NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kickin’ the Tires: NASCAR Fans Fickle Over Finishes

It was a great weekend of racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway, but if you went solely by the responses on Twitter and other forms of social media, you wouldn’t know it. Why? Because our fickle fans think they can come up with a way to end every race with door-banging, side-by-side action with flames, sparks and the Battle Hymn of the Republic playing in the background.

Guess what, folks? You can’t have it that way every single race, every single week. Yes, it does happen from time to time – minus the whole Glory, Glory Halleluiah thing – but if it did happen every week, it would become boring then too!

This past Friday, the Camping World Truck Series had one of the most exciting finishes of the year. And last week’s truck race at Kansas was pretty good too.

Yes, Kasey Kahne may have had a cheated-up truck in the Charlotte race, but he still held off Erik Jones by .005 of a second in a photo finish.

The finish at Iowa Speedway on Sunday was also off the charts. Sure, Chris Buescher had a nice lead as he crossed the stripe and took the checkered flag but I wasn’t sure he would win that race as the final lap ticked off the board. If you are honest with yourself, neither were you.

So, what happened in the Sprint All-Star Race? Well, Denny Hamlin won the race and some are saying it wasn’t exciting. I disagree, but I also want to ask what people didn’t like about it. Did fans not like the racing package, which is exactly what they already race every weekend? Did they not like the All-Star format with four 25-lap races and a 10-lap shootout? Or maybe the fans that took to Twitter bashing the sport and the sanctioning body last night didn’t like the fact that Denny Hamlin won the race?

Something tells me the people who were complaining on social media were probably more upset that Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Jeff Gordon didn’t win than they were with the racing action, the format or the package being run by the cars.

News flash folks: NASCAR isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn good. The drivers race 36 times a year to determine a champion, and if you think the INDYCAR or Formula 1 or [insert racing series here] are any better, then go watch them. You may be one of the few people not fond of the Chase for the Championship format but millions of other fans think it’s great. Since its implementation, the sport has seen some of the most exciting finishes ever.

But if you think you would like one of those other racing series better than NASCAR, it should be pretty easy to get in and out of their tracks because their attendance levels don’t generate the interest we have in the most superior racing style on the planet.

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Kb

Wow, I had to read this column twice, as it is something I am not used to on the this site. Kasey Kahne “may have cheated but he held off Erik Jones”. WTF, seriously????? I am honest with myself and I had no doubt about CB in Iowa getting it done and glad he did so. No, fans did not and do not like the racing package, this year or last. What changes? Once out front, clean air is king and drivers had said as much and it settles into a snorefest of follow the leader with a couple of guys making a pass or two depending on how many tires they took or whether they are tight or lose, nothing to do with “racing” per say. Not taking away anything from Hamlin (and I do not like Hamlin), his crew did him right and it is what it is. Racing for position of pit road should not be the whole race, I don’t blame Brad for what he did, and he explained it perfectly. not that NASCAR will listen. The segments were a snoozefest, glad this author thought it was exciting. I actually wanted it end, I was bored to tears, I hung on for some “explanations” post race and the coverage was horrible, I never did get the answers I was looking for.

Dennis

Similar experience to Kb. Maybe the author is a fairly recent fan? Anyway, there was a time when the cars weren’t so aero dependent and a faster car/driver could pass. Now, on so many of these tracks, clean air is King. I don’t care if the final few laps aren’t exciting. I watch to see racing. The product on the track should result in good racing throughout the event (cars able to pass each other if I’m not being clear enough). Sure, sometimes a car gets dialed in and dominates the event. That’s fine with me. There will still be racing to be seen amongst the rest. Just show that.

But, if it’s a track where, once the cars have run a lap or two and get single file, they have huge trouble passing because of aero-push, well that’s as boring as can be. And the sad thing it doesn’t need to be that way. NASCAR made it that way and has the power to fix it. Get rid of as much down force as you can and you’ll have good racing again. Speed doesn’t make good racing. Passing does.

JohnQ

You got me! I’m one of those people that just can’t enjoy a race that is not determined by a manufactured caution with two laps to go. Inciteful commentary.

spot1

No, they do not race 36 times a year to determine a champion. They race only the final nine of 10 races to get in a position to win the championship, which is only determined in the final race of the season.

BTW, I watched all of 3 laps of the All-Star race………..saw all I needed to see. Otherwise, I was watching the webcast of the races at Knoxville……………..much better show.

Budsudz

Dennis and KB nail it. The Pit Stop and Clean Air won the All-Star race for Hamlin (He even admitted it in his post race interview) All of the recent All-Star races are decided in lap one or two of the final Shoot-Out. Whoever wins the re-start, wins the race.

Gone are the days of anyone charging through the field because they have better tires, a better motor, or just the bravery to make it happen. It’s all about track position and clean air.

The truck aero package had consistently delivered better racing for years and years. Put the Cup Drivers in trucks and the racing would improve 50% overnight (but, that will never happen)

GinaV24

This column is so amazingly bad that I couldn’t really believe what I was reading! Fans are fickle? Let’s see, I’ll bet that many of the people reading and commenting on this column were fans before NASCAR started the COT and the Chase.

And your facts are screwed up – they don’t race 36 times for the championship. They used to race for points over the entire schedule, now the 26 races leading up to the final 10 are for seeding and then we have the lovely elimination races until the final crapshoot at Homestead.

