Tuesday, February 23, 2016

True NASCAR fan

Image result for daytona 500 2016 closest finish

I'm thrilled that NASCAR has started again though it begins with my least favorite kind of racing. I've never cared much for team sports. I like mano a mano competitions. Athletes as individual competitors.

It was almost a foregone conclusion that one of the Team Gibbs cars would win the 500, barring a catastrophe that took some of them out. I'm not putting them down. They did what they had to do to bring the trophy home. More power to them. I just don't think watching two lines of cars go around the track is particularly exciting, especially when one of those lines is never able to reach the other one. So all the Gibbs cars got to the front and stayed on the bottom, round and round and round, while everyone else followed, stuck in the pack without much opportunity to go anywhere.

"Nobody move," Denny told his spotter to tell the rest of them...and nobody did. At the end, Martin Truex Jr, tried to out-race Denny Hamlin to the checkered flag and almost made it. The closest finish ever for a Daytona 500. That was exciting but it was only for a couple of minutes. Congratulations to Denny although I was rooting for Martin.

Now it is onward and upward to Atlanta where the team concept doesn't come into play as much and its every driver for him/herself.

We have a batch of new rules for 2016 in all three series. I mostly just go with the flow. Whatever NASCAR does is pretty much okay with me. I'm just a fan without access to the internal discussions of the honchos about potential long-term consequences. Just put cars on the track and I'll watch. Chase or no Chase - qualifying in whatever form it takes - restart regulations - spoilers of whatever size. I do have to say though that I think the new conduct rules are a bridge too far.

I don't like having a template that all the little good boys and girls have to fit themselves into. Do drivers - passionate, adrenalin-addicted, hotheads that they can be, sometimes go too far? Yep, we know they do but, having said that, each incident should be judged on an individual basis, as it has been in the past, not based on Page 97, Paragraph E  of the Manual of Proper Behavior. I don't even want my drivers to be straight-arrow conformists. Part of their appeal is that they're not.

Only a week ago, I was jumping up and down, so happy for the return of NASCAR. Now, a week later, it seems like I'm mostly bitching. Oh, well, it is the way of true NASCAR fans!