INDIANAPOLIS -- May is the month of the year around which the NTT IndyCar Series revolves. It begins with the IndyCar Grand Prix on the grand prix circuit of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Then on Memorial Day Sunday, the cannon fires at 6:00 a.m. (which indicates the gates are open) and over 200,000 people pour into the facility to drink the day away, take in a concert in the Snake Pit and watch the annual running of the Indianapolis 500. Afterwards, the turnaround at Indianapolis begins for the next major event, the Brickyard 400; be it in September this year or on Independence Day weekend in 2020.
Bristol is not Las Vegas, Phoenix, Fort Worth or Charlotte. There are reasons to go to the Virginia-Tennessee border. The country is beautiful. On Sunday, it appears a lot of people were taking in the scenery. They sure in hell were not at the race track.
I had such high hopes for NASCAR, at least since July. That is when NBC came on board, and presented the long sought after broadcast crew that could keep fans glued to the track simply by the strength of their commentary. We have waited years for that to happen, and it is crucial for a sport that has yet to solve some on-track competitive issues and more than a few off it. If the racing is not spell binding, then the commentary damn well better be if you hope to have anyone watching.
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.
For a race that has been around since 1958, it is a damn shame that it does not carry the proper branding to link it over the decades to the time it was claimed by the likes of Speedy Thompson, Cotton Owens, and Joe Weatherly. Let us properly honor it and refer to this Saturday night’s contest in Richmond, Virginia as the Federated Auto Parts Capital City 400.
Bristol is where the legends win. Darrell Waltrip won a dozen times there. Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt, and Rusty Wallace each had nine. Then there is Kyle Busch, who’s victory on Saturday night pushed him to six, one more than his brother Kurt and David Pearson. Each one in the Hall of Fame, or will be. No exceptions.
All NASCAR had to do was follow their own rule on the overtime line as was written during the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway earlier this month and again during yesterday's Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and all of this would've been avoided.