Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Two Plus Two Equals...Umm...Give Me A Minute!

                                                         Image result for confusing formulas

Here are my thoughts about NASCAR's new points system: I don't care.

I admit it, I'm a word girl, not a numbers person. I can diagram a complex sentence and define its meaning but 2 + 2 = 4 still confuses me sometimes. I can barely balance my checkbook. I still don't totally understand fractions. Prayer was the way I got through Chemistry with a passing grade. I never check to see what kind of mileage my car is getting, I just drive it until it gets to half a tank, then fill it up again.

So, honestly, I hadn't even got NASCAR's last point rules through my head. It was all just a big incomprehensible blur to me. I was dependent on the announcers and the leaderboard to tell me what was going on with my driver. I know my limitations and I'm content with waiting for them, rather than trying to figure it out myself. It sounds easy to say each position is a point but when you're comparing a driver running twelfth with one running 29th, based on their points going in, it doesn't seem that simple to me.

So I expect nothing less than to be in a muddle this season. "Let's see, he won a "stage" and he came in second in the race but the other guy won the race and came in fourth in a stage." Uh huh. Just tell me how it all shook out at the end.

Having said all that, I'm okay with NASCAR making changes. Without change, any entity sinks into staleness and withers, particularly in a culture that changes as quickly as ours. Yes, our attention span is shorter so breaking the races into three parts should add to the on-going excitement. You'll have to watch the whole race to see where your driver stacks up, not just the beginning and the end.

I will sort of miss the Chase but perhaps, the title is past its usefulness. I hope they come up with something more interesting than "stages' though. That sounds rather boring.

I have a feeling Monster had a lot to do with this. Unlike Sprint, their brand is based on youth and pizazz and edginess. I doubt if they simply wanted to follow in Sprint's stodgy old footsteps. They wanted to re-define the sport in their image. And that's fine...they'll be paying enough to earn the right.

The drivers seem to believe the new point system will will be an improvement and they know a hell of a lot more about it than me so I'm happy to trust their judgement. I'll just be happy to see racing. regardless of the format.  Drivers start your engines!

I haven't written about Carl. I read about it when I got back from Las Vegas but I wasn't really surprised. Don't get me wrong, I think Carl was a dedicated racer but I never had the feeling that it was his be all and end all, not like Jimmie or Jeff or Kyle, or several others, whose very lives revolve around racing.

Carl's wife is a doctor. He has two kids. His family didn't seem to come to the races as often as some. There didn't seem to be as much total family buy in. Carl, being the kind of person I thought he was, I could see him very methodically planning to give NASCAR x number of years to win a championship, then walking away to pursue other goals. From what we hear, that may be running for senator of Missouri. Political races can be every bit as challenging and exciting as stock car races. I think Carl has the personable personality of a politician so he should do well.

Mostly, I've been so caught up in politics, I haven't paid much attention to the NASCAR off-season. I mainly just want it to get over with so weekends will be fun again!









Sunday, January 1, 2017

Finally....2017!

Okay, it won't be long now. 2016 is gone. The sun is shining on January 1, 2017 here in Indiana. NASCAR drivers are getting married. Congratulations, Amy and Dale! And they're taking their kids skiing. Lydia Johnson has got to be one of the cutest little skiers ever!

And they are changing teams. Erik Jones to Furniture Row and Chris Buescher to JGR Daughtery. So some teams are growing and some are shrinking. Only Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Trevor Bayne left at Roush Fenway. Will Richard Petty Motorsports replace Brian Scott who retired? (Is he old enough to retire?) Do we know where Greg Biffle will end up? These are all questions that will be answered in 2017.

Another burning question is: will Dale, Jr. be up to par and ready to go in Daytona? That will be an important one. He says yes and I hope that's true. In fact, if I could have my wish, he'd win the championship this year. Yes, even above Jimmie.

