User-agent: * Allow: / CH on Track: 2016


Sunday, August 7, 2016

NASCAR running on fumes

What has happened to racing?

Truth is, the races this year have not inspired a great enthusiasm for me. I'm apparently not the only one, since the stands seem less than filled at so many of the various tracks. The writing is on the wall, NASCAR. There had better be some changes made or this uninspired enthusiasm will just fade into complete oblivion. So many who have watched racing for years now find better things to do on Sunday afternoon.

Some of us have even taken to dozing during races that are sometimes just tedious. There is no way drivers can be on the edge for 500 miles. Often times, the only laps worth watching are those in the beginning and those at the end.

Races are just not as exciting as they used to be because so seldom do they even resemble races. With so much being dictated by NASCAR, race cars equalized, and racing manipulated, the outcome of races have just become predictable. That doesn't make for a good show, not that racing should even be a show. Perhaps that is where you miss the point. A good race is something folks want to watch. Racing is a spectator sport, not an entertainment venue. And, shouldn't it be somewhat affordable? Should there be commercials every few minutes? NASCAR is a commercial, with the cars covered in decals, drivers wearing fire suits with brand labels, and announcers decrying filling up with Sunoco fuel and driving on their Goodyears, like there is any other. The marketing insanity is becoming annoying.

We all have our favorite drivers, and we like to see them compete with one another, using their driving skills. When all the cars are carbon copies of NASCAR's idea of perfection, drivers have much less to do with it than they should. Oh, they still have to give it their all, and sometimes, they do come up with some genius moves, but it is mostly all about strategy--managing tires, fuel mileage, or which team can spend the most money on creative engineering hoping they won't get caught.

And why all the rules? More than once I've shook my head, wondering what the heck just happened and why? There needs to be some simplification. When someone has to explain why things happen on the track, it loses a little luster for fans trying to follow the action. For that matter, announcers with their favorite drivers who totally ignore others on the track really is annoying.

Why can't a driver go a little quicker on pit road to make it out first?

Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned racing, the kind where the race was in the drivers' hands?

What would it be like to watch the best in the world race stock cars again--cars sold by dealerships all across the country, tweaked by the best mechanics and engineers. Imagine using a Firestone, Hoosier, or Bridgestone tire for a change.

Maybe the first thing that should happen is NASCAR should change its name, since there is nothing stock about NASCAR at all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bad blogger...

I've been a bad blogger. I didn't even write to congratulate Kyle Busch on winning the 2015 Sprint Cup Championship. I didn't remark about the banquet or how beautiful everyone looked on the red carpet in Las Vegas. 

Image result for kyle buschThing is, just after the last race, while Busch was still enjoying his Victory Lane celebration, my home life changed dramatically. My husband John, who had been recovering from a stroke in the early days of 2015 was walking into the kitchen, passed out and fell backwards onto the floor. He lost consciousness for a short time. I  immediately called 911. He was taken by ambulance to the local emergency room. Once there, he was transported by helicopter to another hospital, in another state, because they had a neurologist/neurosurgeon on staff. Tests showed he had a brain bleed. He was taking blood thinners, so he needed to be watched carefully. Thankfully no intervention was needed to stem the bleeding or reduce the swelling in his brain. Problem is, all the progress he had gained toward getting his mobility back was lost. His right side was again affected, only this time, it was more severe.

He spent almost four weeks in the hospital, mostly for rehabilitation. He is now undergoing in-home physical therapy.

A couple months into it and he continues to work toward regaining movement in his arm and hand, foot and leg. As his caretaker, my days are filled. Blogging, especially during the off-season was not high on my priority list. 

It occurs to me though, that it is less than 30 days until the Daytona 500. It is time to start thinking about racing again. I suppose it is even time to congratulate Kyle Bush on his victory, as well as to say so long to Jeff Gordon. 

I was pleased that Kyle won the championship. While I wouldn't have said that last year or even at the beginning of this year, there is no denying that Kyle earned it. While the spotlight was clearly focused on Gordon, he just didn't perform like a champion. Kyle did.

Not only has Kyle matured right before our eyes, but he showed remarkable strength and stamina after his wreck at the beginning of the year. It was amazing that he was able to come back from his injuries in the manner that he did. 

So kudos to Kyle for a job well done. 
Onward toward the 2016 NASCAR season, due to begin with the first race in just 26 days from this very moment.