Category Archives: auto racing

Earnhardt Win Great for NASCAR

Anyone who knows me knows a few interesting sports tidbits.  One of them is I am a HUGE Steelers fan.  Another is I am a big fan of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

That’s right folks: I’m a black dude who keeps an eye on NASCAR.

The reason why I am a big Junior guy is because my dad was a big Dale Earnhardt, Sr guy.  So, like father like son I guess…

At any rate, do you know how good it was for NASCAR that its most popular driver won a Sprint Cup race?  Do you have know glad NASCAR is that a “boring” personality like Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, and Matt Kennseth didn’t win today’s race?

You know that NASCAR – and ESPN – will milk the hell out of this while they can.  And you know what, I can’t be mad at NASCAR – but not ESPN – for doing so.

After all, it’s good for business.  Again, the sport’s most popular driver finally broke through after 143 races.  If you quantify it in its proper perspective, Junior won his last Sprint Cup race in 2008.  Either way you slice it, that’s a long-ass time for its most popular driver to not win a race.

Junior is the leading endorser for NASCAR – by a lot.  Nothing sucks more than a sport’s leading endorser not winning a Sprint Cup race for almost four years.

For those of you who do not give a damn about NASCAR, let me explain this in a way that you all would understand.  Junior not winning in 143 Sprint Cup races is like the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys not playoffs.  It’s bad for business in the NFL.  It’s also like the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, or New York Knicks not making the playoffs.  It’s bad for business in the NBA.

Getting back to NASCAR, what has kept the sport popular are its bad boys winning: the Brothers Busch and Tony Stewart.  Everyone wants to see the bad boys go down, it’s what drives interest.

But nothing beats Junior being back in victory lane.  NASCAR should be dancing a nice jig right about now…

This Just in: NASCAR Drivers Are NOT Athletes

This whole flap over Seahawks WR Golden Tate’s post on Twitter saying that NASCAR drivers are not athletes is waaay overblown.

That’s because it is so obvious that those drivers are not athletes.  That doesn’t mean that those drivers do not possess skills that make them the best drivers in the world.  It just means, well, that they do not possess any athletic ability.

I think a lot of sports fans confuse athletic ability and skill.

I define “athlete” as one who possess God-given ability to run faster, jump higher, and overpower other participants via sheer strength.  Examples of such players are in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, lacrosse, tennis – and yes, even soccer.

I’m sorry, but I do not see NASCAR drivers being physically imposing enough to do well in the aforementioned sports.  Aside from Carl Edwards and Jimmy Johnson, none of the drivers really look the part.

I mean, can you see pudgy-ass Tony Stewart outrun LeBron James and hitting a jump shot?  Can you see little-ass Kyle Busch going over the middle in an NFL game to catch a pass and make yards after the catch?  Can you see my favorite driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. racking up goals on a hockey rink?

Now as for skill, those drivers definitely have that and then some.  I mean, it takes a special kind of skill (and mindset) to go over 160 mph in a 110-degree plus car going by drivers driving the same speed for 4 hours.  Plus, there is some strategy involved – when to change tires, gas up.

But as I said earlier, do not confuse athletic ability and skill.  It’s the same argument I’d make for golfers.  It takes an enormous amount of skill to drive and place balls on a golf course, and greater skill to putt on the green.  Again, I cannot picture fat-ass John Daly lighting it up on a basketball court, football field, or a baseball diamond.  Ditto for Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim.

The only thing I wish Tate would do is stick by this comments instead of going the P.C. route and backtracking.  After Johnson challenged him to come to the track, Tate should have challenged his, Stewart’s and other drivers’ asses to the gridiron.

Tate would have won that argument.

How I Would Change the NASCAR Scoring System

A lot of hoopla has been made concerning NASCAR’s points system.

Here are the announced scoring changes:

  • Drivers will be awarded 43 points for first place, 42 for second place and one point less for every following position down to last place.
  • The winner will receive three bonus points.
  • One bonus point will be awarded for leading a lap, as well as for leading the most laps.
  • The winner would receive a minimum of 47 points and a maximum of 48. Second would receive a minimum of 42 points and a maximum of 44.

(You can read more about them here: http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/news/story?id=6062289)

While I laud NASCAR for attempting to add a bit of common sense to its scoring system, which is a step up from what it was before (http://www.nascar.com/news/features/points.system/index.html), it still seems a bit convoluted.  What is the rationale of having bonus points?  I mean, so what if a driver led a lap or two.  Isn’t that what a driver is paid to do?

Here is how I would change the scoring system:

  • I would award 300 points to the winner, followed by 200 for second place and 100 points for third.
  • In an act of mercy, I would award 50 points to whomever finishes 4th, then give the subsequent drivers one less point.
  • There would be NO BONUS POINTS for leading laps or who led the most laps — in fact, no bonus points PERIOD.

This scoring system would heavily favor the winners, as ANY point system should.  That way, there would not be any controversy of Matt Kenseth winning the Sprint Cup in a year where he WON ONE RACE.

Oh, one more thing: change the “Chase for the Cup” from the top 12 to the top 10 drivers.  Make your playoffs meaningful NASCAR!!!

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