Father’s Day, or was it Father’s Week? With time off, the boys took a little time for some R&R as they get set for the road course at Sonoma on Sunday. While all had some time with the family, some mixed in some other activities, while others dwelt on the race to come.
Father’s Day is one NASCAR takes off to allow the boys to spend time with their families, their children and with their own fathers. We hear a lot about the racers, but for many of them, it all began with a father supporting a son or daughter get started in a sport that has its risks and produces many thrills and spills.
Another weekend. Another race. Another track that does not excite me. Welcome to NASCAR. Michigan International Speedway, located in the lush, rolling Irish Hills, is about 40 miles southwest of Ann Arbor. The fact it is considered a sister track of Texas, and the basis of the facility in Fontana does not exactly thrill anyone, but they do go fast there.
Some things matter. Some do not. Every weekend, no more than 30 entries matter to some degree. The rest do not. Most weekends NASCAR features a race and while some matter to race fans, most do not. Bristol, Charlotte, Darlington, Daytona, Sonoma, and Talladega races matter due to what they deliver and a long history of tradition.
Jeff Gordon. Four-time NASCAR champion. Three-time Daytona 500 champion. Four-time Brickyard 400 winner. Six-time Southern 500 victor. Three-time World 600 champion. Three-time All-Star race winner. Winner of 93 Cup races. He probably was the most automatic inductee into the Hall of Fame since Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
Stars. Many are called, but few are worthy. Each week, NASCAR provides somewhere between 34 and 40 entries out on the track, but fewer than 25 have any legitimate shot at making a difference. We know the names of those who have succeeded, those who have made and earned, a place in the spotlight.
Sometimes the news is good like it was at Talladega last week. Entertaining races and I loved the Cup guys manning the microphones for the Xfinity race. They were laid back, funny, and in the case of Darrell Wallace, Jr., pretty darn articulate.
Welcome to Talladega, the most entertaining race track in NASCAR. We watch something you and I haven’t got the guts to do, or just maybe we have enough brains not to. Fender to fender, side by side at 200 mph, and you sit in wonder that they have not wrecked yet. When they do wreck, something considered more of an eventuality than anything else, it often is spectacular.