NASCAR, Sports

Fighting in Sports

Let me preface with what I am about to write with this:

I spent my entire adult working life preparing and training for violent confrontation.  I did this in order to protect people like you in situations where it would not have been possible for you to protect yourself.  I understand the need for violence in our society as a reaction to violence.

The fighting in sports has to end, it has to before someone gets seriously hurt or worse.  The fight this past Saturday in the Truck race has garnered a lot of attention inside the NASCAR world.  It wasn’t much of a fight but it could have been.  Throwing someone to the asphalt could have been serious.  What if one of the participants had landed on his head?  It is somewhat troubling to me how this and other fights in Sports are almost celebrated.

This embracing of violence in Sport, of course, is not limited to NASCAR.  How about the fact that it has long been accepted in baseball that the pitcher can throw a baseball at speeds over 90mph at a batter who is basically defenseless.  How about a hockey player who intentionally hits another player with his stick.  I have seen actual fights in every Professional American sport.  Fights where one person strikes another person with the intent of causing injury.  In my world we would refer to this as Assault and Battery.  It seems strange to me that because these violations of the law, which they are in every instance, are seen by participants, the legal system, and fans as acceptable because they take place inside athletic competition.

Let me ask you this.  Say you have a disagreement with a colleague at work today.  The argument becomes heated and he or she gets up comes over to your cubicle and punches you in the face.  What would happen.  I know what would have happened in my old profession, my career would have been over and I would have been facing criminal charges.

I hope soon that this violence is viewed for what it is and is eliminated from sport.  Arrest a participant and watch how fast it goes away.  I love sports but not the fighting.

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Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR, Sports

Left and Right

Aside from Martinsville my favorite racing is at the Sonoma and Watkins Glen!  I can’t even tell you why for sure but I can tell you I love it.  I would like to see one more Road race in Cup and that would be at Road America.  I love it when the Xfinity cars run there and think the Cup guys would put on a great show there as well.

Some day I will make it out to Sonoma to see a race but it won’t be this year.  I will be watching on TV when the following drivers finish in the top 5.

 

5  Kyle Bussh

4 Kurt Bush

3 Martin Truex Jr

2 Jimmie Johnson

1 Dale Earnhardt Jr

 

Thats right Jr Nation.  The man who was very vocal only a few short years ago about his dislike for road racing will pull in to Victory Lane for the first time ever at a road course and for the first time this year.  Jr. will, as always, will show up with a good car this weekend.  Unlike most weeks this year he will qualify up front, on the pole, and use that position to run up front most of the day.

Enjoy the wine Jr. and Jr. Nation.

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NASCAR, Sports

Off Week

OK, its official we can’t have another off week for Cup.  I can’t watch anymore Xfinity racing, none!  I tried to watch the race at Iowa yesterday, you know the one between Sam Hornish Jr and Daniel Suarez but I just couldn’t.  For the first time ever I turned off a NASCAR race before it ended.  I knew who was going to win.  Joe Gibbs racing.

I’ve listened to some people talk about how great the stand alone races are.  Really?  Really?  At least when we have cup teams in the races there is some hope it may be competitive and that someone outside of Toyota/Gibbs/KBM may win a race.  Did you catch the truck race?  William Byron won for the 3rd time this season in a KBM Toyota.

Lets get back to yesterday’s infinity race.  Sam Hornish Jr, a driver with very limited NASCAR success, got in the 18 and basically ran away from the field.  His only real competition came from Suarez.  There may have been more but Eric Jones had issues with his fuel cell.  I won’t watch anymore Xfinity races this season, not because I don’t want to but because I don’t like to watch sporting events if I already know who won.

There is a lot of talk about banning cup drivers from the lower series.  This is clearly not what is causing the poor racing.  What is?  Not the fact that Gibbs/Toyota/KBM are putting the money and time into building incredible Xfinity and Truck teams.  It’s the fact that other teams are not.  Ford and Chevy have clearly decided not to compete with Toyota at those levels and because of that this is the product on the track that we get to watch or not watch.

I am sure, because we have what seems like hundreds of Sports Networks now, that Xfinity and Truck racing will always make money for NASCAR regardless of the ratings.  Since that is where the money is made they really don’t care about how many people show up to watch in person.

I hope the other Manufacturers/Teams decide to step up their programs in the lower series but until they do I’m out and I can only imagine so are a lot of other people.

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NASCAR, Sports

Low Down Force?

Let me preface this with letting you know that I have never watched a NASCAR race I didn’t enjoy.  I love NASCAR, especially Cup.

OK, so I think that NASCAR has been working  very hard to make the racing not better but more competitive.  They have don this, as we have heard over and over again, by taking downforce off the race cars and “putting more back in the driver’s hands”.  They have also gone to great lengths to convince us this is happening.

It is happening, some, but lets not get carried away.  Michigan is usually a pretty dull race. Cars get strung out and passing is difficult.  This past weeks race, with the smaller splitter and spoiler looked to me like a lot of other Michigan races I have seen.  Joey led a lot of laps, ran up front all day, and won going away.  Now, you will hear about how there was good racing back in the pace.  There was a lot of racing from 15th to 20th, etc.

