More Racing Does Not Always Mean Better Racing
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Some notes and takes:
When Brian Vickers survived the green/white/checkered restart and went on to take the white flag at the end of the New Hampshire race last weekend, there was a feeling of relief. The guy who deserved to win the race, actually won the race in Loudon.
The downside of multiple green/white/checkered restarts – and a major reason why their use should be reconsidered – is they have the annoying potential of depriving the best car/driver combo on the track of the victory.
Vickers, his Michael Waltrip Racing team and fans who love a good story were deserving of the win in Loudon. It would have been a shame if some back-marker with a grudge, some have-not looking to become a have, a dry fuel cell would have sent the race to a second – or third – OT.
GWCs can also produce wonderful late-race action and drama. They can, in fact, increase drama and, even, turn boring races into boring races with fun finishes.
But that action and drama can seem artificial and manufactured.
Some people freaked when the Indianapolis 500 finished under yellow this year, insisting it was time for racing that dates back 100 years to get with the times. Some understood and think, for a variety of reasons; that’s racin’.
NHRA Funny Car driver Courtney Force appears in ESPN The Magazine’s special edition not wearing her driver’s suit and fire-proof booties. In fact, she appears not wearing anything.
Force says she posed sans clothes to help promote her sport.
“I’m very passionate,” Force said, “about what I do as a Funny Car driver, in the NHRA, and I hope that showcasing how hard we work as drivers and being in this issue can help shine a light onto our sport and capture people’s interest. I’m hoping this can help drive a different audience right into the seats of one of the NHRA Mello Yello events this season.”
Dad, 15-time Funny Car champion John Force, was asked about his daughter’s decision to put the birthday suit back on and pose for a national audience.
“At first,” he said, “I didn’t understand. I was like, ‘Wow’, when I saw my kid, because I had not seen the pictures before. I’m a dad so I don’t really want to look. I started getting the calls. Yeah, a few negatives on TV because of kids watching. But I have to look at the big picture. The world has changed. We have to go to market different. As long as they do it with good taste. I was excited. I thought the nostalgia wasn’t about showing Funny Cars or dragsters. Somebody said, ‘That Mustang, she ran out of gas in the middle of the desert.’ That was the whole idea, to fit anybody that has a street car, loves the desert, loves nostalgia. They do it, you don’t have a say, and they pick the pictures. So far, so good.”
OK, this is getting serious. NASCAR may have to step in as the war of words between Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman has become profane, vile and disgusting.
After Sunday’s Cup race in New Hampshire, Kyle Busch was the first to go crazytown. He acutally – in front of recorders and notebooks – dropped an ‘O’ bomb on Ryan Newman. Yep, called Newman and “ogre”.
Then, this week, Newman responded with the outrageous remark that Busch is (put your hands over the eyes of your children), “not very bright”.
NASCAR is a family sport. No room for this kind of talk.
Next up for Cup is the annual Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. That has come to mean ESPN takes over the broadcasts from TNT.
We take this occasion to offer one viewer’s list of best and worst television broadcast people:
Anchor: Best – Leigh Diffey. Worst – Adam Alexander.
Analyst: Best – Andy Petree. Worst – Andrew Marriott.
Pit reporter: Best – Jamie Little. Worst – Marty Snyder.
Based on? I like my anchor to be big on home work and knowledge of the sport and its history; I like my analysts to be adept at accurate and astute explanations of what’s going on with drivers and equipment; I like my pit reporters to ask short, good questions and then get out of the way.3 Comments