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.
Darlington was a day all about time. A time when in 1950 the first Southern 500 was run. A time when some of the great names from the past were brought back to be saluted by their sport in the present. A time when 0.6 seconds can mean everything.
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.
Texas. That may have been the worst NASCAR race I ever watched. If not, I hope I never remember a worse one. Indianapolis in 2008 might challenge it, but that was due to having to throw out a caution every 10 laps to prevent the damn tires from exploding.
Thirty-six races. A few are great venues that produce very entertaining television events. A lot more are not. Some tracks have two events, and you wonder why. Some have two and you wonder...why not three?
When one of the legends in the sport leaves us, we remember. If a man is known simply by the company he keeps, Robert Yates did very well. As a team owner, he was the boss to such NASCAR luminaries as Davey Allison, Larry McReynolds, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, and Ricky Rudd.
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.
With the Southern 500 coming our way from Darlington this weekend, it seems like a good time to talk about tradition. The first one in the books was back in 1950, making it the oldest of the sport’s iconic events. Most of the time, it goes to someone who is in or will be in, the Hall of Fame. That number will only grow once Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson get in, along with a few other contenders I can think of.
Now we know why they call it Silly Season. 16 drivers will make the Chase, and we already know that three who have done well enough thus far this season may not have done well enough to save their rides for next.
Money, it makes the world go round. So I’m told, anyway. While you and I might remain in perpetual financial darkness, the stock markets would seem to indicate that those on top of the heap are reeling it in.