Some of you may enjoy the race for 17th and 18th place, I don’t .  I don’t care about who runs 20th, even if it is one of the drivers I pull for.  I am interested in what is happening up front.  I am interested in who is going to win the race.  That is why I watch and truth be told that is why 99.9% of you watch as well.  We want to see who wins.  This is why they competed.

Instead of worrying about how to make it SO much better how about we enjoy what we have.

NASCAR and maybe more importantly Goodyear will keep working to make the racing more competitive.  They will, some,  but this will always be a have and have not sport.  The same cars/teams will run up front.  Depending on the tack the race may be a bit boring.  So what? Enjoy what you see, enjoy the strategy, enjoy the fact that the series is filled with great young race car drivers who we will be watching for the next 20 years.    Also, enjoy the fact that this year we may come close to having 16 winners and in the not too distant future I think we will have more than that every year.

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NASCAR, Sports

NASCAR is for Smart People

Every once in a while I hear something like this by a caller on Sirius/XM NASCAR radio in reference to a team that is not performing well.  “The Crew Chief needs to stop, pick up some donuts and coffee, and have a meeting to let the boys know they need to pull it together.”

NASCAR has, amongst its fans, a perception that it is still a grass roots racing endeavor.  If you think that you are wrong.  While NASCAR may not have the reputation for technology and engineering the Indy Car and F1 has it is just as technical.  When a 10th of a second means the difference between starting first or 30th, it comes down to technology and engineering.

Last night I watched on FS1’s Race Hub a piece about the race Simulator that Ford Performance has built in Concord, NC.  It is in a word, unbelievable.  No more testing in NASCAR, don’t worry about it.  Ford has built something there that eliminates the need for any team to travel in order to test at a track.  A Ford driver can climb in the simulator and be in Sonoma or Las Vegas or Martinsville.  I can only imagine what the cost was to build the simulator.  I can also imagine how smart the engineers who designed it have to be.  If they don’t already have one I am sure Toyota and Chevrolet will both have the same set up in North Carolina.  They will have to.  Staying up front in NASCAR is a race of its own.  This race isn’t on the track its at the shop where really smart people run data and put together nearly perfectly engineered race cars that go on the track every Sunday.

This is only one of the many reasons I love NASCAR.  It is also another reason why NASCAR  competition is not only what we see on the track.  Racing takes place in our sport 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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NASCAR, Sports

Crew Chief Suspensions

We have all seen a number of Crew Chief suspensions  in the last couple of weeks.  Several of them stemming from the dreaded Lug Nut rule.  If you are wondering why it keeps happening let me clue you in on why.  Because it is worth it to win a race!!

First, lets be honest about something.  When Tony Stewart spoke out and said that not having all the wheels tight was a Safety Issue he was clearly using that as the card to get NASCAR to do something about how fast the JGR crews were performing their pit stops and giving themselves a big advantage on Pit row.

Why hasn’t having several Crew Chiefs, the latest being Chad Johnston from the 42, being finder 20K and suspended for a race been enough of a deterrent?  Because it is so hard to win and when you do win you are guaranteed into the Chase.  Also, in case you haven’t noticed its not that big of a deal to race without the Crew Chief on the box anymore (See Kurt Bush at Pocono).  Every team has engineers, car chiefs, and competition directors not to mention the fact that you are allowed to use someone else as a Crew Chief, usually someone who has been a crew chief in the past.

I think the lug nut rule is silly but its a rule.  If you break a rule then there has to be a penalty.  What should be the penalty then.  I would say this.  Take away 50 points (more than one race) and if the driver happens to win the race vacate the victory.

What would be the result?  Slower pit stops, tight lug nuts.  Oh and nobody slamming their body into the car causing an aerodynamically advantageous dent.  That may be a story or another time.

Thanks for reading.

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Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR, Sports

Here comes HMS

OK, I am a fan of Hendrick Motorsports.  I think what Rick Hendrick has built is incredible.  I also think Mr. H will see HMS surpass, by a large margin, 300 wins.

Monday proved why they are great.  When a team gets behind, and HMS did a little this year, you won’t see them make that up in the first few weeks.  Those cars have already been built.  It may be six weeks before you see the real improvement if at all.  That’s what we are seeing by HMS now.  Three cars in the top ten at the tricky triangle and the 48 ran up front most of the day.  Chase Elliot led over 50 laps!

Joe Gibbs racing better be looking over its shoulder and out in front of them at the same time.  Whatever edge they and Toyota had is starting to slip away.  Don’t get me wrong JGR and Front Row are still strong, just not out ahead anymore.

Add to the fact that Team Penske is strong and we are in for a real treat for the remainder of the year.

This is NASCAR and there will always be the haves and have nots.  However this year there are a lot of haves and they are really close competitively!

I can’t wait for Michigan!

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