Saturday, October 25, 2008

Qualifying Rain Outs

Much is being said this season about this subject. Rightly so I guess as we have had a record ten qualifying sessions canceled due to rain. What happened? It rained a lot on Fridays. There is a lot of talk that NASCAR should reschedule to Saturday or even Sunday morning in the event of rain on Friday. After all, they have plenty of time available. Do they?

I don't know for sure, but all the Saturday's I've been at the track, everybody look's pretty busy to me. We do know that NASCAR will not have a qualifying session without having a practice first, which makes sense to me. It also makes Saturday more tricky. You have to wedge in at least a one hour practice in addition to at least a two hour qualifying session.

The perception that they have plenty of time could be comming from looking at the schedule and seeing two or three hour's of no car's scheduled to be on the track, or "hey, there's no cars on the TV right now so the team's must not be doing anything". Unless it's an impound race, that's not likely. As far as the driver's go, I am sure there are a lot of sponsor obligations both at and away from the track. Most might say that those shoudn't get in the way of the racing. I would say if not for those obligation's, we night not be racing.

Big time racing has always been a business. You have a product and sell ticket's to folk's to come see it. It has become a much bigger business today. Some say it's a bad thing, some it's a good thing. Me? I say it's a thing. It's here and there will be no going back. I am sure that the driver's would rather be on the track. I am also sure that the team (at some level), believe that these obligation's are one of the most important activity's of the weekend.

So I don't buy in to the "they have time" theory because I don't know, for sure, that they do and neither do most of the people who say they do. But I certainly doubt they do. What we have here is a very unique weather pattern. An anomaly. Why turn the qualifying process upside down because of it. The next several years could well go back to a few rain out's or none at all. Some say that lining up by point's isn't fair. Of course it could be that their favorite driver is in a position where it hurts him. But it's as fair as it can get. If they line up by points and your not in the race, you need to work harder. As one well respected (at least by me) poster said on the Speed boards, "Big time racing isn't t-ball, not everyone get's to bat".

The Geeze
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The National Anthem

Okay, the motivation for this is not racing related. But it does play a part in NASCAR. I just watched the national anthem performed at the first World Series game by the Back Street Boy's.
I was appalled. Why do people seem to think they have to make the anthem a pop song. Make it their own as it were. It's not yours, it's mine, it's ours. This happens at NASCAR races quite often.

I am now of the opinion that it should not be performed by someone who has a tour or new CD out, but by a military band. Or at least a standard be set. I listened to Michael MacDonald sing it once, and he did an excellent job. If he can do it why can't some of the other pop star's do it. I don't want to hear your interpretation of it, I want to hear Francis Scott Keys interpretation of it. It's our national anthem for god's sake.

Okay, I'm done. Just a pet peeve of mine.

The Geeze

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

NASCAR is Not Racing Anymore. It's Entertainment

I see this statement a lot lately on message boards and blog's. I am of the opinion that the folk's who make that statement have either forgotten the past or never saw it. It has always been called "the show" among the promoters and participants. I am sure one of Big Bill France's motive's in starting NASCAR was to help racer's race and do so in the knowledge that they will be treated fairly and nobody would disappear with the prize money before the race ended.

I also believe that if this was his only motivation, we would be saying NASCAR? Never heard of it. He wanted to make money. Nothing wrong with that. Most of us do. How did he make money? He put on a show. And he sold tickets. He had a product, the promoter's had the track's. Big Bill was always telling driver's to not stink up his show. When he wanted to run some convertibles at a race, and not enough showed up, he offered teams with hardtop's money to cut off the top and run as a convertible. They would hire people to do death defying stunt's before the race to sell ticket's.

It's always been entertainment. From the get go. The sponsors sponsored cars for the advertising value. Those sponsor's reflected those who went to the race. Car dealer's, body shop's, and other automotive related products. As the sport grew and more mainstream people started paying attention, the sponsor's changed to reflect that. Back then, paying to be the sponsor of the race was not something anyone thought anybody would pay for. Now it is. Times change.

I'm starting to ramble so it's time to wrap this up. The bottom line is, NASCAR has always been about entertainment, and always will be. Why do people like myself go to races every chance they get? To be entertained of course. It's just bigger now.

The Geeze

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Auto Club Speedway Track Bash II

It's time for the semiannual bashing of Auto Club Speedway on the message boards. Why to people do it? There is the "NASCAR doesn't belong outside of the southeast. It belong to us" Also, the ever popular "NASCAR doesn't belong in California. They just jumped on the bandwagon when NASCAR started getting popular".

