Race Weekend Central

Voices From the Heartland: Now That We Got Daytona Over With…

As everyone is coming down from the turmoil and excitement that has held sway the last couple of weeks, there are a few things and thoughts that I would like to bring to light. These are my thoughts on everything from ratings, the media, restrictor plates, the Waltrips and beyond. So reach up there and pull those belts tight… blah, blah, blah!

From the onset of the Bud Shootout, it simply boggles my mind just how blatantly stupid the broadcasts have become.

As the green flag flew, I thought… I prayed…”Please, DW, please don’t do it!” but alas there it came, the dreaded “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity! Let’s go racin’ boys!” Yes, that same old phrase that, while OK for a few races (how many years ago now?) is now so tired, so juvenile and yes, even almost painful to hear, that I almost turned off the television right then and there.

How obtuse can a person and a network be? Has no one told DW? Has he become so rich and ‘ignurt’ that he doesn’t care how foolish it makes him look? Has FOX Sports, like Brian France and the Chase, never heard or read that my totally unscientific guess of probably 90% of the viewers are sick to death of this particular beginning to every race? Mind boggling, I tell you, simply mind boggling!

When it come to DW, I know that a lot of people have never liked him from way back in his racing prime. He was brash and outspoken and generally didn’t give a rat’s ass about if he offended you or not. He does however, have the hardware in his trophy case to back his talk up and as such, while he was never my favorite person, I did respect the man for his ability and the fact that he could be amusing at times. Now however, it is painful to watch and listen to him as he makes such a fool of himself. Hey dude, shut up already with the boogitys! It was funny at first, but now you look like a fool.

And speaking of fools….

Mikey, Mikey, Mikey. I’m shaking my head in disbelief! While brother Mikey does not have the trophies of his older brother, again, he was always on my list of ‘guys that are OK and he too could be genuinely funny at times.’ Now I understand that times are tight and just having a sponsor is a good thing, but seriously, who the hell thinks up these commercials nowadays? Can NAPA not afford to make a decent commercial anymore? They used to.

Last year’s “NAPA know how” commercials were sickening, stupid and were annoying to everyone without exception that I asked. You’d think it would be hard to top but nooooo, not for NAPA!!! This year’s ad with Mikey shaking his butt in the camera… c’mon! How much more can you insult my intelligence? That commercial is the best I’ve ever seen… for AutoZone!!!!! Won’t catch me dead in a NAPA!

And executives wonder why people are not watching!!!

And speaking of not watching….

Get ready for it for it is bound to happen. Soon Brian France will speak again and will point to the fact, over and over and over again, that this year’s ratings were up for the Daytona 500. I’d wager my last dollar on it. But trust me, there are a few reasons for that, most of which is the $20 million NASCAR spent on repaving Daytona and, to a lesser extent, that it was the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s demise.

The simple fact of the matter is, once practice for the Bud Shootout started and everyone saw this new form of two-pack racing, people were eager to see how it would play out. On the one hand, NASCAR was happy with the interest, but on the other hand, they were scared to death of the speeds.

As it turned out, despite their best efforts, they could not effectively break up the two-packs and as such, we were all treated to a new kind of plate racing that was different from what we’ve come to expect. I wouldn’t go so far to say that it was good racing, for it strays far from what a race of individuals should be, but it was different, I’ll give you that.

Let us not forget something though. The ONLY reason we saw this new type of racing was solely due to the new surface on the track. Had it not been done we would have seen the same old pack racing as we always have at Daytona and Talladega. All that has happened now is that we will now be treated to two different types of plate racing… two packs at Daytona and multi-car packs at ‘Dega. Simple as that. You will not see the two car hook-ups at Phoenix like we did at Daytona, so everyone should stop fretting about it.

And speaking of restrictor plates….

I’ve said it before and I will say it again… get rid of them!!! No need to do anything different, just take them off!

Look, racing is dangerous. That is one of the main reasons people do it. Pushing man and machine to the limits. It is what racing is all about. Yes, the cars now days can go well over 200 mph, so what? They can do it at Atlanta, Michigan et al. (that’s Latin for ‘and others’ for those of you who didn’t take Latin in high school!) Just because you CAN go into a corner at 210-plus mph doesn’t mean you SHOULD!!!

If the plates come off, the men that run the machines will find that fine line. The fine line between making it around the track and slamming into the wall. Once they find that line and their own limits, they will know where it is! Yes, you can do 120 in the straights at Bristol but you can’t in the corners. They know that. Take the plates off and they will know that at Daytona and Talladega too! Uhhhh gee… there’s a corner up here… maybe I should slow down! Ya think!?

As for the media, I just want to say this….

Those ‘journalists’ who think it was unethical for some in the media center to clap for Trevor Bayne as he won the Daytona 500 (and made history to boot)… get over yourself! You ain’t no David Poole!

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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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