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After This Season, I Need A "Chaser"

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Sprint Cup

After This Season, I Need A "Chaser"

Jeremy T. Sellers
Jerm's Joint
August 26, 2009

You know, I always thought a play-off system in sports was suppose to make for excitement, a true, "down to the finish, last man standing" type of ending. Points-wise, I'm not taking that away from the conclusion of this cup season, but to try and smile and say that these races will take place on "wondermous" tracks is a bold-face lie. Don't get me wrong, throw in Talladega, Lowe's, maybe Martinsville? Anyway...whose brainstorm was it to start the chase in New Hampshire? Line them up for the firing squad. Sure, it has been good for some feelgood wins among the cup ranks, but let's face it, you can fall asleep on lap one and not miss much. Oh better yet, let's take away Darlington's Labor Day event and replace it with California! Now, there's proof they are still shroomin' on the west coast. The spring race in Fontana looked like a ghost town with 43 cars, and even Kevin Harvick went public by saying something needs to be done there to get people back in the seats. The short? We as fans KNOW that quality racing does not occur on a flat, two-mile track. Add Dover, The Monster Mile, just to make it sound more exciting than it really is. I have been to this track for a cup event. The most exhillerating event of the day was me getting a sun burn in the bleachers. Yes, it is a fast facility, but competitive enough for a play-off arena? I think not. Even the hype they dumped into Homestead after its reconfiguration did not pan out the way NASCAR intended. Is racing better? Sure. Is it the quality it should be for the season's final event? Definitely not! I have been to Miami, too, in case you were wondering. I will say it is the cleanest of the cup tracks I have attended. Fans are well behaved and access isn't bad. However, I am still trying to figure out why they removed Atlanta, the fastest mile and a half, and put it pre-chase. Did someone in NASCAR have a frontal lobotomy? (Personally, I'd rather have a bottle in front of me...old psychiatric joke, but anyway...)

Of course I didn't cover all of the chase tracks. What's the point? I believe by now that you get the gist. NASCAR is turning a blind eye to many issues, and is losing fans in droves. Several, what I would consider "die hard" fans, have told me this season that watching racing, or reading up on racing news hasn't mattered much. I am still a fan. For some reason, I still believe. Maybe I should give Santa Claus a call? However, it's hard to deny that there is a problem when big names are stepping forward with their criticisms. I mean HUGE names such as Dale Earnhardt Jr, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, and Dick Berggren just to name the ones that come to mind immediately. The fact that the new car has hurt racing cannot be denied. Laugh at me if you wish. Leave me hateful responses if it makes you feel better. I truly don't care. As anyone else, however, I do not believe in sacrificing safety, but the sport has gone from one extreme to the other. NASCAR racing at the cup level has become sterile, and next season, we will have to worry about the same issue in the Nationwide Series. How much longer does NASCAR believe it can fool its most important asset, the fans? Is the bar open yet? I need a drink!

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