Monday’s NASCAR announcement about the new format for NASCAR Camping World Truck, XFINITY and Monster Energy Cup Series season was not only unusual, but might just be the most extraordinary thing that’s happened to the sport since the announcement that the championship would be based on the last 10 races of the season—the Chase.
I awoke this morning and, as is my custom, I started listening to SiriusXM’s Morning Drive program. It wasn’t long before the news that Carl Edwards would not drive in 2017 hit home. Carl was one of my favorite drivers to talk to at the track or anywhere else.
Once upon a time, Roush Racing (now Roush Fenway Racing) put its five teams – yes, once a team owner could have as many teams as they wanted – in the 10-car Chase. Today, they’ve gone from four cars to three, and with the news of today, now there are only two.
For a long time, the sanctioning body has used gimmicks to attract fans and it is apparently not working. When it first came out, I railed on the “Lucky Dog.” It was designed so that the “average fan” could understand who was leading.
The Sprint All-Star race was pretty much an experiment. Depending on what you believe, Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski came up with the format, so that meant immediately you have to hate it, right? I loved it. I'm not ashamed to say that I saw better racing that I had seen in many moons.
It has been a few days since the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and listening to all the criticisms about the race reminds me of, well, me. I’ve never liked plate racing and still don’t. All that rage and anger over the result of the carnage has either fallen on deaf ears or the cheers from the assembled crowd have drowned out all of that.
What happened on Thursday? Words fail me. In the morning, in a surprise announcement, Tony Stewart made public that he was coming back to drive at Richmond International Speedway. Just a few hours later, he was fined $35,000 for saying things that NASCAR deemed unfair criticism toward the sanctioning body. Welcome back, Tony.