The first thing I want to do this week is apologize to Andy DeLay of Burning Rubber Radio for the comments in my last column. Turns out the person who e-mailed me was not the same Andy DeLay of radio fame. He e-mailed again and told me about it, and was nice enough to thank us for responding to his comments. He still feels the same way he did, and I still feel the same way I did.
I also want to toss out a big “Thanks” to my compatriots here at Frontstretch.com who discussed the situation with the Nationwide Series going to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Mirror Driving this week.
Lots of good comments were made. I don’t know if it’s true that IMS offered NASCAR a bunch of money to bring them, or if NASCAR simply felt they’d outgrown Lucas Oil Raceway (Indianapolis Raceway Park).
Being pragmatic about it, in my last year at the track, our maximum seating capacity, with some big temporary bleachers, was about 40,000. The only way to get any more in there would have been to extend the wheel fence all the way down the back straightaway and put temporaries up on the backstretch of the road course. Those bleachers couldn’t have been too big, because you’d have to leave the space open at the back gate, and you’d need the road course backstretch for the cars and crews to access the track from the Lot 2 “garage” area.
I think they’ll get more than 40,000 at IMS, but with more than 200,000 seats they’re going to look like 5,000. I just think some loyalty was owed to NHRA and IRP for proving, from 1982 on, that NASCAR would sell in Indianapolis. So many people said it wouldn’t.
Oh yeah, it’ll probably be a boring race, but there are more than a few of these on the schedule nowadays.
After he retired, the late Bob Daniels predicted that this would happen. I told him I didn’t think it would happen while Tony George was in charge at IMS, simply from what I’d heard from Tony.
Turned out we were both right.
Ann M. writes,
_“How can a car fail post-race inspection as underweight if the car passed pre-race inspection?”_
Ann, there are lots of opportunities between pre-race and post-race inspection to remove weight from a car. That’s the reason they weigh them twice. We even do it at our little quarter-mile track, and the top three cars in any feature race are subject to disqualification if they don’t go directly to the scales.
Also, there’s the chance that something could have fallen off the car, but that’s a remote possibility with the TV coverage and all.
Sal B. says,
_“I thought one of the reasons behind the COT and all the templates was to get rid of the “twisted” cars. Watching the Cup cars dog-tracking on the straights lately, it seems the offset rear ends are back. What’s with that?”_
Being perfectly honest, I don’t know what’s with that, and I don’t like it either. As I’ve said before, they all look like 1956 Fords with loose centerbolts. I know what that looks like and feels like, because I had one. Actually made four tire tracks when you drove it in the rain until we got it fixed.
My personal feeling is that it’s pretty stupid to allow it to continue, but that’s the state of NASCAR these days.
Dennis wants to know what happened to David Pearson’s son, Larry, who is a former Busch champion and also ventured into Winston Cup.
I’m not sure what Larry’s situation is now. We became pretty good friends when he was running that Chattanooga Chew-sponsored car in the Busch Series.
I think maybe some sponsorship dried up, and I know Larry was involved with some teams in capacities other than driving. If I recall correctly, he was a spotter for a while.
Wasn’t it Larry that was seriously hurt in the crash with Charlie Glotzbach in that oldtimers’ event at Bristol? Haven’t heard much since then.
Larry, as a matter of fact, won the Kroger 200 Busch Series race at IRP with the shortest time in the lead. A quarter of a lap. Didn’t lead a lap before then, but passed Elton Sawyer in the fourth turn and beat him to the checkered flag.
Thinking about him, that’s another thing I miss about the old days with the Busch Series coming to IRP. There were some great families involved – the Houstons, the Pearsons, the Grissoms, etc.
Not to mention the brothers – Greens, Burtons, Sadlers, Grubbs.
Yeah, I miss those days.
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