Would I have been happy if Gordon had won another all-star race? Sure. However my comments about the crappy racing had nothing to do with that. Quite a few of the comments on twitter were from various media and Jenna Fryer wrote a scathing article last week about how bad the All Star event has been for the past 10 years. Are you going to say she was “mad because her favorite didn’t win”.

If the author thought it was exciting, well, that’s awesome. I’ve seen exciting races at Charlotte and other tracks. IMO, this one wasn’t even close.

NASCAR and BZF have never figured out how to fix the aero issue and until they do that, the races, particularly at the 1.5 mile d-shaped ovals, will be like this.

Kahne had a cheated up truck? Really? Can you prove that allegation?

the race in Iowa was pretty good to watch – no Cup drivers and it was good to watch (or in my case listen to). I ussed the MRN feed after realizing that Mikey was in the booth AND because every time I put FS1 on, they were in commercial. Both of those things make it too difficult to watch a race on TV – I’ll listen to MRN instead.

Tim S.

Gina, in this guy’s defense, most of the passes he’s watched at these tracks have been on pit lane. Passes at the timing line at 45mph with the slow-motion cam are just as important to him as any on-track happenings, because TV has highlighted them in the absence of sustained action on-track. He watched Hamlin come in, what, 4th or 5th and come out with the lead. That’s action, doll!

I think it was Bill B on another article who said they need to stop presenting the All-Star event as something markedly different than what usually happens on D-shaped ovals. That happened the first year it was run at night, and very rarely since.

GinaV24

Tim S, hah, I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective and that makes more sense than calling what I saw in the All Star event (I can’t call that a race) exciting racing.

I pay little or no attention to whatever gimmicky crap TV is showing.

Ken Smith

Gina and KB: Don’t you read other news on this site? Kahne’s truck was found two low in front, and one rear side too high in tech inspection after the race.

kb

I did read it Ken and knew about it as soon as it the wire. The point I was making was the authors “big deal” so what he cheated stance to start his article. My comment had nothing to about the actual incident.

GinaV24

OK, I stand corrected. Kahne’s truck was out of compliance. IMO then they should give the win to Jones but NASCAR doesn’t do that.

Also as kb pointed out, the author’s point of view is that “it didn’t matter” because it was an exciting finish – except it should.

MPM

That final sentence had me scratching my head and it wasn’t just because I don’t agree with the sentiment. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but “most superior”? As it turns out that’s a double superlative and thus grammatically incorrect.

As for ingress and egress from NASCAR events, I have to say that these days it’s “more better” than it used to be. Back then the tracks were adding seats at the same rate they’re tearing them out now due to plunges in attendance and “more worse” TV ratings.

As a side note, wouldn’t one expect that the level of interest generates attendance not the other way around? That concludes today’s grammar lesson. I feel “most better”.

Upstate24fan

The problem is with both the format and the rules package. Clean air is still king and with short segments and everyone having to take 4 tires in the last segment there isn’t enough time for other variables that help cars pass to take effect (tire wear, green flag stop strategy, long v. short run setups, etc.). The result is whoever got out in front in the last segment was gone. Harvick was faster at the end but his car hit a “wall of air”. As long as this remains, I want longer segments where tire wear and other strategy factors can come into play. I still like a mandatory 4 tire stop to involve the crews, but earlier in the race.

midasmicah

Hey Jerry Jordan. Keep drinking that nas$car Kool-Aid. Until they move this race track that actually induces racing, It’s pretty boring. I’ve been watching nas$car5 for about 35 years and it tickes me off when you diss fans like me. I used to like love to read the columns at this site, now all the writers that weren’t afraid to criticize nas$car are gone.

Capt Spaulding

Prior to this year writing articles for Frontstretch, Old Jerry must of been the ghost writer for those in depth questions submitted to “Summer’s Mailbag.”

GinaV24

ha, yeah, I quit reading Summer’s column early on – a total waste of time.

Overra88ted

Hey Jerry Jordan, Na$Crap does not race 36 weekends a year to determine its champion. They race 26 races, then do a 10 race Contrived DO-OVER for the “championship” with what ever number of drivers Brainfart France decides is needed to attract the ADD crowd of fans that Na$Crap craves. I bet you even think the “drama” of a 30th place driver in points after 26 races and 1 win, clinching the “championship” with a 40th finish at Miami would be a “real champion”. FYI Jerry, this is entirely possible with this Joke of a Championship.

J. Smith

Fickle fans…that’s funny. Did you write this article just to stir comments? I’m not on tweeter so maybe I don’t know what fans you speak of. Most all commenters here are not fickle at all but old school fans that used to put on their drivers shirt to sit down and watch every lap of every race. Perhaps they would drive over 1,000 miles to attend Bristol. The majority of fans I read here are steadfast, not fickle. The passion is GONE and I don’t know exactly what to blame it on other than the relentless attempts by Brian France for “game seven moments” that have robbed the sport of it’s integrity along with track owners building 1 1/2 mile tracks. Fickle, I think not. It is you and fans like you that are fickle. 30 cars a lap down, throw a BS caution and after a commercial everyone is on the lead lap ready for a doublewidegreenwhitecheckered to determine the championship and you are thrilled. You are Brian’s target fan and the problem as we see it Jerry. Fickle! One more thing, I for one have attended F1, Indycar, NHRA and Supercross in recent years and I don’t think demeaning them is an intelligent or mature way to support your opinion.

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