How to Improve Racing at Fontana
I know, the usual suggests have been tear it down and turn it into a shopping mall that looks like it’s under some grandstands or to put in a smaller track like Richmond and maybe get some action going on.
After watching this past weekend’s snooze-fest, Race Mama came up with this solution:
man I gotta say I am glad I was in church for most of that.....the first 95% were a borefest...but it did pick up for the last ten...since they only want to race hard for 10-30 laps I say they start doing heat races...a 100 miler and the bottom 10 are parked at the end, then another 100 miler with the next 10 knocked out then maybe two 50 milers and again more are knocked out then a 30 miler dash for the win with about 15 cars!
This is a worthwhile idea and I’m not just saying that because it’s Race Mama. Breaking the race up like this and doing eliminations would definitely keep folks interested. Of course, the home viewing audience might only get to see 57% of each segment due to the current commercial coverage on Focks being briefly interrupted with a few scenes from the track. But maybe if they restructured the commercial programming to run during the breaks between segments they might get a larger viewing audience. However, as I have previously written, NA$CAR does not take unsolicited suggestions plus as it makes sense, they won’t implement it. But hey, maybe it’ll give them something to think about instead of which sponsor to take away from which team.
Real Racing Story
You never get to hear about what really goes on with a race team when you’re watching at home because you never get to hear what’s going on over the team radios except when it fits a part of the storyline, it causes controversy, or it’s humorous. Here’s some things from last weekend at Fontana between team owner Jay Robinson and driver Derrike Cope.
Fontana... practice... Derrike on radio to Jay..." WOE! She's loose as a goose Jaybird!" says DC. Jay's reply... "Going in, the middle or driving off?" DC says... "mmm... all the above, plus the front stretch... mmm and the back stretch. Woe... I'm coming in!"
Fontana... qualifying... Derrike on radio to Jay... " We're smoking Jay... there's a fire inside the car!... We're burning down Jaybird!" Jay's reply... shut her down DC... we're already in the show!" “Hey DC, you OK?” Derrike: " What else can happen to us this weekend?” “OMG! I think we have an electrical short in the wiring harness!" Jay's reply: "Nice job DC... that was your fastest lap of the weekend!" Derrike simply keyed the mike!
Fontana... race... Derrike: "Jaybird, we're way loose out here! NO WAY... we got a tire down! The tire is shredded Jay... we're killing the car on the way in Jay! Everything’s flapping back there!" Jay... real calm like... "that's why she was loose DC... that tire had a nail in it. Not your fault... we're ok... lots of racing to go... and that should answer your earlier question?" DC: "?, what ?" Jay..." You asked what else could happen to us today".... silence on the radio.... mike keyed. DC..."that I did".
Later in race... crash panel has been removed. DC: "Jay, there stuff flying around in the cockpit... this is ridiculous!" Jay: " Sorry DC, without that panel...you're vacuuming the track!"... Benny's thought... "I'm calling HOOVER, RED DEVIL, ORIK, Electrolux for sponsorship opportunities!"
Hat Trick in Hand?
Racer Joey Hand could be on his way to the ultimate hat trick in endurance racing. He’s already won the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. The hat trick comes with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. If he can do that, that will be the ultimate for an American driver. Back in the old days of NASCAR, there use to be a hat trick but with the loss of Rockingham plus Darlington and Atlanta being cut back to a single race each, and the schedule being changed around, the old NASCAR hat trick is long gone.
Other Racing Series Ratings Up
The ratings for IndyCar & ALMS are up for the first time in quite a while. The IndyCar broadcast of St. Pete recorded the highest overnight numbers since 2007 race at Mid-Ohio. While the 1.7 is not close NA$CAR’s 4.1, the increase shows that people are beginning to find an alternative. ALMS is reporting that they set an all time viewership record for Sebring. The number of households and viewers on ABC, ESPN2, and ESPN3.com was more than 3 times the next highest total which occurred during the 2009 season. So is this a fluke or the real deal? I guess we’ll know in a few more races.
While it’s too early to tell for sure, these numbers could be an indication that folks are ready to expand their need for speed outside the ovals of NA$CAR. I watched some of the 12 Hours of Sebring on a webcast and it was pretty exciting. Good camera work, good commentary, and the best part of all, none of the constant cheerleading and shilling we’re stuck with week after week with Focks and the best part of all? No commercials.
3-Time Indy 500 Winner Weighs In
During the IndyCar race at St Petersburg, 3-time Indy 500 winner Scott Goodyear weighed in on the Queen of Hype’s running in both NA$CAR and IndyCar and it wasn’t pretty. Goodyear stated that while she might qualify and finish OK, by doing both there is no way that QoH will win in either racing series. He stressed the need to maintain the necessary discipline in one series or the other and he sited the example of Sam Hornish Jr. During the year that Sam ran in both racing series, his overall performance suffered. His IndyCar performance suffered and his NA$CAR skills didn’t improve. But by the end of this season, we’ll know for sure where she’ll be racing next season and it probably won’t be in IndyCar as she’s burned too many bridges there and has managed to P.O. just about every driver and team owner in the garage area. That should make it easy for her to decide to go full-time in NA$CAR when she‘s told there‘s no room on any team for her.
Imagine This in Cup Racing
Nebraska Racecar Driver Gets Probation After Crash
A racecar driver has been given 18 months' probation for an intentional crash at a Nebraska track.
Court records show 21-year-old Cory Dumpert, of York, was sentenced Monday in Cass County District Court for third-degree assault and criminal mischief. He earlier pleaded no contest.
The charges stem from a June crash at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood. Dumpert sped into the infield pits and rammed another driver's car.
Dumpert races street stock cars. After the crash, NASCAR suspended him from racing for the rest of 2010.
The track gave him a one-year suspension and a $500 fine.
Think about the impact this would’ve had on the Edwards-Keselowski incidents. Or even Iron Head‘s career? Or some of the other incidents we’ve seen over the years. So while it’s not acceptable at a lower level of NA$CAR racing it’s OK with the big boys? Once again, the infamous double standard in action.
Something to Ponder
The lamestream media made a lot out of the finish at Fontucky and how wild it was. Compared to the rest of the race it was wild. But was it really wild when compared to the 1976 Daytona 500 finish when Petty and Pearson battled right to the end? Or the 2003 Darlington finish between Ricky Craven and Busch the Elder? Did the finish at Fontucky really match those in wildness? Think about it.
Is There a Real Rivalry Brewing?
Back when Kimi Raikkonen and JPM were teammates in F-1, there wasn’t much love lost between them. One was always trying to best the other and JPM usually came out on top. Now with Kimi showing up in NA$CAR, could we be seeing a real rivalry between the two happening, especially as they’ll be on different teams? I guess we’ll see once Kimi moves into a Cup ride.