Friday, March 27, 2009

Why I Want Almirola To Win At Martinsville

He has the best. car. ever.

They'll be in Charlotte in October, and I'll be there to see 'em.  Quals rained out today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No, Ed Hinton. F1 Gets It Very, Very Wrong

Ed Hinton practically wet himself in this post on ESPN today.  F1 is crowning their champion by who wins the most races, with the points system being kept in place to break ties.  I think this is a horrible idea and if any other racing series adopts this rule as a result, I'll ridicule them as well.

Here's the problem: over the course of most years, the champion will be crowned weeks, most likely multiple weeks, in advance of the final race of the season.  For most racing series, they want a championship battle that will come down the final race of the year.  It's the natural culmination of a season-long (or 10 race-long) battle.  Sure, you may get a few years in which the final race under winner-take-all is thrilling, but on the average and in the long-term interest of the sport, you'll have a boring final race of the year.  The press won't pay attention if there's nothing to watch.  I think it's a really dumb idea.

David Poole responds as well, much closer to my point of view than Hinton's insanity.  I'd agree wins should mean more but it really shouldn't be the most important factor when deciding a champion.  I'd expect something more intelligent from Hinton.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coming Soon: IndyCar Series on Versus

The 2009 IRL season will start in St. Petersburg on April 5.  As most should know by now, the series has moved to Versus where they won't get lost in the shuffle, as often happened on ESPN/ABC (but they'll show the Indy 500 along with a few more selected races).  There is no shortage of intrigue around the new season: Helio Castroneves and his tax trial, Will Power stepping into Helio's seat, the return of Dario Franchitti, and several other new faces in new places.

I don't view it as a bad thing to move to the Versus network.  Why not take advantage of a network that wants you?  The IRL and the NHL are the biggest shows in town for them and they treat them as such.  They'll have over 130 hours of original programming.  For the series to return to prominence, this is a good start, as is their announce team.  Bob Jenkins is returning to play-by-play work for the first time in years and it'll be a welcome return.  Joining him will be Jon Beekhuis and Robbie Buhl.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Off Week Links

Typical Mark Martin bad luck.  As a long-time Martin fan it's all too familiar - and sad.

David Ragan's racing a Southern Modified at Caraway speedway.  If not for a prior commitment I'd be there to watch.

The idiot of the month award goes to the Ambrose crew member that ran across pit road to get a tire and ensured a slim amount of cars on the lead lap throughout the rest of the race in Atlanta.  Yeah, I'm sure he's sorry. 

Someone needs to step up and sponsor Travis Kvapil.  The #28 is a top 35 team that needs to be racing every week.  

Former Speedway Motorsports executive Lauri Wilks appears to be running for Charlotte City Council.  Look for some NASCAR donors to be filling her coffers.

Be sure to check out this story on Eddie Sharp Racing's Steve Arpin, who counts Carl Edwards among friends.  ESR has been one of the top-tier teams in the last few years and should continue to do the same.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not What I Had In Mind...

Tires problems and another bad finish.  Bristol's going to be big for several teams that should be running better than they are.

Seeing Kurt Busch win wasn't what I had in mind either, although my one-and-done pick was a teammate.  I need to start hyping Verizon more since NASCAR doesn't like 'em.  Har har har.  I don't like early weeks off but I guess after spending weeks in Daytona and 2 consecutive west coast trips, it's needed.  I think a schedule change is needed more.

Time For Mark Martin To Win

On the pole at Atlanta, he has to make a move this week.

Sure, 2 consecutive DNF's aren't his fault.  But the fact remains this is the 4th race of the year and he's sitting in the 34th spot in the standings.  This needs to be his big week because his odds won't be as good at Bristol.  He'll have to shake off some rust at the Tennessee track next week.

Mark has an envious record at this place and he gets around it well.  Hendrick has a history of putting cars in victory lane here too, so points for history and equipment.  As long as his engine holds up he'll finish no worse than 5th or so.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When Sponsors Attack

Remind me to never sign a deal with Monster energy drinks. What they're doing to Ricky Carmichael and KHI has jumped the shark from being absurd to stupid in the span of a few days. Of course you can blame Ricky and KHI just as easily for signing a deal with them to begin with, but Monster shouldn't be so inflexible they'll deny their driver a chance at gaining more track time and experience, making their investment pay off to a greater extent. So in Atlanta this week KHI will now enter 3 trucks for the first time, with Harvick in the #2 and Ricky in the #4. It's not of of question for Carmichael to get a top 5 finish this season. He's been impressive in both races so far this year. Certainly better than I and most other people thought he would do at this point.

Speaking of doing better, I'm ready for the Logano haters to attack. They had their fun after his Daytona finish, but he finished the race in California and recorded a 13th-place finish the first time he's even seen the Las Vegas track. I'm hoping he does just as well in Atlanta to really make them mad.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Season Still Feels Surreal

Don't get me wrong, I've seen most of every race so far this year.  I always have the same feeling that takes a few weeks to shake off, to really get into the racing mood.  I think I might there for Atlanta, we will see.