For the third time this season, NASCAR presented a race worth watching. I am talking about those who demand an entertaining three-hour experience if they are going to spend the time to take it all in. Talladega delivered.
A classic. That is what the Southern 500 is. Born in 1950, it predates NASCAR’s jewel events in Indianapolis, Bristol, Talladega, Charlotte, and Daytona. It is the Southern 500, the Labor Day classic at Darlington.
Family. We often hear how NASCAR is a family sport, where drivers, their wives, and their kids all share in the experience behind the scenes. The family theme has dominated since the sport’s earliest years. I mean, it starts with the France family, as Bill, Bill, Jr., and now grandson Brian have held the reins of the family operation since the very beginning.
Bristol Motor Speedway has caused dramatic finishes and some horrific incidents during its 53-year career in NASCAR. The short half mile track located in Bristol, Tennessee has lived through some of the worst and best moments in NASCAR history – and this weekend they can only further that resume.
It’s only mid-week and already a few big stories have hit. First there was the surprise YouTube video of Humpy Wheeler, the legendary promoter who put Charlotte Motor Speedway on the map, giving a critical analysis of what is wrong with NASCAR followed closely by Brian Vickers getting the full time ride in the No.55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota and the dismissal of Juan Pablo Montoya from the No. 42 Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet. Interesting moves, no doubt, so let’s start with Wheeler’s comments.
It may seem silly, but there are those who have already decided that the Chase has two favorites, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson. There is something to be said for that, but the thought needs more investigation. It’s also useful to look at history and recent statistics. Those two categories tend to color things a bit.
What a day for news! Today we learned that the Dodge brand will disappear from NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series at the end of the year. It’s not the first time for Dodge. They left back in 1977, only to return in 2001.
Why it is that NASCAR feels it has to tweak the All-Star race. Consider this. The All Star Game, the mid-summer classic plays nine innings and all rules apply. The NBA All Star event follows the rules and the NFL late season All Star game still plays four quarters and follows the rules.