a mile or so away, but still, I hope they don’t need me to explain all this to them. Here’s to hoping that it was a genuine accident and not some nut out lobbing shots in the general direction of the speedway grounds. Whatever the case, it needs to be thoroughly investigated.

I’ve been hit in the head in the campgrounds myself, but it is usually by a canned beverage or an errant bean bag – never a bullet! (sometimes BOTH on your better days!)

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer