Another great race(?) is in the can.
Shall we call it square dancing? A swap meet? Noah’s Ark on wheels? I’m not sure what to call it or if it was better or worse than any other restrictor plate race. It was entertaining in some fashion, and certainly had a thrilling finish. I suppose that’s Nascar‘s main goal. As a race, I don’t know how to categorize it. As an exhibition, it was quite intriguing. Maybe it should be a non-points event. Of course, for at least one driver it was.
Most notable to me is the fact that such racing kept the drivers up on the wheel for 500 miles rather than giving them that middle race single file respite they’re accustomed to.
But occasionally I got the feeling Nascar – with all the tweaking and experimenting – was using us as a test audience and the drivers as lab rats. “Let’s throw this out there and see what happens at 200 mph”.
All things considered, you gotta give these guys credit. With only a short time to go to school on tandem/switchem racing, I think they did amazingly well – record cautions notwithstanding.
In addition to the graphics showing speed, rpm, and braking, they should add oil and water temps so we can anticipate the swaps.
Another end of an era – and sign of the state of Nascar: as of 2-21-11, there is no longer a radio station in the Charlotte area carrying the races. This is the home of MRN and PRN studios (not to mention the world center of stock car racing). When I moved here, and until a few years ago, all 3 Nascar series races and Cup qualifying were broadcast on several stations. Of course, there was also a time when every shop and garage had John Boy and Billy playing on the radio. That changed quite some time ago.
Considering the “no points” rule when competing outside your designated series, and the paltry Truck series purses, it may be a good gamble to, let’s say, use a questionable part or have a spoiler mysteriously fall down in order to get to victory lane. I’m just sayin’.
Since Sheila Wade Beal of Belmont, NC, took the time and initiative to write a letter to the Charlotte Observer editor this week, I’ll pass along her thoughts: Nascar Hall should honor those who gave their lives. Sheila states her brother’s death on pit road helped Nascar change its rules. Sheila believes all those who lost their lives for Nascar should be honored.
Although out of the usual chronological sequence:
3.18.79: At Atlanta, 18 year old Dennis Wade of Charlotte, jackman for rookie driver Dave Watson, was killed instantly when Watson lost control on pit road. Mr. Watson was leading the race at the time. He quit on the spot. He led the last lap he ever ran.
Ref: racing-reference.info, Greg Fielden’s “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing”, Richard Sowers’ “The Complete Statistical History of Stock-Car Racing”.