Race Weekend Central

Fanning the Flames: Full Moon Fever Sweeps NASCAR Nation

After five years away, NASCAR has now brought the Labor Day weekend race 2,100 miles closer to its rightful home. Maybe in another five years – when the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars – they can complete the remaining 288 miles and looooove will steer the stars. It will be the re-dawning of the Age of Darlington… and it will be everything we expected, and more.

OK, enough dreaming. Let’s hit it this week. You guys were feeling awful frisky… must’ve been the full moon. Yes, I just watched The 40-Year-Old Virgin (again). That ending sticks with me for a few days.

Q: My God, just what we need: another pathetic race at Kansas Speedway, the monkeys who run NASCAR are putting a worse and worse show together, but that’s OK since the real racing (IndyCar) is gaining momentum and will feed off the moronic decisions of the woefully inbred France family and the idiots such as “Walrus” Helton, etc.

What’s next? Half the Cup schedule to road courses? The only good races they run anymore besides the plate races are at the unique tracks such as Darlington, Richmond, etc. How about a race at Iowa? How about some work done to make California something more than a sleeping pill, and how about the best idea of all (way too sensible for these fools): Tony Stewart’s idea of a 200-lap dirt race at the Indy or Missouri fairgrounds with another 50,000 temporary seats brought in like they do for Indy street races.

Think they would have any trouble selling that out? Wouldn’t the ringers brought in for those shows be fun?!

Too bad the lack of intelligence at the top will be the demise of NASCAR: it’s beginning to show already. Hey Brian, have a couple more drinks and take the old Lexus for another ride!!! – Anonymous

A: Yeah, Tony George is building a ton of momentum for his open-wheel boys and girls by getting the series downgraded to the Versus Channel. All the while, “Inbred Brian and the Walrus” continue to roll in the network and advertising dollars as TV ratings rise once again.

Look, I don’t agree with or pretend to understand some (read: most) of the decisions made by the fendered brass in Daytona, but the microscope they’re under is enormous, and sometimes we tend to pile on a bit too much.

As for Kansas Speedway pining for another date – apparently with Lesa France Kennedy’s blessing – I think it’d be a mistake for the sport. Of course, another date on the Plains would continue to line NASCAR’s pockets, and that’s more than can be said for a suddenly knocked-down-to-size George. But if NASCAR wants to do what’s best for the sport as a whole, it should think long and hard about giving a cookie cutter that already has a race an additional one.

And bring on a dirt track. I doubt it’d work with splitters that sit three inches off the ground, but I’d pay to see it.

Q: Matt, I think NASCAR should banish Toyota altogether. This is the second major infraction, albeit from different teams, Toyota has been involved with in as many years in the series. I’m surprised Joe Gibbs Racing would go along with it, but be that as it may, Toyota is behind these scandals and will continue to cheat as often as they can. We don’t need their yen in the Great American Sport. – Jackie

A: Man, you guys are in a good mood this week. First you force me to defend NASCAR and now Toyota? I’m suddenly feeling like Ramsey Poston. Actually, I don’t guess I have to defend Toyota, but the truth is JGR isn’t the first team that’s pulled a stunt like this – it’s just the first one to get nailed.

And if we’re going to take shots at the new kid on the block, let’s not forget that Hendrick Motorsports – honest-to-God, red, white & blue Chevy boys, damnit – have a tendency to “skirt the rules” every now and then, as well. With its Nos. 24 and 48 fenders, shocks and rear-window incidents all within the past year, it’s not like they’re an angel, either.

Now on to some brighter fare.

Q: Hi Matt! What impound races are left on the schedule? I can’t find any information about it. You would think NASCAR.com would have it, but of course it doesn’t. Are there any left? – Pamela Ayers

A: Yes ma’am, there are. Of all weekends, Richmond is the next one. Why the sanctioning body would deem that race an impound event is beyond me, considering there is so much on the line; but again, I don’t pretend to understand some of NASCAR’s rulings. The only other one after that is at Talladega on Oct. 5.

Q: Football has Canton, baseball has Cooperstown, and basketball has Springfield. NASCAR will soon have Charlotte as a home for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, but my question is what is the difference between the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame and is one more “official” than the other? Thanks! – MikeDee

A: The Halls in question are different in that each has its own voters that elect inductees and location. The International Motorsports Hall of Fame is, of course, located in Talladega, Ala., while the Motorsports Hall of Fame is in Novi, Mich., on the outskirts of Detroit. Neither is an “official” NASCAR Hall of Fame, but in typical NASCAR fashion, we’ll soon have just that when, as you mentioned, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is completed in Charlotte.

In case you were wondering, Art Afrons, Red Byron, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, Frank Kurtis, Cotton Owens and Ralph Seagraves comprised the 18th class of inductees into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame this year. Michael Andretti, Buddy Baker, John Force, Richie Ginther, Paul Goldsmith, Wayne Rainey and Betty Skelton comprised the 20th class inducted into the Motortsports Hall of Fame just last week.

Ad-Rock and MCA will be in next week.

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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