Also, will Stewart-Haas will be able to deal with all their changes without a lapse in performance? Tony will be gone as a driver but Clint will be coming in. It has seemed that Clint has been rather grumpy for the last year but I suppose having to go to a lesser team will do that to you. Still, he didn't seem very gracious about it although he knew it was only for a year. Hopefully, he'll change his attitude in 2017. Stewart-Haas will also be changing manufacturers from Chevy to Ford. Ford must have offered them a hell of a deal to get them to do that.

Will Austen Dillon and Ryan Blaney get their first wins this year? Will both Ganassi drivers make the Chase again?

We'll have to get used to a new logo. Actually, Monster seems more in keeping with the daring and speed and boldness of NASCAR than Sprint did. I bet Monster's trophy will be edgier than the Sprint trophy too.

Anyway, I've been reading books and writing blogs and bitching about politics since November. I'm more than ready to designate my weekends for NASCAR again. Here's what we have to look forward to in 2017!




Points
Race#
Scheduled
Race Date
Track Location Race Name Laps Track Size
(miles)
Race Length
(miles)
Television
/Radio
Time/
Approx Green Flag
Qualifying
Time/TV
Happy Hour
Time/TV
* 2/18
Sat night
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
The Clash at Daytona* 75 2.5 187.5 FS1
MRN
8:00    
* 2/23
Thu night
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Can-Am Duel At Daytona #1* 60 2.5 150 FS1
MRN
7:00    
* 2/23
Thur
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Can-Am Duel At Daytona #2* 60 2.5 150 FS1
MRN
~8:30    
1 2/26
Sun
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona 500 200 2.5 500 FOX
MRN
2:00 2/19 3:00
FOX
 
