Racing, Broadcasting, Blocking and the Win ~ All Bad
The 2018 Daytona 500 is in the books and as I look back on it I have had a couple things really stick out in my craw…
First thing is how the drivers at the rear of the field were treated; most of them didn’t even get their name mentioned during the starting field run down, and that is a shame. Guys like Mark Thompson who busted his butt to get there, was never mentioned during the race. The only drivers who got noticed were the ones who were in the top 8 spots, and that is all they talked about over and over ‘til I was tired of hearing it.
I mean seriously, this was the premiere event of NASCAR, the kick off to the entire season, with twice as many people watching the 500 as any two races the rest of the year. You would think that NASCAR and Fox would work to provide a shining example of how great the sport is, and use the race to attract new fans… folks who normally don’t watch racing, because they were watching Sunday.
But noooooo… They didn’t just drop the ball; they fumbled it and then kicked it down the field time after time. I have never really been a Jeff Gordon fan, but I had high hopes for him in the booth. I had hoped he would be the voice of reason and offset DW and his mindless ramblings. Again, I was disappointed in how he let DW just walk all over him, but it’s his first race full time, so I hope and pray he will improve.
The second thing that sticks in my craw was the blocking; it was horrible! Racing legend Travis Tiller said it best when he said, “When I go see a 500 mile race that is what I want to see, not 3 heats. If you aren’t man enough to do it park it!”
Every time I saw the field coming down the back straight with two lines of cars and the leader out front, it made me think “ Hey look! It’s a Delaware Restart” like we use in dirt racing where the leader restarts on a row by himself and everyone else is two by two.
I know lots of folks loved the race on Sunday, but I have been talking to a few of the “legends” of the sport and they all just shake their heads, and say “That ain’t how it is supposed to be done.” But this is the product of the car that the teams have to work with. I don’t call lap after lap of two rows of cars side by side racing. Maybe it’s me, but to me that is a parade… NOT a race.
And this blocking thing that has become the norm on the super speedways… it’s going to get someone killed, pure and simple. I know racers want to race, and they all want to win, but the blocking is getting out of hand. Lots of drivers loaded up crashed, destroyed race cars and went home.
The last thing that really gets me, is how NASCAR has embraced the #3 in victory lane story. Talking about how 20 years later the #3 makes its way back to victory lane, as if it was some magical feel good story. It wasn’t. It was a young driver, who threw caution to the win and drove through a fellow racer to get the win.
If this is what we have to look forward to the rest of the year, I see a sudden and swift upturn in dirt racing this season.
I may not always be right, but I call it like I see it.