Nascar may have stumbled upon the cure for declining ratings – have Jr. on the pole for every event. It’s working so far. No connection to the 2.18.01 anniversary I’m sure. (Sorry about that. Just too coincidental to ignore.)
Contrary to what the Fox and Speed crews would lead us to believe, the 2-car draft phenomenon appeared last year. At the time, it was so new and there weren’t any more races to use it at, apparently everyone but the race teams forgot it existed.
Since Nascar is, as we speak, trying to put the kibosh on extended use of the 2- car draft, I’ll sacrifice next week’s blog title – “France’s Ark” – to say: during the Shootout there were more pairs on the track than on Noah’s Ark. (Sorry again. I’m just working on my metaphors.)
It’s an end of another era. Is there a longer driver-team-sponsor association than Gordon-Hendrick-Dupont? 19 continuous years counting 1 race in ’92. Possibly Petty-STP. I’m not so sure. Any input from the teeming millions?
2.15.76: We all know about the ’76 500 finish (Pearson/Petty duel), but do you remember J.D. McDuffie finished 7th, Richard Childress 9th, Salt Walther 12th, and David Hobbs 34th? Me neither. That’s why I rely on Racing-Reference and Forty Years Of Stock Car Racing.
Ref: racing-reference.info, Greg Fielden’s “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing”, Richard Sowers’ “The Complete Statistical History of Stock-Car Racing”.