My first exposure at a NASCAR race was at Riverside Raceway in the Mid 70's. Where they had raced since 1958. So, if history doesn't back you up make stuff up. There is also the "California stole dates from some of NASCAR's most historic tracks" Stole? If I remember correctly, NASCAR moved the dates from track where folks just weren’t showing up.

Of course the major battle cry is the racings boring. I have been to all but one of the races there and have never been bored. I have always been able to find great racing throughout the pack. I have also never heard anything about boredom from any of my seatmates or those around me.
So what are these people basing this "the racing is boring" on?

Television of course. They watched a boring race on TV. Or I should say, they watched a boring race telecast. This week, we had the Kyle Busch / Carl Edwards rivalry. I haven't watched my entire TiVo copy of the race yet, but what I have seen showed me a lot of shot's of those two weather they were close to each other on the track or not. I saw a lot of a car whooping the field. They had their story line and were sticking to it.

To their credit, ESPN did show more racing back in the field than they normally do, But this was basically due to fact that Jimmy Johnson was putting a licking on the field and they finally decided they had to show some of the racing.

To make a statement that Auto Club Speedway is boring just because the TV broadcast was is silly. The print media also has jumped on the boring bandwagon. Why? Because in my opinion it's the safe way to go. Nobody wants’ to read what a good race it was. They don't expect that. We have a reporter for the local paper here that does this twice a year. That's it. Never hear from him again until it's time to rip the speedway. A one trick pony.

Oh, don't forget the " It's always 105 degrees out there this time of the year". I have lived here for 57 years and can say with all certainty. NOT! It was 85 at the green flag and in the upper to mid 70's during the race. That's about normal.

All right. I have to give the basher's the falling caution light. Criticism well deserved. Some poster's went over the top on it of course. "They can't even tighten a bolt". That sort of thing. But it did fall and shouldn’t have.

So, after all is said and done, we still have two dates, only one has been moved into the chase starting next year. All I can say to that is neener neener.

The Geeze

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Monday, August 25, 2008


Staying with the "gate" theme, I would like to share my thought's on the Joe Gibbs Racing magnet fiasco. By now most already ready know what happened, but here's a little background.

Earlier this year some of the non-Toyota driver's started talking about a horse power andvantage that Toyota had in the Nationwide series. Dyno test were done and sure enough, they had a 20-30 horsepower advantage (these number's have varied based on who who listen to). As a result, Toyota was issued a smaller restrictor plate than those used on the other cars in Nationwide. This was an effort to bring all the manufactures in line.

At the Michigan race, it was widely known that NASCAR would be testing some cars on the chassis dyno. This was to verify that the Toyota plate was doing it's job. Apparently, some people on the #18 and that #20 team's were concerned about this. It appears they felt that they still had advantage, and if NASCAR found out about it, they would take it away.

So how do you make a chassis dyno test ( the entire car is on the dyno) come up with less horse power than you have. You limit the throttle travel. If the throttle is pushed to the fire wall but only produces 95% of full throttle, the butterfly valves on the carb will only open to 95% and there you have it.

So you take a magnet whose thickness is calculated to only open a given percent, between the pedal and the firewall. But how do you get it there without being seen. The driver does it while still in the car after the race? I've spent 30 laps in a cup car, and beleve me, there is no way I could even come close to touching the pedal let alone put something behind it. Even with the steering wheel off. ESPN was widely criticized for suggesting the driver's did it. I don't buy it.

So that is one of the mystery's, how did they get it in there with the car being in constant control of a NASCAR inspector. We will probably never know, as I suspect a real flaw was found in the inspection process, and NASCAR won't want to publicize what it was. Another mystery is who at Gibbs knew about it. Did it go to all the way to the top? I doubt it. and here's why.

This was possibly the dumbest move I have ever seen. The risk versus reward was horrible. The guy's who decided to go through with this were not the sharpest knives in the drawer. And Joe and JD Gibbs strike me as pretty sharp knives. Add to that, as it turns out, it wasn't even necessary. When tested without the magnet, there was only an 8 horse power gain. Toyota wasn't even in the lead. You mean to tell me that a team the caliber of JGR didn't know the actual horse power the cars were putting out? That they thought they had something to hide? Very strange.

