The Weekend Fruit Salad
First, I would like to premise this column by stating that Bill Weber is still a penis with ears, and there's a reason they called Wally "Still-in-back" when he was racing. TNT continues to prove why they only get seven races per season (and even that is too many) by botching up race coverage. Mainly, too many commercials, and falling asleep at the wheel during pit stops, cautions, you name it. Okay, maybe the commercial thing is psychological, but it sure didn't seem like Fox had as many. Anyway, bring in ESPN/ABC and get this show on the road.
With the economy in its current situation, I guess we shouldn't be surprised by the ENORMOUS amount of empty seats at Michigan today. However, being in the Big Three's back yard, it was nonetheless disappointing to see MIS a mere ghost town of its former self. Being the sister track of California, it's hard to say with a straight face that racing here has been exciting, even though it was the first track I witnessed my first cup race. However, tracks are sinking ticket prices in an effort to bring us back to their venues, and Michigan is a scenic, comfortable place to see 'em trade paint. It gives us midwesterners, who most live an eon from a track, a chance to see big time racing. Is consumer confidence that low and combined with the economic situation that people just opted to stay home? Probably, and it's a shame. Today's race was a sleeper with the exception of the last lap, so us folks who watched from afar got our money's worth.
NASCAR is certainly trying. The double file, shootout style restarts are a HUGE step in the right direction to try and compensate for the turds formally known as the COT. It appears the sanctioning body is recognizing that the car with the cleanest air can't be caught, and something was going to have to change. My only hope is that this is step one of a 12-step program.
Understand, I thought the last lap was awesome! Yet, we don't go to races to see only one of 200 laps of real racing. This is kind of the reason I have been watching the NASCAR Whelen All American Series at my local track this summer. True grit, real racing, and raw passion for 30 laps. Letting it all hang out for a few hundred bucks so everyone else will have penis envy until next weekend. To me, cup racing use to be much more exciting before they went to the blob they are putting on the track now. In the end, it was great to see the old man pull off another victory!
However, when we as fans, don't come out to support NASCAR in Motor City's back yard, I believe a message is being sent. Sure, the extra money isn't there right now, but Bristol and Daytona sure brought in the crowds, yet you could piss off your back porch from Brooklyn and hit Detroit is kinda like the queen throwing a party and no one showing. A silent petition if you will. We recognize that the teams are hurting as well as the announcement from GM came down before race weekend. As fans, though, we are greedy, and we have earned that right through outrageous ticket prices, getting bent over backwards at the souvenier haulers, and paying five bucks for a hamburger. Fans deserve more, we demand better, and today was proof that we better get it!
So far, my summer has been insane which accounts for my absence in this column. I've written a couple blogs for Bump-Drafts.com, but for the most part, watching a race is about all I have time. However, today's event struck a nerve...actually it was un-nerving to see the empty seats. I wonder if the mainstream race media will make mention?
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