Thursday, October 16, 2014

Alice Cooper 'Lace And Whiskey'

I didn’t get to see any of the race from Charlotte Motor Speedway last Saturday night. I had my own drama dealing with two rooms full of kids, personality issues, a crazy sister, and an auto accident involving one of the HeroClix Madness tournament players.

Everything turned out okay for the folks racing in Charlotte and the players in the HeroClix tournament. Although, I’m sure someone’s insurance rates will start putting the squeeze on the family of the relatively new driver. Thankfully, she’s okay.

I was listening to the race on 600 WSJS while driving through three counties. In between the post-tournament chatter, I could tell that the race was exciting. After the final caution, I had to crank up the radio and put the brakes on the chatter. I was one big ear listening to the race that I wished I was watching. Cars were hitting the walls. Drivers were jockeying for position trying to win one in order to move onto the next elimination round.

And that’s the deal.

You win and you move on EVEN if you’re dead last in the points with that group of elimination round drivers. And the last race comes down to four drivers. The Sprint Cup Champion can be determined by points OR a win among those four drivers.

Is it gimmicky?

You bet it is! And here’s what I like about it…

If you won a race during the regular season, you were in the Chase. You had a shot at the Championship. It gave my current fave AJ Allmendinger and Aric Almirola from underfunded and under performing teams a shot at some big cash and a possible Championship.

What’s not to love about that?

Allmendinger was the only Chaser from a one car race team.

So back to the race at Charlotte…

Drivers were aching for the win! Joey Logano got the first win in that elimination round at Kansas so he could rest a little easier at Charlotte and Talladega. The other 11 Chase drivers wanted that win in Charlotte real bad so they could relax at Talladega. At Talladega ANYTHING can happen and ANYONE can win.

Drivers were aggressive at Charlotte. They were beating and banging on a mile and a half track. Kevin Harvick scored the win and put himself into the next round of the Sprint Cup Chase.

After the race, Brad Keselowski let his displeasure known to other drivers. He even did a burnout in the garage. And once everyone was out of their cars, mild-mannered Matt Kenseth went after Keselowski with a headlock and “word of prayer”.

Drivers were HOT! Drivers were passionate. And we fans LOVE IT!

Again, it’s gimmicky but something had to give. NASCAR racing seems to be the same ol' same ol’ week in and week out.

“Oh look… They’re racing on a cookie-cutter. Wow. The same drivers keep winning those cookie-cutters. How exciting… Zzzzzzz”

Ratings and attendance continue to go down even with the last race in Charlotte. And that race turned out to have a ton of excitement on and off the track.

And they’re racing this weekend at Talladega and I cannot wait!

10 drivers have one more shot at winning and moving onto the next elimination round. And the other 33 drivers have a shot at winning. From the underfunded one car team that doesn’t compete in all the races to the 3 or 4 car teams that stick it out all 36 races.

I’m going to give you this guarantee… The last 30 laps will be nail-biting and exciting no matter who your favorite driver is. Or hell, even if you’re not a fan of NASCAR racing you will find those last 30 laps just as exciting. We could witness half the field being caught in the “Big One” and taken out of contention. We could see a first time winner. We could see the biggest underdog take the checkered flag. We could see cars flying and flipping through the air. We might even see another drunken dumbass fan sitting atop the catch fence bringing out a caution.
The bottom line… This Chase for the Sprint Cup is exciting. It’s livened up a sport that has abandoned its Southern fans for the pursuit of bigger markets and making cookie-cutter tracks that provide nothing but boring races.

There are lots of fans that don’t care for the Chase at all. But I gotta tell ya… I am LOVING this elimination thing gimmicky or not.

1 comment:

  1. You were correct Eugene! The last laps were exciting, nail-biting, spinning out, and all of that! And the best part? Jimmie Johnson didn't win and make his way into the "gimmicky" chase!! Woot!Woot!!