Monday, June 20, 2016

Good-bye Forever....Or At Least Until Next Week.

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Ah, a non-racing weekend and it appears that many fans use the spare time to jump on the internet and complain about what they don't like about NASCAR. Two of my friends in a group I belong to expressed their disgust about this whining habit so many in this sport have developed...or maybe it has always been like this, I only became a NASCAR aficionado in 2008. My guess is though that the internet has made it worse because it gives the drama queens a loudspeaker to tell the whole world their tales of woe.

One friend wrote about how many nasty comments were made over, for God's sake, a Father's Day post, namely, the interactions between Dale Earnhardt and Dale Junior when Junior won. Who, normal people would ask, could feel hatefulness about a proud father congratulating his son on his victory? Isn't that a feel-good story if there ever was one?

Not so fast. To many NASCAR folks, any positive story about a driver they don't personally like is a call for pissing and moaning.

Another friend mentioned the conspiracy theories that are going around about Toyota's triumphant start to the season. Toyota has "bought" NASCAR...or so the story goes. Give me a freakin' break! This happens in NASCAR all the time. A manufacturer and its teams find something that gives them an edge and that lasts for a while, maybe even a fairly long while. Hendrick had it during both Jeff's and Jimmie's winning runs. But the last few years, they've still been good but not great.

Now Toyota is dominating but that won't last either. In fact, their dominance already appears to be waning a little. They haven't been so far ahead of everyone else in the last few weeks.

And of course, the rule of thumb in NASCAR fandom is that if a team that isn't one of your favorites is winning, then they must be cheating whereas, your driver would never stoop to such beat-the-system tactics. Sure thing, you just keep thinking that.

We think our guy wasn't treated fairly when he got black-flagged but the "bad" guy did the same thing and NASCAR looked the other way! We think a debris caution is deliberately called when our guy is has a big lead but when "Black Hat" is ahead, there could be an engine on the front stretch and NASCAR would ignore it! It's all rigged, you know, and that's why I'm leaving NASCAR forever! Because Brian France has ruined the sport and nothing is like it was back in the day. And the drivers are wussy west-coasters instead of tough old southern boys. And all the tracks are all cookie cutters.

So, good-bye, I'm leaving - until next week!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bias? I Don't Think So.

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I have to admit, I have a little bit of sour grapes about Michigan. Jimmie crashed out....again. Junior got a DNF....again. Chase and Larson were oh-so-close....again.

On the other hand, Chase and Larson were oh-so-close....again. If that happens often enough, you've gotta' think that win is coming soon for both of them. At least, I hope so. I think Chase might have taken this one if he/his car had been a little better on restarts.

You know Ford puts a lot of effort into Michigan. They are sort of the hometown boys there and the Ford honchos come to watch, including Edsel. It is nice to see them win where their hearts are, so, congratulations Joey, Team Penske and Ford.

It was great to see Tony showing signs of his old self, coming in with a top ten. I'm rooting for him to make the Chase although there's that old saying about lightning striking twice. I'll continue to keep my fingers crossed for him although my inclination is to doubt he'll get there.

The racing was fine at Michigan. The new downforce package worked well. Lots of passing.

I missed Pocono because of the rain-out on Sunday and a subsequent glitch with the DVR. Well, okay, the problem wasn't the DVR, it was me and my dumbie-ness with electronic devices.

I did read Brad's comments regarding Jeff Gordon in the broadcast booth though. Even though I didn't see and hear what his complaints were about first-hand, I can say from watching the rest of the races, that I think Jeff does a hell of a job being non-partisan about the teams. I honestly believe if someone listened who knew absolutely nothing about NASCAR, they could not detect a bias in Jeff's reporting. In fact, he is usually uniformly complimentary about all the drivers and teams, emphasizing their strong points rather than their weaknesses.

And, my God, this is no new thing in NASCAR. Has Brad ever listened to DW and how he enthuses about "Mikey"? One of the grand moments in NASCAR's history was listening to Ned Jarrett root Dale home in the Daytona 500 from the anchor booth.

And those things don't bother me. So much of NASCAR is about "family", whether it is a direct family link or team solidarity. I like that aspect of our sport. You wouldn't want a reporter who can see no wrong in "their" team or who consistently roots for them but Jeff doesn't do that.

And I have really appreciated hearing up-to-date information from someone who was so recently a driver. I like DW and I feel as if I learned a lot from him when I first became a NASCAR fan. He explained things in a way I could understand but let's face, it's been a long time since he was on the track so fresh eyes on what's going on are invaluable for understanding.

I think Brad was pissed at himself and his team for screwing up but he directed his piss-off in Jeff's direction. Well, that happens and the two of them had a cordial discussion this past week although they still probably don't totally agree.