A non-native species has become part of NASCAR’s culture over the past five years, threatening to eradicate all those competing against it — and that’s Toyota. Say what you will about Toyotas produced here in the United States, but they are still a foreign car company nonetheless. The fact some Toyotas are built in the U.S. doesn’t make them an American car company any more than the fact that I can get somewhat serviceable General Tsao’s Chicken here in the sleepy burg of Guthriesville, Pa. The food might be made in an American town… but that still doesn’t make it American cuisine.
NASCAR did everything possible to get the Auto Club 500 off as scheduled Sunday. But in the end, they came up short — thanks to Mother Nature and a host of other issues. Given the condition of the track, should the race have even been attempted Sunday? And does the postponement of Sunday’s race, a hardship for the teams because of a 3,000-mile trek home, followed by another 3,000-mile trek back to Las Vegas, indicate the need for a real overhaul of the schedule, or are acts of nature to be expected and dealt with as they come?
12 drivers were running almost 700 miles thanks to the delay of the Cup race and the postponement of the Nationwide race. However, it didn’t make much difference to Tony Stewart, who ran away with much of the Stater Brothers 300.
After a whole week in relative anonymity amongst their manufacturer counterparts, Dodge took six of the top 10 spots in the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Were the Dodges merely in the right place at the right time, or are they going to be a force to reckoned with this year?
The NASCAR Nationwide Series remained “Cup Light” in its opening race, with Tony Stewart taking the checkered flag as one of nine Sprint Cup regulars to finish in the top 10 in Saturday’s Camping World 300.
Last week we talked about the new series sponsor, “buschwhacking,” and the future of the series. This week, we examine the champ, the contenders and the 2008 rookie class.
Friday night’s Budweiser Shootout final practice was filled with torn-up cars and aggressive moves. For the second time in a year, Kurt Busch took his frustration with Tony Stewart out on pit road. Busch was penalized with a point deduction and fine last year; but this time, NASCAR went for probation. Was this enough?
Did You Notice? That after Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch tangled on the track, Ryan Newman was seen engaging in lighthearted conversation with Stewart on his way to the NASCAR hauler? It’s not like the two drivers can’t talk to each other – they’re friends – but to make that type of move in public, five minutes after your teammate felt like he was wronged on the racetrack? Hmm, even if the wreck wasn’t mentioned, you have to wonder about the relationship Newman and Busch have at Penske after that.
With the 2008 season right around the corner at this point here, in no particular order, are my top 10 wishes for NASCAR this year. You won’t agree with all of them, I’m sure, so feel free to write me with your own 10.
Personally, it was a great offseason for me. We started off with Thanksgiving and we had me, my wife Kim, our three girls and the whole family over for dinner. I gave my family a speech. I stood up before dinner and told everybody that I hope I have to no longer invite anybody for Thanksgiving. We love having Thanksgiving and my wife is a great cook. We would always have this funny thing that would go on with my family where my brothers would say “Well, nobody called us. We weren’t invited.” So I gave them a little speech and I said that Thanksgiving is sacred to us because my Grandma always had dinner and we always went there. So we got that out of the way and said that Thanksgiving would always be at Kenny and Kim’s and that nobody needs to be invited ever again!