It has been a few months since my last blog entry, but these first two races have given me a lot to say:
First of all, Danica-mania, is becoming ridiculous. ESPN is luring the average fan into watching Nationwide races that they are going to find boring anyway just because Danica is racing. Hello, newsflash, it was her second race when she raced at Fontana. Why is everyone expecting her to actually perform well in her second start in a stock car?the first on a track without restrictor plates? Then all of these fans are becoming outraged when Danica doesn?t live up to their expectations. It is frustrating that everyone thinks that one driver can ?save? the sport. But I digress?
Moving Jerry Punch to pit road was an excellent choice, as he is far better than any of the pit reporters that ESPN has. As for FOX?s coverage, Darrell Waltrip is getting rather annoying, not that he wasn?t before. At least he has stopped saying, ?One thing you have to remember is that: it?s not about how good your car is, it?s just how good your car is compared to everybody else,? on a weekly basis. Do I like ?Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!?? Yes. Do I think that FOX is lucky to have Larry and Mike Joy with DW? Absolutely. (The favoritism showed by DW towards Dale Earnhardt Jr. was inappropriate although I think it may have been more of a reaction of surprise than excitement.)
The finish of the Nationwide race last week was spectacular, arguably better than at Daytona, where everyone who could contend with Stewart was caught up in a wreck. The finish at the Cup race had the potential to be memorable, if not for Harvick making a mistake that may have cost him a chance at victory. The moral of the story is Fontana can be pretty decent. The race was even exciting after halfway when Johnson got out of the lead and it was about to rain at any moment (especially during pit stops). There seems to be more competition now than even a year ago. As times goes on, the competition with the COT becomes closer and closer. This will be annulled with the adoption of the spoiler, which is why NASCAR should have waited until the 2010 season started to start planning something like this.
To all of those people that think that we need to change NASCAR and make the season more exciting: you can change the season, you can change the rules, but you can?t change the people running out front. That?s what Jimmie Johnson is proving to us.
Congratulations to Scott Speed on having a chance to win both of the races this season. Now where is Brian Vickers?
Poor Jeff Gordon. He seemed to have a pretty good car at both Daytona and Fontana. At Daytona, no one was willing to help him get to the lead and he spun on the final lap (Gordon fans have gotten used to that at Daytona and Talladega). At Fontana, he had the fastest car on long runs, but a spark plug, and his car lagging on restarts, ruined any chance at victory.
RCR has done their homework and it proving that less is more. But I?m not willing to say anything about the team yet until they prove that they can run up front for more than 2-3 races.
Thank you, and enjoy the race on Las Vegas. I have no idea whether it will be a wreck-fest or a debris-fest but whatever it is, there will be pretty good racing. (Las Vegas should get a second race before Kansas is even considered)
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