In My Opinion: Phoenix

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Welcome race fans! It’s time for My Opinion. This week NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series comes to Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona. I, of course watch everything that is televised over the weekend involving racing. That is, I watch all the practices, but may not watch Trackside or all the Speed Reports. Mostly because I don’t care for the commentary of those. Just my opinion.

But I do watch all the practices and qualifying. PIR is one of the shortest races in the Series. The race is the Subway Fresh Fit 500, but that is 500K, not 500 miles. It’s only 312 laps/miles, instead of the 500 laps at Martinsville and Bristol. In my opinion, it’s just a Nationwide race. But that’s another story.

The Nationwide drivers took to the track at 8:00 AM today. My time, Eastern, it was a reasonable 11:00 AM. #32 Burney Lamar was on the track and #60 Carl Edwards (a Cup regular) got into him, damaging both cars. Carl, of course, blamed Burney. Burney claimed he didn’t see Carl coming and went down in front of Carl. Now, Carl is a Cup veteran, driving in the Nationwide series. In my opinion, Carl should have been better than to run into Burney.

The Nationwide Series should be for up-and-coming drivers. And if drivers like Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch want to race with these guys, they should expect racing incidents like this one. David Ragan, also a Cup driver, had to get into the wall to avoid another Nationwide driver. And many times Kyle Busch gets mad and storms off when he doesn’t win all the races in Nationwide. Or if a Nationwide driver won’t let him by.

It’s my opinion that this series is for drivers who are still learning. And they will make mistakes. That’s why they aren’t in the Sprint Cup Series. The Cup drivers are veterans. And if they want to go and drive in the minor leagues, they should expect situations like that to happen. After all, they are playing with Nationwide toys and shouldn’t just expect the drivers to pull over and let them by. It’s their Series and they want to win. Every bit as much as Carl and Kyle do.

Yes, Kyle and Carl are better drivers. They will do better than the regular Nationwide drivers. They are Cup regulars, after all. And as such, they should be able to avoid such incidents. I actually like a Nationwide race where Kyle and/or Carl do lousy. And hate it when those two beat up on the Nationwide drivers to get a spot. They shouldn’t be taking out drivers in their own series. They should be better than that.

And now, in my opinion, I suggest that NASCAR take a good  look at the Nationwide Series. There are many drivers who depend on this series for their bread and butter. And deserve recognition. When Cup drivers run all the races in Nationwide, they will, by definition, do better than the series drivers. Carl and Kyle are first and second in points.  And in my opinion, that should not be allowed.

And the media should spend more time talking about the regulars, instead of the Cup drivers. They can talk about Cup drivers in the race the following day. I want to know about how the Nationwide regulars are doing. I have my favorites and want to know how they are doing. I don’t care how the Cup drivers are doing, even if they are faster. They SHOULD be faster.

They limit the number of races a Nationwide driver can race in Cup and still be a rookie contender. Can’t they limit the number of Nationwide races a Cup driver races in, and still qualify for the Chase? It’s been the “thing to do” the last few years. Cup drivers going for the Nationwide Championship. But is it the right thing to do? Not in my opinion. Pick a Series. And go for the Championship. Although, Kevin Harvick has two Busch Championships, but no Sprint Cup Championships. Carl Edwards has his Busch series Championship, and no Cup Championship. And Clint Bowyer has his Nationwide Championship, but no Cup Title.

Hmm! It doesn’t look like anyone will win both in the same year! But I sure hate hearing how well Cup drivers are doing in the Nationwide race. In my opinion, it’s like Tiger Woods playing against the amateurs just to prove he’s better than them. Duh! But that’s just my opinion.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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