Race Weekend Central

Trick or Treat? Don’t Expect Treats at Talladega, No Matter Your Costume

Ah, ‘tis the season for pumpkins, orange leaves and filling bags with candy. It’s also the time of year where we celebrate being something we’re not. Adults and kids revel in dressing up as fantastical creatures. Ghosts, vampires, Transformers, R2-D2, and witches are just a small selection of costumes you’ll see wandering around your neighborhood at the end of the month. People even like to alter the appearance of their pets. Ever seen a dachshund turn into a hot dog, or a German Shepherd don an extra pair of whiskers in an attempt to mimic his feline nemesis?

Apparently the desire to celebrate the season isn’t only limited to the human sense of holiday indulgence. NASCAR is considering jumping on the wagon.

As you are well aware, Talladega has a race coming up. It is, as always, the ultimate crapshoot held before we kick another four teams out of the running for the Cup. You can’t even call it a Chase at this point, but more a demolition derby. Who will be left running at the end of the day? Nobody knows.

However, it seems our esteemed sanctioning body is going to attempt to bring some semblance of decorum to Alabama’s crown jewel of racing. It has been heard that alterations will be made to the green-white-checkered rule at the end of the race, because somehow only having a single attempt at stacking stock cars in turn 1 is far better than hosting two. Or perhaps ditch the double-file restart so that with just two trips around the track remaining, they can have a parade instead of a race.

Of course, deciding that you can limit the mayhem that is so often a part of plate racing is a bit like getting out Easter decorations in the Fall; it doesn’t make much sense. We haven’t had the Big One only since the inception of double-file restarts, or the green-white-checkered rule, or the loss of carburetors. Daytona and Talladega have been dutifully filling up junkyards since the day they were built. They are dangerous and uncontrollable racing facilities.

On one hand it is nice to hear that the officials have come to the conclusion that something ought to be done. However, it’s just slightly pathetic when the options you’re throwing out there essentially remove the word competition from the day. That’s not a solution, that’s just painting the wall a new color and declaring it a reconstruction.

So, whatever solution is agreed upon, don’t be expecting too much to change. There’s still 186 laps prior to the grand finale for our 43 pilots to send one another flying up into the catchfence, tumbling into the tri-oval and simply piling up in a heap of crumpled sheet metal and smoking engines. Removing the vagaries of a high-tension green-white-checker finish statistically doesn’t make a dent on the carnage a Sprint Cup field is capable is capable of creating in a single afternoon.

It’s simply putting lipstick on a pig, and in the grand scheme of things, that isn’t a very impressive Halloween costume.

Sonya’s Scrapbook

2002 Protection One 400

Remember single file restarts?  There are valid reasons we got rid of them.  At one of the cookie-cutter tracks (Kansas) Jeff Gordon sailed off into the sunset in 2002 for his 61st win. You tell me, do you want to return to those days?





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