2 3/5
Sun
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Hampton, GA
Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 325 1.54 500.5 FOX
PRN
2:30    
3 3/12
Sun
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, NV
Kobalt 400 267 1.5 400.5 FOX
PRN
3:30    
4 3/19
Sun
Phoenix International Raceway
Avondale, AZ
Good Sam 500(k) 312 1.00 312 FOX
MRN
3:30    
5 3/26
Sun
Auto Club Speedway
Fontana, CA
Auto Club 400 200 2.0 400 FOX
MRN
3:30    
6 4/2
Sun
Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville, VA
STP 500 500 0.526 263 FS1
MRN
2:00    
7 4/9
Sun
Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth, TX
O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 334 1.5 500.5 FOX
PRN
1:30    
  4/16
Sun
Easter - OFF Weekend Easter Bunny 500              
8 4/23
Sun
Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol, TN
Food City 500 500 0.533 266.5 FOX
PRN
2:00    
Points
Race#
Scheduled
Race Date
Track Location Race Name Laps Track Size
(miles)
Race Length
(miles)
Television
/Radio
Time/
Approx Green Flag
Qualifying
Time/TV
Happy Hour
Time/TV
9 4/30
Sun
Richmond International Raceway
Richmond, VA
Toyota Owners 400 400 0.75 300 FOX
MRN
2:00    
10 5/7
Sun
Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega, AL
GEICO 500 188 2.66 500.08 FOX
MRN
2:00    
11 5/13
Sat Night
Mother's Day Weekend
Kansas Speedway
Kansas City, KS
GoBowling.com 400 267 1.5 400.5 FS1
MRN
7:30    
* 5/20
Sat Night
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Concord, NC
All-Star Race* 110 1.5 165 FS1
MRN
6:00    
12 5/28
Sun night
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Concord, NC
Coca-Cola 600 400 1.5 600 FOX
PRN
6:00    
13 6/4
Sun
Dover International Speedway
Dover, DE
AAA 400 Drive for Autism 400 1.0 400 FS1
MRN
1:00    
14 6/11
Sun
Pocono Raceway
Long Pond, PA
Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 160 2.5 400 FS1
MRN
3:00    
15 6/18
Sun
Father's
Day
Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, MI
FireKeepers Casino 400 200 2.0 400 FS1
MRN
3:00    
16 6/25
Sun
Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma, CA
Toyota / Save Mart 350 110 1.99 224 FS1
PRN
3:00    
THE RACE TO THE CHASE
(10 races to the Chase)
Points
Race#
Scheduled
Race Date
Track Location Race Name Laps Track Size
(miles)
Race Length
(miles)
Television
/Radio
Time/
Approx Green Flag
Qualifying
Time/TV
Happy Hour
Time/TV
17 7/1
Sat Night
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Coke Zero 400 160 2.5 400 NBC
MRN
7:30    
18 7/8
Sat Night
Kentucky Speedway
Sparta, KY
Quaker State 400 267 1.5 400.5 NBCSN
PRN
7:30    
19 7/16
Sun
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Loudon, NH
New Hampshire 301 301 1.058 318.46 NBCSN
PRN
3:00    
20 7/23
Sun
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Speedway, IN
Crown Royal Presents the 'Your Hero's Name Here' 400 160 2.5 400 NBC
IMS
3:00    
21 7/30
Sun
Pocono Raceway
Long Pond, PA
Pennsylvania 400 160 2.5 400 NBCSN
MRN
3:00    
22 8/6
Sun
Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen, NY
TBA 355 at The Glen 90 2.45 220.5 NBCSN
MRN
3:00    
23 8/13
Sun
Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, MI
Pure Michigan 400 200 2.0 400 NBCSN
MRN
3:00    
24 8/19
Sat Night
Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol, TN
Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race 500 0.533 266.5 NBC
PRN
7:30    
8/27 OFF Weekend Summer Heat 400              
25 9/3
Sun Night
Darlington Raceway
Darlington, SC
Bojangles' Southern 500 367 1.366 501.3 NBCSN
MRN
6:00    
26 9/9
Sat Night
Richmond International Raceway
Richmond, VA
Federated Auto Parts 400 400 0.75 300 NBCSN
MRN
7:30    
THE 10 CHASE RACES
(Chase page)
Points
Race#
Scheduled
Race Date
Track Location Race Name Laps Track Size
(miles)
Race Length
(miles)
Television
/Radio
Time/
Approx Green Flag
Qualifying
Time/TV
Happy Hour
Time/TV
Round of 16
27 9/17
Sun
Chicagoland Speedway
Joliet, IL
Chicago 400 267 1.5 400.5 NBCSN
MRN
3:00    
28 9/24
Sun
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Loudon, NH
New England 300 300 1.058 317.4 NBCSN
PRN
2:00    
29 10/1
Sun
Dover International Speedway
Dover, DE
Delaware 400 400 1.0 400 NBCSN
MRN
2:00    
Round of 12
30 10/7
Sat Night
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Concord, NC
Bank of America 500 334 1.5 501 NBCSN
PRN
7:00    
31 10/15
Sun
Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega, AL
Hellman's 500 188 2.66 500.08 NBC
MRN
2:00    
32 10/22
Sun
Kansas Speedway
Kansas City, KS
Hollywood Casino 400 267 1.5 400.5 NBCSN
MRN
3:00    
Round of 8
33 10/29
Sun
Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville, VA
Goody's Fast Relief 500 500 0.526 263 NBCSN
MRN
1:00    
34 11/5
Sun
Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth, TX
AAA Texas 500 334 1.5 500.5 NBC
PRN
2:00    
35 11/12
Sun
Phoenix International Raceway
Avondale, AZ
Can-Am 500(k) 312 1.00 312 NBC
MRN
2:30    
Championship Round
36 11/19
Sun
Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead, FL
Ford EcoBoost 400 267 1.5 400 NBC
MRN
2:30    
Points
Race#
Scheduled
Race Date
Track Location Race Name Laps Track Size
(miles)
Race Length
(miles)
Television
/Radio
Time/
Approx Green Flag
Qualifying


Time/TV
Happy Hour
Tim