So, all that money, all those employees who might never see the light of day at JGR, all that for nothing. JD Gibbs has said that they will add to the penalties of the employees once they know what they are. But they will not fire them. I'm not asking for blood, but if it was me, I might consider letting the person or person's who signed off on this go based on a lack of good judgment.

The Geeze

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Sunday, August 24, 2008


Alright, I know this is late in the game for this topic, but a few comments have urged me on to post more so here it goes.

The Indy tire debacle. What a mess for NASCAR, the track, and the fans. Tony George has been blamed. Goodyear has been blamed and of course NASCAR has been blamed. So who's fault was it?

Tony George laser ground the track two years ago. That made it more abrasive. Why, thats it of course. We have our fall guy. But wait, we have raced there twice without near the tire issues exhibited this year. Why now? Maybe he's not or fall guy.

Goodyear had a tire test at Indy with three cars. The compound they brought to the test proved to be pretty durable, but the driver's felt they were to unstable. Now what? Bring the same compound to Indy that was used last year. They had some tire issues last year but nothing horrible. A reasonable decision one would think.

NASCAR did not hold a mass testing at Indy to run in race conditions. A mistake? Probably.
So, the big question here is what was different this year than the last two year's? The track? no.
The tire? No. The car? Whoops.

The car. The COT. You know, the one that the teams have to use the tires as the suspension so it will turn. The car that is notoriously hard on right side ties. The car that appeared for the first time at Indy this year. The only variable was the car.

Now, I'm not a COT basher. It's just not there yet and they need to keep working on it. Had NASCAR run a full three day testing session at Indy this year, would we have seen what we did during the race. I doubt it. While it's true that with Indy booked up in May for obvious reason's, the test would have been held in April under quite different weather condition's than it was on race day, I think that a tire not lasting more than ten lap's would have reared it's ugly head.

So there you have it. Not enough testing of the new car on a track it's never seen before. Was the track a factor? Sure. Was the tire a factor? sure. But I don't think they would have been had they done a full test.

As far as how NASCAR dealt with it on race day, there didn't seem to be much of an option. Do they pack it up Saturday night and go home? Yeah right. You think people were upset with the way it went, you would've had to evacuate the folks from the infield in helicopters under heavy guard.

Some people were upset that NASCAR didn't leave it up to the teams as to when to pit for new tires. I was listening to several driver's radio's. Most could not wait for that ten lap competition caution. They kept asking "how many more laps till we pit. I've got cording, Ive got a vibration".
That would indicate to me that a lot of the teams would have done what NASCAR did anyway.

Other teams would try to push it. Thats what racer's do. They don't like to pit. Some would think that if they could just stay out for fifteen to twenty laps, they could get an edge. Based on what I saw, that would have been an accident waiting to happen.

So when it is all said and done, NASCAR did the only thing they could do. As a side note, I saw some pretty good racing during those ten lap sprints.

The Geeze

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Claim Jumper's

Claim Jumper's, Busch Whacker's, what ever you call them, why do cup driver's and cup team's run in the Nationwide series, and should they be allowed to? The "to get information for the cup race" theory doesn't cut it anymore with the COT and the tapered restrictor plate. The cars are no longer even remotely close to each other. Do they do it for the prize money? Clint Bower received $54,695 for winning at the Bristol Nationwide race. While that's a lot of money to you and me, it isn't for these guy's.

I would think that it would cost much more than that just to show up. Especially at a stand alone Nationwide race. Do they do it in order to run for the championship? If so, only a two or three out of the ten to twelve cup driver's are doing it. Are they doing it because they are racer's and just love to race. I'm sure for some that's a big part of it.

As far as whether the cup driver's should run the Nationwide races, there are numerous reason's why they shouldn't out there. It is a fact that two or three full time, single car Nationwide teams will go home as a result of the big money cup teams out qualifying them. Some will say that those Nationwide teams should step up their game to compete with the cup driver's. I don't see where thats possible from a financial standpoint.

Some will say that the only thing keeping the Nationwide series alive is the presence of the cup driver's. I'm not sure I buy that. Being somewhat old school, I remember the Busch Series from the 1980' and 1990's, when the series and it's driver's had it's own fans. Guy's like Randy LaJoie, Jack Ingram, Tommy Ellis, and Jimmy Hensley. There has always been a history of cup driver's in the Nationwide/Busch series, but not to the point it is now. Not going for the championship.

