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Woody: What Race Was TV Watching On Sunday?

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, February 25 2010
The racing was terrific at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday. Attendance? Not so much. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The finish Sunday in Fontana was good, but was the rest of the race? (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Larry Woody | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

I’ve gotta get Larry the Cable Guy to come over and take a look at my set. Apparently I’m not picking up the same race telecast that the boys in the booth are watching.

Last week at California they kept raving about the “close racing” and “tight competition.”

Somehow I missed it, just as I missed all those “exciting lead changes” Jack Roush said we were treated to last season.

Granted, I nodded off several times during the race, so maybe I dozed through the drama they were describing. But I don’t think so. The race I saw was a snoozer – 90 percent riding and 10 percent racing, similar to the ho-hum ride-arounds of the last few years.

I was fired up after Daytona. We were treated to some tight racing and old-fashioned bump-and-grind battles. I thought that NASCAR’s “Have at it” edict might have taken effect.

Then came (yawn) California and a racing relapse.

There were times during the race when I hoped they’d find a pothole to patch. Anything to break the monotony.

I remember a time when race fans were hesitant to go to the bathroom or concession stand for fear they’d miss something. Now they can go take a bubble bath and bake a turkey and not miss anything except a couple of Digger dances.

I don’t know what the problem is – the cars, the tracks or the drivers. But after a promising start at Daytona, last Sunday it seemed like we were right back where we were last year: NAP-CAR.

I’m not sure that NASCAR’s visit to Vegas this weekend will cure what ails it. Vegas, like California, hasn’t exactly been Darlington West since its inception.

I went out for Vegas’ Cup opener a few years ago and the most exciting thing was watching a desert breeze ruffle the chorus girls’ feathers in Victory Circle. The action has been so-so ever since.

Two races do not a season make and it’s too soon to draw any firm conclusions. But so far this season NASCAR’s batting .500 – a Daytona homer and a California strikeout.

That would be a good batting average in baseball but it won’t cut it in stock car racing. Fifty percent good racing will fill up 50 percent of the seats.

When the Cable Guy gets my TV fixed maybe he can offer some advice to the drivers: it’s time to crank it up and git’er done.

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, February 25 2010
5 Comments

5 Comments »

  • Marc says:

    Tommy “There should be penalties for the instigators of crashes within the last 25 laps. Does anyone enjoy 248 laps of hanging in there and two laps of racing?”

    And just who do you think should make those decisions? Who calls the penalty? NASCAR already catches hell for the calls they make and you want them to police the last few laps?

    You’re asking for far more heartache than you can handle.

  • Marc says:

    Steve… “Oh and the boys in the booth are Nascar shills. They will spin it however they want to make Nascar look good.”

    Pretty selective memory you have? How is it you completely forget, or ignore all the flack those in the booth received for being overly critical?

  • Steve says:

    Was anyone really surprised that the racing was boring? The track is still way too wide and they made no changes to the car for the race. Every year its the same thing. Daytona gives the series some momentum and Fontana kills it all. Then they go to Vegas and we are right back to where we were at the end of last season. Oh and the boys in the booth are Nascar shills. They will spin it however they want to make Nascar look good. They sure tried hard to avoid showing all those empty seats in the stands.

  • Tommy says:

    There should be penalties for the instigators of crashes within the last 25 laps. Does anyone enjoy 248 laps of hanging in there and two laps of racing?

    We’ve just sat through several hours of race coverage, we want to see a race to the finish. Not who took the correct number of tires on the caution, not who gambled correctly on whether the caution would come so they could fuel up. Not who got off the start well or picked the right draft partner. WE WANT RACING!!

    These are extremely well paid professional drivers, they should be able to go ten miles without hitting each other. Open wheel racing doesn’t have four separate crashes in the last ten laps, it’s more dangerous. But they are able to stay out of each others way. Just because you have fenders doesn’t mean that you should use them.

    Oh, and get your bumper out of my butt. It was cute when “The Intimidator” did it, but we all know that crashing people to gain a position is cheating.

  • Tommy says:

    There should be penalties for the instigators of crashes within the last 25 laps. Does anyone enjoy 248 laps of hanging in there and two laps of racing?

    We’ve just sat through several hours of race coverage, we want to see a race to the finish. Not who took the correct number of tires on the caution, not who gambled correctly on whether the caution would come so they could fuel up. Not who got off the start well or picked the right draft partner. WE WANT RACING!!

    These are extremely well paid professional drivers, they should be able to go ten miles without hitting each other. Open wheel racing doesn’t have four separate crashes in the last ten laps, it’s more dangerous. But they are able to stay out of each others way. Just because you have fenders doesn’t mean that you should use them.

    Oh, and get your bumper out of my butt. It was cute when “The Intimidator” did it, but we all know that crashing people to gain a position is cheating.