Race Weekend Central

Some NASCAR Nuggets to Talk About

This week we’re breaking from the norm and giving into our gossip-oriented heart. The fact is that Kyle Busch doing burnouts is about as intriguing as watching Jimmie Johnson taking home yet another Cup. So, instead of talking about the race, let’s talk about some interesting side-stories and what they offer to the NASCAR landscape.

Monster Green Tires

Well, those option tires did look different. However, they didn’t really add anything to the competition.  Perhaps the most interesting part was the rules package NASCAR put together with a couple extra holes. The book said the teams had to put on all four option tires if they were going to be used, but neglected to say if all four had to come off together.  The No. 2 team attempted to run with the softer tires on the inside, but it didn’t provide a faster car.  Ultimately it was a nice idea to switch up the tire game, but it didn’t play out as hoped.

Danica’s Continued Bad Luck

How many times can you demolish your car in a year? Well, Danica has done it three times in a month, the last one being the monstrous hit at Kansas two weeks ago that sent Aric Almirola to the hospital with a fractured vertebra. What is amazing to me is that she continues to walk away from these hits.  Just when will even her bad luck run out? In a way, I’m hoping it turns to the good before she decides to give up on NASCAR.  She’s worth having around as an ambassador to the young female fan base.

Infield Pace Laps at Michigan

This is a fun one.  In June before the green flag drops for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan, the field is going to make a very special parade lap. The Monster Energy cars will run through the infield camping area as a special nod to NASCAR’s most loyal fans. At New Hampshire Motor Speedway the hauler parade runs through the campground and is my favorite part of the weekend. I’ve got to think this trick at Michigan just kicks up the excitement for fans one notch more. That’s surely worth the price of a ticket.

MRO High Heel Dash

Okay, it’s all in good fun, but I do believe this is one part of race week at Charlotte Motor Speedway that needs some serious tweaking.  The girlfriends and wives of NASCAR team members and drivers run a quick race down pit road in high heels to raise awareness for Motor Racing Outreach. Fine and dandy, except I think this would really be worth watching if the team members and drivers did the run. Why?  High heels are treacherous to anybody–why limit the excitement to the girls? Maybe the guys might learn a valuable lesson for the next time they ask their lady to put on that pair of stilettos.

Sour Grapes or Intent of Malice?

From the stale headlines, at the end of April John Casey, the ex-CEO of the failed Boston Grand Prix, filed suit against Austin Blackmon, Boston’s Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space, saying that the chief knew of changes to a flood map in the Seaport District that would result in necessary changes to the proposed course for the doomed race. However, the chief did not share this information with Casey until it was too late to file for the required permits and amendments.  The result was the IndyCar race was canceled before it ever got off the ground, Casey lost his job, and even paid a fine to the city.

Let’s see, in a state where every short track has been encouraged to close down over the past fifty years, do we think a city employee would work to prevent a major auto race from running in the fastest growing neighborhood of Boston?  Yes. Yes I do.

Something Shiny

Just in case you forgot what stock car racing is all about, check out Ryan Newman’s qualifying run for the All-Star Race where pit road speed was suspended.  There’s nothing like watching a car come off Turn 4 sideways, use up its tires, and then slide to a perfect stop in its pit.

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