The full time Nationwide driver's seem to have different opinions on this. The newer driver's seem to say that it's a good test to race with the cup guy's. That they learn a lot. The Nationwide driver's that have been around for a while don't seem to think it's such a good idea. That it takes spots and prize money from the full time driver's and team's. I tend to agree with that.

In my opinion, the lower series has lost it's identity due to the influx of cup driver's. Especially those running for the championship. It's almost like watching a mini cup race. Good and talented drivers like Brad Coleman, Bryan Clausen, Bobby Hamilton Jr and many more, seem to get lost in the shuffle as far as coverage goes. Brad Kowalewski gets some coverage but thats probably due to his driving for Junior.

The money. At Daytona, Cup drivers won 43% of the prize money. Think about that, 43%. How long can a full time Nationwide, single car team adsorb that? In the first six Nationwide races this season, cup drivers have dominated the top ten. The least being four out of ten at Nashville and the most being 9 out of ten at Daytona. That can't be good for the full time Nationwide teams.

What to do?

Don't allow full time cup drivers to earn points in Nationwide races. No points, no championship runs.

This would open up the championship to the full time Nationwide teams.

Limit how many races they can run in a season.

This would open up the prize money to the full time teams who very well may need it to survive.

Don't allow cup drivers to run the series at all.
Probably not the best solution. The Nationwide Series could still use some of the interest that cup drivers generate until some of it's own stars emerge.

Do Nothing. Don't change a thing.

Not a good option in my opinion. This series is quickly becoming Sprint Cup Light. There are to many talented drivers and teams to have them ignored and have them wither on the vine.

The Geeze

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Boring Races?

Up until the last few years, I don't remember this coming up near as much as I do now. Now I see all kinds of blogs and articles about it. Especially around the California and Michigan races. I thought the first three races of this season were great races. Why do so many claim otherwise? Now, I can understand a new fan who has always watched the NHL, NFL or the NBA (MLB fans seem to get it) feeling that way. For awhile anyway.

So what are the reasons for a boring race?

1. Very few or no lead changes.
While I can see this being less exciting to watch, instead of being board, I start to wonder why that is. Fuel? Saving their stuff for later in race? There is still a lot going on. Like pit strategy, fuel strategy, will the equipment hold up.

2. Cars playing follow the leader.
See number one above.

3. Not enough wreaks.
Ahh. Now were talking. To me, a race without a crash is a good, successful race. To some it appears, the lack of crunching metal is a deal breaker. I have even see people come right out and say it.

4. No conflict.
This is the "soap opera" influence that has crept into the sport in the last ten years or so. A driver didn't throw a helmet. A driver did not question the ancestry of another driver after the race. No one played bumper cars during the caution laps.

The bottom line here is I that I am a race fan first and a driver fan second. When my driver falls out of a race or gets caught up in something and spends the whole race near the back, do I turn off the race, or if I'm at the race, do I leave? Of course not. But a lot of people do. I am there for the race. I find the strategy during a race fascinating. No matter who's strategy it is.

The Geeze

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

You Might be a Fontana Hater if.........

I rarely post once a week let alone twice in one day, but this really has me PO'd and it's my blog, so here we go.

You might be a Fontana hater if:

1. You are so incensed that Darlington lost a race to Fontana that you can't see or think straight.

2. You somehow think that Fontana was somehow involved in the demise of Rockingham and North Wilkesboro.

3. You believe that a commandment was broken when California got a NASCAR race in 1997.

4. You believe number three above even though NASCAR was racing in Southern California every year from 1958 thru 1988.

5. Did I mention Darlington?

6.You have the annoying habit of entering into an intellectual street fight while unarmed.

7. You hate change. It's kinda scary.

8. You feel that moving a race from a track that sells 60,00 to 75.000 tickets each race to a track that has 35,000 seats is a viable financial option.

9. Money is bad. Unless you have it.

10. You want, or need, a famous racer's son to be his father as opposed to himself.

11. You think that for a race to not be boring, there must be at least 5 crashes. And one of those has to be the big one.

12. You have a real need to be entertained. All the time.

13. You think that race strategy is deciding which recliner to sit in.

14. You think that restrictor plate's are bad in any form. You want to see them baby's fly.

15. You have all ready composed your bash post prior to the race starting.

16. You believe that Fontana should have a race taken away because of too many hot dog wrapper's on the track.

17. You actually believe that Riverside Raceway was shut down due to a lack of fan support, and not due to skyrocketing land values making it non-profitable.

