Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Bit Overdue--NASCAR Sprint Cup

    Let me first apologize for the delay in this post. I realize raceweek is over.  If you're anything like me, you spent those days in front of your TV (or if you were lucky--in Daytona) watching Speed Channel and FOX. So what an opener, huh? I mean has NASCAR given us exactly what we asked for or what? We wanted driver skills (or lack thereof) to be apparent on the track. We wanted accidents. Don't lie, you know you love the wrecks. Most importantly, we wanted to feel like we were watching a race and not just a parade of fast cars. I think NASCAR gave us just that. Yet, some people are now bitching. Why? 

  Let's get into this piece by piece. We'll start with Danica Patrick. Look, I love that there's women racing. I don't know if there was a lack of options, but Danica needs a lot of work. Joey Lagano didn't hit the wall as many times in his first season as Danica has in her first three races. It really is a shame too. Now, I'm not saying any of these hits were her fault, but her inexperience certainly didn't pull her out of anything. Mostly, I feel sorry for the wallets of Tony Stewart and Dale, Jr. My main issue with Danica Patrick was that she was crammed down our throats throughout the pre-season and during every single race so far. They altered the "Gentlemen, start your engines"  to be extra clear that there was a woman on the track. We get it! She's here! She can't Steer! Get over it! And then let's get back to racing. Anyway, maybe if Danica spent less time in interviews, and more time behind the wheel of this particular car we wouldn't have seen her wreck in every race. This is extremely important for her too, if she expects to be taken seriously on the track. Let's be honest, she has a great body and she's absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, that's why most want to see her fail. Those were the assets focused on previous to her being a race car driver. Because of that, no one is expecting much from her. She's got a lot of ability under that pretty little face, though. If she had it to do all over again, I wish someone would have advised her to build up the experience and skill, then sell yourself as a sexual image. We all know sex sells. I would never suggest a great looking woman not use that piece of marketing. The men do it, and so shall the women. However, it comes with consequence for a woman (especially in men-dominated sports) when she can't prove herself on the battle field. Drive first, sex next. That's all I'm saying. 

   And what about my boy Tony? What a teaser! After the great racing in the Budweiser Shootout and the first place finish in the first race of the Gatorade Duel, I was half expecting him to, oh I don't know--RACE--at the Daytona 500. I totally understand that Tony didn't want to waste fuel and energy in pushing from the start, but when did he plan on pushing? Throughout the entire race, he was just there. We kept hearing how he wanted this win so bad, but I don't think the Tony we saw in the Daytona 500 was the Tony that wanted a win. I've watched Tony Stewart since he was a rookie. I know how he races to win, and that wasn't it. That was driving Miss Daisy. Personally, I didn't care to see Jimmie Johnson take so many championships, but I would love to see another driver (more importantly--Tony Stewart) take more consecutive championships. I know he has the skill. I worry more that he's becoming too business-y and "I'm-an-actor" focused. Don't forget your fans Tony. 

Do I really need to mention the strategic approach to racing exemplified by J.P. Montoya. Holy crap! If you can't win--crash your ride into the nearest jet fuel-filled blower. After all the hard work put in by the blowers at Daytona on Sunday and Monday, it's sad that someone would show such disrespect by driving their car into one. However, I'm kind of surprised by JP. In previous seasons we've seen him go head-to-head with some great drivers trying to take that win. Maybe there's was just too big a gap in the off-season.

  I'm torn on this season so far. The drivers were very anxious during the Daytona 500, and this may have contributed to a lot of the action we saw on the track. I hope we did not witness the season to come, though. I hope these boys--and the girl--get their shtuff together before the next race. In my opinion, if you ain't in it to win--you're paid too much. So, boogety, boogety, boogety... Let's go racing boys. Get out there and deliver our season's champion. 

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