NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Voices from the Heartland: Week 2 at Auto Club Speedway… Like It Never Even Happened

Everyone is talking about how boring the events (well the racing ones, anyway) are at California’s Auto Club Speedway; and quite frankly, I would have to agree. Of all the tracks that the Series races at, ACS is the last place I would ever visit… or even want to. Oh sure, I might go to one – if I were walking down the street in L.A., glanced down and found a free ticket lying on the ground – but that would be the only way. Oddly enough, I will be in L.A. shortly after the Vegas race, and I could see that happening – an unused ticket from a week and a half ago lying on the ground in the middle of the street. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

But what is the point of NASCAR going to California in the first place? During the whole offseason, the sport is getting everyone pumped for Daytona and the new season. Optimism among fans – even cynical ones such as myself – is high. Time to hear the roar of the engines again! Daytona is usually exciting, and then… and then… there’s ACS to kill your buzz.

But just when you think it’s not going to get any worse… it does. Not only is a race at ACS like kissing your sister; but now, we got to kiss her again during the Chase! Who thinks this crap up?

Here is a novel idea for NASCAR; if you really want to save the teams money because you think they are too stupid to manage themselves, how about shortening the season to 35 races! Simply remove one of the California dates. Don’t reassign it to another track (Lord knows they’d screw that up even more) but simply do away with it! Presto! The teams save millions, the fans are spared, and everyone is happy.

Things were so bad that the biggest news all weekend to come out of ACS is… that there is no news! To be honest, toward the end there when it started raining, I secretly hoped it would pour like a cow pissing on a flat rock just to see how NASCAR would handle it! But unfortunately, that was not to be. Oh, well; at least Matt Kenseth got to actually race for a win this week.

And then, there was all this Kyle Busch hype! OMG! Kyle became the first boy in NASCAR history to win a Truck race and a Nationwide race on the same day! And what did he prove…? We saw last week how he reacts when he doesn’t win, even after putting on a great show. Like I said yesterday in Mirror Driving …the Truck and Nationwide series are ExtenZe for Kyle’s ego. It’s like David Poole auditioning for a writing spot here at Frontstretch! (We have openings, by the way!) If some other Truck Series or Nationwide regular had done it, then it would be noteworthy; but honestly, if Kyle didn’t have the best stuff and was not winning – say, a continual backmarker – he wouldn’t be pulling double duty. You know it… and I know it.

Finally, in other NASCAR news this weekend…

The final television ratings for the race at ACS were a raving success! Believe it or not, this last week’s race was, and I quote, “the top-rated, most-watched sports event of the week, and was one of the highest-rated prime time programs among several popular demographic categories, including adults 18-49. According to Nielsen Media Research, the race posted a 6.0/10 national household rating/share, with 10.2 million viewers watching, by far the highest-rated and most-watched sports event of the week.”

And just what did NASCAR beat by a margin almost as big as Kyle’s win over Todd Bodine in the Truck race? The final round of the Northern Trust Open! Yup, that’s right… golf! Brian France, like Kyle, must be proud! (And I’m a golfer!)

Just one more whack on this deceased equine before I go… what is up with the demographic of “adults 18-49?” That’s a pretty safe category, isn’t it? Don’t they usually break stuff like that down a lot further? I mean, c’mon… isn’t “adults 18-49” pretty much all-inclusive of the “several popular demographic categories?” Oh yeah, there is that “Digger demographic;” you know, the one that includes kids 1-12! I bet they did pretty good there, too!

As the final kicker to show what a newsworthy race the Fontana debacle has become, here is a headline from an ESPN story that came out this week…

“HMS (Hendrick Motorsports): Engines blew due to bad parts.”

In direct opposition from perfectly good parts, I suppose! Imagine that!

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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