18. You stopped reading this after number one because you got uncomfortable.

The Geeze

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The Twice Yearly Track Bash

Once again it's time for Auto Club Speedway bash fest on the boards. This phenomena begins on or around Monday prior to the race and continues until people tire of it (usually the Thursday before the next race). I actually swear I've seen an identical post from the prior year. A form letter as it were.

This week has seen a new record. Four threads on the first page almost exactly the same. This is due to a problem with the track weeping. A questionable decision by NASCAR, and mother nature.
I won't go into great detail on these issues, because if you are reading this you all ready know.

Rain on Friday and water started weeping up from seams in the track. A real problem with slick tires at 200mph. They got the truck race in on Saturday and more rain postponed the Nationwide race. On Sunday more rain in the morning. Then a decision to try to start the race in wee hours of the morning back east. NASCAR got the race started, more weeping and we were done and raced Monday.

Here are what most folk's thought of this.

"Track management should have noticed the weeping, and fixed it weeks ago".
Maybe, I don't know and neither do the folks sharing that opinion. Would this weeping occur when it's not raining? Was it a build up of water and it suddenly started on Friday. It's hard to fix something that isn't broken yet.

"NASCAR should have never moved the race to February". "It rains all the time in California in February".

Huh? In eleven or so years, since the track's inception, Qualifying has been canceled twice. Once in May 1999, and last weekend. A race has never been postponed until last weekend. Doing a little research (thank you weather underground), I determined that if a race was held on this same February weekend for the last eleven years, it would have had rain issues on race day once. Last weekend.

"The racing was boring ".

This is the most consistent theme in these bash fests, and always seems to be linked to who your favorite driver was and how he finished. I found Monday's race far from boring. Side to side racing and a finish without the dreaded fuel mileage issue. A lot of form letter's had to edited due to that one. There were no big wreaks, and that seems to always disappoint some people.

"They want to make it a restrictor plate track".

Track presidet Gillian Zucker announced on Tuesday that while the are fixing the weeping problem, they might increase the banking and make Auto Club Speedway a plate track. This would change the track's image and increase attendance. This was suggested to her by Micheal Waltrip. Oh brother. This bash was deserved. Increase the banking to increase speed's and slap a plate on them to slow them down. Brilliant.

This was tested at Texas and was a dismal failure. I could almost see Micheal Waltrip in North Carolina, it a fit of laughter. "She thought I was serious". I do think that if there have to tear the tack up anyway, do what Homestead did with graduated banking. The driver's loved and the fans loved it. It brought new life to the place. I hope saner head's prevail on this one.

Round two will be in late august. We'll see if any new reasons to hate the track pop up. Let's face it, California took a race from Darlington and must be punished.

The Geeze

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Empty Seats

Ah yes, The declining attendance at the racetrack debate. The common theme seems to be that the COT and the quality of the racing is causing this. To a degree, maybe so, but that is not the only reason, nor do I think it's even the biggest one. It's like when you are going to make a purchase of something and you go on the Internet to read reviews.

People generally don't jump on the Internet to report that what they bought was just what they wanted it to be and works fine. They go on the Internet to complain that it wasn't. Therefore what you see is mostly bad reviews. And to make a judgment based on only bad reviews doesn't make sense. All but a fraction of a percent of people bought the item could very well be very happy with there purchase.

I know, what the hell is he talking about. Bear with be. People that hang out in NASCAR chat room's are by definition, fan's. Big fan's, who know all about the sport. They know good racing from bad racing. At least for the most part. They see some boring races (or maybe a lot of them), and conclude that is whats causing the decline in attendance and say so. They might be right if most people that attended races were just like them. But outside of the chat rooms, they are not. So this theory is coming from those who were not happy with their purchase.

Yeah, long road, but you get my point. A large percentage of fans out there, just might not know a good race from a bad one. There is a saying out here in the wild west. "We went to a party in Long Beach and a race broke out". At the grand prix, you can walk around the infield during the race and a heck of a lot of people, well, people watching. Partying. Not paying any attention to the race at all. I don't think this is only seen in Camp Car.

So, what do I think? High ticket prices and ticket "packages" for one. I always go to the races at Fontana. This year, in order to get seats where I could see the race, I had to buy ticket to Saturday's Nationwide and truck race also. What? They wouldn't budge. Well, I cant be there on Saturday, so guess what, I'm not going. I wonder if I'm alone ? I doubt it.

