Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Bring The Hook....Again.
It happens this way every year. I'm so excited for NASCAR to return after the long off-season. God, I've missed cars on the track! So then we all pack up and head for Daytona (figuratively, not literally). Yay!
I enjoy the shorter races - the Clash, the Duels - but then comes the endless 500 itself and I remember how much I dislike plate racing. Knowing that skill has less to do with it than luck, I try to pick enough drivers to root for to give myself a decent chance of choosing the winner - Jimmie, Chase, Byron, Bowman, Danica, Larson, Bubba, Jamie Mac, Blaney. Essentially, it comes down to anybody but JGR or Austen Dillon, or Truex or Joey. And I'm only mildly cheering for any of the Stewart-Hass teams.
So the hours drag by, as drivers try to maneuver for position. Try being the keyword. They want to make a new line but no one will go with them so then they attempt to find a hole to dart back in. They try to jump out but get caught in the middle and hung out to dry. No one seems to be able to touch the leader or maybe they just don't want to be the leader. It's not the best place to be in in restrictor plate racing, unlike other types of racing where you go all out to stay up front.
No one really wants to wreck anyone else but it happens because one false move, one wave of air moving past your backside, and there's a pile of cars caught up in a series of "big ones". A junkyard on the track and in the grass.
One by one, all my favorites get caught up in one of the accidents - Jimmie, Danica, Chase..... At the last, I was rooting for Bubba and Matt DiBenedetto but Matt ended up wrecked too. At least, Bubba finished second.
I don't think plate racing is real competition although I realize it takes talent to be good at it. But I don't like the way you have to go against the grain of racing, like hanging back 'til near the end. I don't like teams linking up together, taking their pit stops together, clinging to one another to push their own guys. Racing should be one on one. I don't like blocking being more important than racing.
Most of all I don't like fabulous cars turned into nothing more than piles of smoking sheet metal. It's a huge waste and proves nothing.
The Daytona 500 always leaves me with the taste of sour grapes in my mouth. Can't wait to get back to real racing in Atlanta