Perspective. It means everything. Take Trevor Bayne, for instance. Last Sunday at Dover, he picked up a speeding penalty while on pit road during an early caution. No big deal. Sure, he finished 20th on the day, but with not a single Roush driver making the Chase, expectations were not exactly soaring.
As NASCAR swings into Chicago and begins the Chase, I can not help but notice that Denny Hamlin, and now Danica Patrick, have made mention that the season is too long. Reduce some races in length, reduce some altogether, run some mid-week are among their suggestions.
Let me be clear. Any race format that artificially moves entries from behind to plop them up front is a dumb one. I do not care if it is NASCAR’s All-Star Race or one that allows me to charge ahead of the Kentucky Derby field while wearing sneakers and a propeller hat. Dumb is as dumb does.
Lower downforce in next season’s rule package is supposed to reduce grip and make the cars more maneuverable. In short, passing should be more commonplace in 2016. If that is how it works out, we shall be happy. However, forgive me for waiting until at least February before I start celebrating.
Rain. It came on Saturday and it continued to rain on the parade of a few on Sunday. Not on Kevin Harvick, as once again he finished amongst the top two. He won the previous week to stay alive in the Chase and was second at Charlotte. Fourteen times he has been there, to go with 24 Top Tens in thirty races this season.
I get it. Racing cars can be dangerous. We have lost people in NASCAR, and one sad day, despite all the advances that have been made regarding safety, we just may lose somebody else. I hope not, but that is the reality we must face. All we can do is greatly reduce the odds.
We begin with Monaco, tune into Indianapolis for the matinee, then spend the evening in Charlotte in our 600-mile feature. While we go in concerned about cars running into a house or into a harbor overseas, or find the wall and flipping down the track in Indiana, our biggest concern for the folks with fenders is that they might not be able to pass the leader in North Carolina.
It was a fine weekend. Sure, you may think I say that due to Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhard, Jr. and Jeff Gordon coming across the line in that order in Kansas. Okay, there might be some truth in that.
“It's no secret that attention spans, especially with the millennial fans, are changing,” or so says NASCAR boss Brian France. Hard to argue with that, but it basically states that today’s fans are idiots who need the keys jangled before their faces much like one does with a bored infant.