NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Odds & Ends Around the Track: Tricky Triangle Edition

Recently, I was having a discussion with an expert in the world of racetrack and race series financing about what was going on with NASCAR. If you haven’t been paying attention, the racetracks have all been taken private after being publicly-traded corporations for years.

The fact both major racetrack groups would do that at the same time makes me wonder if the whole kit and caboodle of NASCAR and the tracks are being sold as one huge entity. I really do think NASCAR will have it’s first non-France owner soon. But a curious part of this whole taking International Speedway Corporation private was the rest of the France family members buying out Brian France’s ownership in NASCAR and ISC. Since Brian France’s arrest and demotion, not much has been said about him. But this financial move is a clear sign the family was disgusted by his actions.

Upon Further Review

NASCAR made waves this week when it changed its rules on what constitutes an uncontrolled tire during a pit stop. While NASCAR measures everything else in the sport to the millimeter, they used a dubious “arm’s length” to determine what used to constitute an uncontrolled tire violation. This weird rule has bitten Denny Hamlin on more than one occasion, and Joe Gibbs Racing must have done a great job lobbying, because the rule has been changed.

Watching some of the media experts in NASCAR trying to explain this new rule on social media was almost comical. NASCAR officials are specialists in making simple things more complicated, especially when trying to simplify rules.

It got me thinking that major rule changes should be made to other silly things in NASCAR. Have you ever noticed that a pit stop violation is more of a penalty under a green-flag stop than under caution depending on the size of the track? Shouldn’t the rule be uniform for any pit stop? Upon further review, maybe it’s time for more rule changes in NASCAR.

Support Your Local Speedway

This week, Wall Stadium announced that after the 2020 season, the track will be closed to make room for affordable housing. Like many racetracks, it was only built there because way back when, the land wasn’t considered that valuable for any other business. Many racetracks were built out in the boonies and then had the world grow up around them. As the original track owner gets old, the next generation takes over and the tradition continues – until someone decides that land is too valuable to waste on the small return of a racetrack.

Allan Brown, who was the founder of the National Speedway Directory over 35 years ago, just released his updated edition of “The History of America’s Speedways Past and Present.” This amazing book chronicles the life of 9,000 racetracks that are no longer with us. Soon, Wall Stadium will become part of the folklore of racetracks that used to be like Santa Fe Speedway and Hales Corners Speedway. Get out and support your local speedway so it doesn’t fade into history.

Fantasy Insight: Pocono

Looking Back to Last Week’s Picks

Win: Kevin Harvick – WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER

Place: Kyle Busch – Fnished eighth

Show: Martin Truex Jr. – Finished sixth

Long Shot: Kyle Larson – Finished 33rd

It had been a few weeks since I picked a winner on top, so it was great to see Harvick finally get that elusive first win of the season last week. As expected, the Fords and Toyotas dominated this race, and Matt DiBenedetto continued to show how great he is, getting a fifth-place finish for Leavine Family Racing.

Now, the NASCAR circus heads back to Pocono Raceway again. The last time around, Busch dominated, leading 79 of the 160 laps. Busch leads all drivers by 25 points over the last five races and has won three of the last five races at Pocono. Just like at the road courses, the stage system of racing has led to some unique pit stop strategy at Pocono. Will that give us a weird winner this time around?

Win: Truex Jr. – About time for the other JGR stud to win again.

Place: Busch – Won’t pick the “chalk” to win again but also will not leave him off my picks.

Show: Brad Keselowski – Runner-up last time with four top-five finishes in the last five races here.

Long Shot: William Byron (80-to-1 Odds) Sat on the pole here earlier in the year, finished ninth.

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