Late starting times. This Sunday's race at Fontana will start at a somewhat reasonable time of 1:00pm or so, and end at about 4-4:30 pm. Factoring in the one hour (minimum) to get out of the parking lot, and the one and a half hour drive home, that puts me home about 6:30 to 7:00.
I am worn out and hungry. ( I don't like paying seven buck's for a lousy to mediocre cheeseburger). And I have to go to work in the morning. Very early in the morning.
Now that might not seem to bad, but at other track's it's even worse. At Daytona Sunday, the start time was what, 3:30 local time? Factor in the fact that they have to move two to three times the people that Fontana does out of there, well, you get the picture.

Saturation. At least as far as California in concerned, two races a year was alright for awhile. but the newness wore off and it just can't support two races anymore.

TV coverage. You can now see and hear everything on the tube. And I mean everything. One hundred hours of coverage of Daytona by a channel that wasn't even showing the race itself, not to mention the ESPN and Fox coverage. All in high definition. So why go? You can see it all from your couch. Remember, I'm not talking about the rabid fan's here. Just the casual fan, who went to a race once and now watches on TV. You know, the ones that were happy with their purchase.

So while I think that the COT and the quality of the racing is a factor, I just don't think it's the major factor.

The Geeze

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Monday, February 18, 2008

To Pit Or Not To Pit

Well, Dale Junior's 2008 Daytona 500 had some interesting problem's didn't. I was listening to their radio traffic and watching the race and was shocked by what I saw and heard regarding pit stops late in the race. I'll paraphrase here:

Junior: What are we doing. Someone talk to me. Are we pitting?
Eury: What do you think we should do?
Junior: your the ^%$#$*#& crew chief, you tell me!
Eury: Well, we could take two tire's and fuel, 4 tries and fuel, or fuel only or stay out.
Junior: Well what is it!
Eury: (after it was already to late) Stay out.

Well, that was planning at it's best. When asked about it, Eury said they stayed out for track position. What? He was in third place at the time. By not pitting, he went to the front, a great place not to be that late in the race. Third was the right place to be. I just couldn't believe it.

Next caution , with a chance to right that wrong, Junior was talking to his spotter (his friend T.J. Majors), about a clicking noise on the radio. When he was done I heard the following.
Junior: Are we pitting?
Eury: I was going tell you to, but you guy's were jabbering and I couldn't.
Junior: To late now.

Oh boy. It looks like there was some situational awareness issue's. I have seen several way's to correct this second issue on the message board's. The most prevalent method was to modify the current radio's or buy new one's, that would have the crew chief's radio override everyone else's.
What? A simple "no one talks to the driver during caution laps except the crew chief" rule would solve that problem.

What Junior never had at DEI after his father died, was someone to lay down the law at the Monday meeting and stop this sort of thing. He now has that in Rick Hendrick. It should be or probably was, an interesting meeting.

The Geeze

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Monday, February 11, 2008

The Budwieser Shootout - My Take

The Bud shootout Saturday night was quite a race. Speed's were about one mile per hour faster than last year with the old car. I think most thought that speeds would be down a bit with the COT. Not that this is a vindication of the new car, but it is encouraging.

I don't intend to review race broadcasts, ( The Daly Planet does that much better than I could), but I think the Fox crew did their normal good job. Too many commercials, but that's a given. Enjoyed the show.

There were some suprises, for me anyway. Toyota was one. Three finished in the top ten, and a good showing forDave Blaney. A second place finish for Tony Stewart and a ninth place for Denny Hamlin might indicate that JGR carry the Toyota banner to the front this year. An eleventh place finish for Michael Waltrip was good to see and I hope he has shaken off last seasons woe's and will do well.

The teamwork that was displayed my the Hendrick team, seemed to dispel all the rumors on the chat boards and in news story's about ego problems keeping the drivers from working together.Gordon dropping back so as to not push Stewart past his teammate and Earnhardt asking for a bump and getting it, right after Johnson said"OK put your head back in the headrest, here it comes" (or words to that effect). And of course, Earnhardt winning his first race with Hendrick. Good stuff.

The Geeze

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NASCAR Message Board's - The New Soap Opera

Is it just me, or has NASCAR become one big soap opera? Ashley Judd’s dress, Has Wendy gained weight? Did Tony smack Kurt? On a lot of message boards, the quality of the television coverage gets more attention than the race itself. However, with ESPN’s stellar coverage last season, maybe that’s justified. It just seems to me that there is less talk on the boards about actually racing than ever before.

