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Seriously?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Bucyrus 200 presented by Menards

Seriously?

Jeremy T. Sellers
Jerm's Joint
June 22, 2010

I've been pretty busy this summer, so I haven't had a chance to see much grass grow. I hate to paint, and haven't done that in about four years, so I can't say I've watched paint dry recently. However, I WOULD say that anyone who thought that the Nationwide race at Road America was exciting is probably professed at the aforementioned. Who in their right mind thought that a four-mile road course was a good idea to toss on the schedule should be taken out, have a bullet put in the back of their head and the family charged for use of said ordinance. Okay, so maybe a tad bit dramatic, but my point is evident. Not only were lap times too long, but the field was stacked with drivers we had never seen. Sure, I understand there are guys better than others on road courses. Some drivers are meant to turn left their entire career, those that are dual talented, and a few who are specialized in road racing. However, how fair is this to the man behind the wheel who has been working his ass off all season, only to be yanked from his seat because NASCAR throws in some tracks with a few right turns? Oh trust me, I understand the whole sponsorship money-thing, etc, so I will save you from having to point out the obvious. I'm smart enough to realize that the days of THAT driver staying in THAT car for the entire season are over. Doesn't mean I like it. As a matter of fact, it reeks of wet pig dung. (I drive past two hog farms on my way to work and when it rains? Whew!)

I am sure to catch grief for saying this, but I don't care. Leave road races to the series' who specialize in them for an entire season. I appreciate a challenging, hanging right turn in my Colorado as much as the next guy, but leave it out of NASCAR. I've given these courses a chance. So before you ask if I have ever been to a road course... I have been to Watkins Glen in 2001. The only cool product of that race is that I eventually got Steve Park to sign the ticket stub and a 1:24 scale die cast. I've also been to Mid-Ohio here in my home state. Unless this is strictly your style of racing, it's money wasted. You only see what goes by you, and it's another couple minutes before you get to see it again. Unless you were at Road America, it was more like four. Stay home, watch it on television, and take a nap.

I thought NASCAR might have been getting the message when they tossed Mexico City aside, but compared to Road America, I'd rather have bamboo shoved under my fingernails than to endure that on the tube again. Why did I watch? Because I'm a fan. In some sadistic way, I felt obligated to suffer through it. Montreal isn't exactly a nail biter...well, with the exception of the Robby Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Kevin Harvick thing, I guess. Look, if these courses were THAT popular among fans, don't you think NASCAR would put more on the schedules? ...and you can't say it's contracts, sponsorships, etc, because the governing body has proved multiple times it can pull the plug on one race, and head somewhere else at the drop of a dime.

Two down, two to go, right? We have to suffer through Montreal and Watkins Glen. Ugh, caffeine, anyone? I DO agree that there are some cookie-cutter tracks that should be nuked and turned to glass, and return some great short tracks such as North Wilksboro, Rockingham, etc. Scrub California and New Hampshire altogether, and that opens up FOUR dates for some much more exciting racing! Whichever, scrub road courses completely, and I will gladly take the heat for stating such.

I would like to end my rant by wishing the family of Raymond Parks sincere condolences in their time of loss. A true pioneer in stock car racing who was instrumental in showmanship in a time when folks weren't so sure this thing called NASCAR would take off!

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