The Final Word – Why I will be watching NASCAR again in 2018

NASCAR can really tick me off, and the use of “tick” was not my first choice. Yet, every year I seem to get that itch, one that I had already scratched raw the year before, and every year I return. Why? Well, there seem to be a few things about NASCAR that I really, really like as well.

Daytona. Talladega. Bristol. Sonoma. Darlington. Charlotte (oval and roval). If I were to reduce my interest in NASCAR to just those tracks that pretty much guarantee me something worth watching, these would be it. Ten events. I do love those races just for the entertainment value alone. Daytona is first, which suckers me in every year.

Chase Elliott. Erik Jones. William Byron. Kyle Larson. Bubba Wallace. Ryan Blaney. The kids. The next generation of stars. Elliott and Larson have already arrived, while it should be fun watching the others rise in the ranks. Some already have shown star power that might make fans give a damn, while here is hoping the others combine talent and personality to do the same.

Jimmie Johnson. Martin Truex Jr. Kevin Harvick. Kyle Busch. Jamie McMurray. The old farts. If one figures 42 to be old, which I do not. Johnson is a legend, the others are champions. Okay, maybe not McMurray, but despite just seven wins in 546 races, the guy comes across as a decent fellow, and we can always use more decent fellows in this world.

NBC. I am shocked, too. I thought I would go with FOX, which is usually the case, but I have long since filled my quota of “boogity-boogity-boogity.” Jeff Gordon is one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers but, while thankfully he is no Rusty Wallace, he becomes just white noise after a while. No, I find myself looking forward to NBC for one reason. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s inclusion would have been far-fetched not so long ago, but have you listened to him? He might not be the most polished speaker ever to grace a microphone, but when he opens his mouth something interesting always seems to come out of it. I want to hear what he has to say in his new role. If he and his former crew chief Steve Letarte can deliver on the chemistry front, all the better.

How will the reduced pit crews perform this season, and might they affect the outcome of a race? Maybe NASCAR has finally fixed the problem where one can not just catch the leader, but pass him.  Maybe, but probably not. But you can always check out sports betting canada and see the odds.  Maybe some extra fans might start trickling in. That is on NASCAR to produce entertaining events on track and in the announce booth. How have they done recently?

A new season, new optimism, renewed hope. That is why I continue to watch NASCAR. Now, let the bitching begin.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


  1. Next generation of “stars” too bad you neglected to include Daniel Suarez and Kyle Larson is the already so far ahead of #2ndPlace Chase Elliott that Elliott isn’t even qualified to carry Larson’s jock strap. 32-year-old Kyle Busch is no “old fart” and is in a league of his own. Rowdy is the current best of the best. Lastly, what about Cup champ and defending Daytona 500 champion, Kurt Busch? He’s team leader at SHR and a future NASCAR HOF’er


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