The word “hate” seems to come up quite often. Not “I don’t care for Bubba “, But I hate Bubba. It seems some fans have become, well, fanatical. I sit and watch as a harmless thread is started. Like “what do you think of bubba’s chances this year”? Usually within as little as three posts, you will have a Bubba sucks post. Not a prediction of how he will do, just the fact that he sucks and why.

Then Bubba fans will have to respond to why he doesn’t suck, and why the prior poster’s driver does. This will go on for pages. And it will get nasty. Hate will come up. Cheater will be mentioned, NASCAR will be vilified, and a post about how horrible the COT is will be wedged in there completely out of context. And the original question will never be answered.

To get this response, you used to have to bait people into it. A loaded question as it were. Why Bubba won’t win a race” for example. Not any more. To illustrate this phenomena, “I used the name Bubba because if I used a real drivers first name, I would get comments on why I was picking on him

The Geeze

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Monday, February 4, 2008

New Junior Fan

After being completely neutral about Dale Earnhadrt Jr. in the past, I have decided I should become a "Junior" fan. Why you ask? After following the soap opera that his decision to leave DEI and move to Hendrick Motorsports became, I started thinking about it.

Keeping in mind that I had no Dale Sr. baggage to lug around ( I liked him, just not a big fan), I kept seeing on board's and in blog's, comments about "he's not as good his father" and "he would do much better if he had his father's hard driving style", well, you get the picture. While I'm sure there were family issues at DEI, I also think that the only way he would ever get out his father's shadow, and fan's expecting him, or whishing him to be his father would be to leave DEI.

That's a tough decision to make, and I think the way he handeld it was classy. Even with some of his fans fighting with each other over black helecopters and tin foil hat's, he kept it clean and took the high road. That inpressed me. Yes, there are those that say he got some shot's at DEI in there, but compared to what some (and I say some. not all or even most) of his fans had to say, it was a very high road indeed.

The main reason for leaving, at least publicly, was winning. Doing what he is here to do. Not being a corperate spokesman or a role model. Yes he makes a lot of money, ok, a ton of money as a spokesman, but winnig races and championships is at the root of why he does what he does.
How you do this is is by going to a team that is winning races and championships.
No, I'm not a Hendrick fan, so we can take that out of the equation.

So, he has decided to find out if the reason he is not currently winning is due to talent, equipment or both. In front of all of us and on a huge stage. Pretty gutsy I would say, and I admire him for doing it. Will he be the number three driver at Hendrick? Could be. For awhile maybe. But they would be insane if they did not give him the best crew and equipment possible. I was at Fontana for testing and it didn't seem he was all that fast, but neither were his teammates. We will see.

So I'm a fan. not because of his father, car manufacturer , sponsor or his employer. I don't need extra energy, so Amp is out. I'm sure I won't qualify for the National Guard. I might hoist a few Mountain Dew's however. I'm a fan because he showed me a lot and I like the guy. And the fact that he is not just like his father might just be to his credit.

The Geeze

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

What is This All About

Here is where I'll post my inane, moronic, random and at times topical, thoughts on all things NASCAR (and maybe some other racing series). I will try not to comment on TV coverage much unless something extremely horrific (draft lock) or extremely excellent(Mike Joy) occurs. I'm sure that both will at least once.

A little background. I started following NASCAR in the mid seventy's and attended my first race at Riverside Raceway. Read about it here Yes I know, I'm The Geez for a reason. Ive attended races at Riverside, Ontraio Motor Speedway, California Speedway, Sonoma, Pheonix, Las vegas and almost made it to Richmond during a business trip. That still pisses me off. I have been a Mark Martin fan since the Stroh's Light day's. I am also a recent Dale Earnhardt Jr fan. Before you call me a band wagon jumper, I will do a post as to why that is.

I am not typical old fart. An old fart yes, typical no. I don't believe "it's the old way or the highway. I don't like the looks of the COT, but it's "the car", so why bitch about it. The top 35 rule had it's reason for being go away and should be modified or done away with but as with the COT, it's here and I'll live with it. I am all for the new wave of open wheel driver's coming to NASCAR. It's goood for the sport and will, I hope, bring new fans. Of these driver's, Patrick Carpentier link is my favorite as he was the teammate of my favorite open wheel driver the late Greg Moore link.

Please leave a comment, good, bad or ugly, if you stop by. If for no other reason than I will know if I'm talking to myself or not.

The Geeze

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