Well, after about a year of forsaking blogs, and about a six month hiatus from posting anything at racing-reference, I figured the end of the year would be the perfect time to actually drop back in. I suppose nothing can be more proper (yet cliché) than to post a ?Year in Review? blog. Away we go?
2010 was? a tad bit awash in excessive hype. It seemed like every major story regarding racing involved some sort of scheme designed to stop the hemorrhaging of fans, money and overall interest in racing, -- a phenomena which has plagued almost every major racing organization worldwide in the past few years. ?Have at it boys!? appeared to be nothing more than an attempt to siphon attention away from the championship stranglehold of Johnson & co. and the related perceived lack of on-track excitement. The Brad/Carl saga provides a interesting case study. For weeks, the spotlight was put on a driver anchored in midpack and a guy who was a complete nonfactor in the first 2/3rd of the season. The fact that a Nationwide race was the setting for the second skirmish served to show both the absurdity of the hype as well as the sad state of the Nationwide Series -- with its raison d?etre as a playground for Cuppers.
For a series which has relied on the cult of personality of its drivers, the final points battle couldn?t provide the level of excitement which was expected of it. The storyline primarily centered around the Giant which might be killed, rather than the David which would potentially do the slaying. Harvick and Hamlin could be compared to the potential 2012 Republican Presidential field (e.g. Romney and Palin): they both can do an adequate job in rallying the ?Anybody But Johnson/Obama? crowd, yet they have obvious flaws prevent them from being truly accepted by the general populace. Nevertheless, I would be lying if I said I wasn?t excited for the final race of the year, however artificial that excitement may be.
F1 contained its share of hyperbole. Each of the final four title contenders received rather harsh criticisms at some point in the season (?Vettel?s far too reckless to be a true contender??; ?Webber?s in over his head??; ?Hamilton useless in an inferior car?; etc.) only to be overly showered with praise after winning a GP. While I enjoyed this championship battle as well, mid-grid (specifically Kubica, Kobayashi, and Hulkenberg) seemed to give me the most enjoyment this year.
All this is not to say that I hated 2010?s racing -- there were actually quite a few enjoyable aspects to the year. Jamie McMurray shocked just about everybody with a logic-defying season. So to did Steve Kinser with his age defying season. ALMS provided its usual amount of racing bliss. I managed to collect a few more short track memories. And Indycar?s off-season wasn?t its usual depressing self. I suppose that the memories I?ll take from 2010 will not come from the headlines, but from the back pages.
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