Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I'm Giddy!

If you didn’t realize it, I’m a NASCAR fan. I still keep up with the sport even though I don’t watch every single race like I used to do. I’m not the only one that believes that NASCAR has put themselves into a deep, deep hole. They expanded too fast while alienating their Southern fans searching for fertile markets. I’m not saying that the expansion is the biggest source of the problem. I’m saying that NASCAR could have used a little creativity when building new tracks. Just about all of them are 1.5 mile tracks modeled after Charlotte.

Hell, I’ll never understand why they changed Atlanta. It was fine. But they had to monkey with it.

They also had to monkey with Bristol and they tried to go back. But there was no going back. They ruined it and what used to be a sellout with a waiting list for tickets has now become the “Last Great Coliseum” filled with shiny, empty seats with speckles of people scattered throughout.

Charlotte used to be special, but it’s not anymore since so many tracks have been stamped out using the CMS mold. What was once a race that I looked forward to has become “humdrum” and seen just about every week from a different geographical location. So, if I see that race or not, it no longer matters to me. I’ll try to tune into the last 20 laps or so, but the finishing order will be published almost immediately. So, lots of times I don’t even bother to watch the 600. Here’s a list of the tracks that I don’t really give a damn about watching…

Atlanta – 2
Las Vegas – 2
Phoenix – 2
Fontana, California – 1
Texas – 2
Kansas – 2
Charlotte – 1 (now)
Michigan – 2
Chicagoland – 1
Kentucky – 1
Indianapolis – 1

The only reason that I bother to watch the last race of the season at Miami-Homestead is because it’s the Championship race. If it weren’t for the tension, there would be no real reason to watch. It would be a boring race if some drama weren't involved.

That means out of 19 races, I won’t bother with 18 of them until the last remaining laps to complete the race. And there are 36 races which means that I’m not watching at least half of them.

But Charlotte is doing something this weekend that will most likely shake things up a bit. Not only in the standings, but the possibility for things to change when it comes to the oval-heavy schedule. Charlotte has built a road course racetrack that’s part of the existing track and within it.

Jim and Bait went with me on for one of the open test sessions back in July. Although we never saw any side-by-side testing, the Roval race at Charlotte this weekend is going to be one hell of an experiment. I KNOW this race will be exciting because it’s such a wild card of a race. It’s also a cut-off race for eliminating four of the playoff contenders with only 3 of the 16 locked into the next round. So, we’ve got 13 guys desperately looking for a win, a darn good finish, and back luck for their competition. And oh yeah, there are 24 other drivers that want a win too!

One of the things to look are the double-file restarts. They could most likely end up going into turn one side-by-side. And from what we saw at the open test session, that’s one hell of a sharp turn. Just about every driver had the rear ends of their cars kicking out during the exit of that turn. And when they come back around through the dogleg front stretch, they carry in so much speed that brakes will become an issue.

This race has a lot of potential to ruin someone’s day. And it also has the potential to ruin a Championship run for 16 of the competitors. I couldn’t be more excited!

The Roval race at Charlotte will have excitement. It may have angry drivers. There may be brawls in the pits. Tensions will be at an all-time high with drivers, pit crew members, crew chiefs, and spotters. And sadly, I won’t be there in person. Being out of work has limited my ability to purchase tickets to the event. Jamie has mentioned going more than several times, but I haven’t really taken it to heart. The practical side of me says that I must save us the money by not going even though there’s a burning desire to be there.

I have a friend of mine that will be in attendance and it will be his first race. So yeah, he’s in for a doozy of a first race.

I had several firsts at Charlotte. I was there for the first points race under the lights that gave Jeff Gordon his first win. I was there for Bobby Labonte’s first win. But unfortunately, I won’t be making this one. One must be prudent in my current state of under-employment.

The bottom line is this… This race is going to be a damn hoot! Fan or not, I would suggest seeing this one either in person or on the couch.


  1. Speaking of firsts, didn't you also lose your virginity for the second time at CMS?

    1. Let's keep my anus out of this, shall we?

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