NASCAR Racing:Auto Club Speedway

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to southern California. Auto Club Speedway is the track where the Pepsi 500 will be taking place in Fontana, Ca. for the 30th race of the season and the fourth race in the chase for the Sprint Cup. Next year Auto Club Speedway will not host a race in the chase and will have only one date in the beginning of the year.

Personal opinion here, the cars tend to run single file here. And the leader is too hard to catch. I was watching the 2005 race before the chase for the Nextel Cup and there were no double file restarts. That was a great decision by NASCAR to implement the double file restarts. That makes each restart like starting the race over again. Especially at this 2 mile track.

On another note, the media is worried about the lack of television viewership. NASCAR started the chase to bring in the football fans. I have to say, I don’t think it’s working. I have to ask, is it more exciting talking about only twelve cars when there are still 43  on the track every week? Looks to me like the fans of the other 31 drivers aren’t bothering to watch. Of course, this year ESPN has taken over the broadcasting. And I must say, it is really hard to have to listen to Marty Reid constantly correcting himself. The broadcast rarely starts on time, due to something else running late. We NASCAR fans want racing to be the whole point of Sunday. If we have to wait for it to come on, many will find something else to do.

Last week Chase driver Kyle Busch got into non chaser David Reutimann. and David retaliated and got into Kyle. Which leaves everyone wondering if it is really racing if the other 31 drivers have to race differently than the chase drivers. Is that really racing? Or even exciting? Not in my opinion. But what do I know? I’m just a fan and have been since long before the chase.The last ten races should be more exciting. And they were. It was exciting watching drivers climb into or out of the top ten. Now twelve drivers are locked in.

The theory is that now no one can run away with the championship like Matt Kenseth did in 2003. My answer is that Matt was excellent all year and deserved to be champion. I don’t think it is very exciting giving a tenth place team a chance to win the title just by him having ten better ten races than the rest. And to prove my point, Jimmie Johnson has been the champion for the last four years in a row. I happen to like Jimmie. He took the points lead with his second place finish at Kansas. Kevin Harvick would still be the points leader with the old system. And personally, I find that more exciting than Jimmie leading once again. There were 36 races in the season. And the champion was the one with the most points after all the races. Now the season is 26 races and the ten race chase. Add that to ESPN coverage and I don’t see why officials would be scratching their heads. No one wants to watch the chase on ESPN. By the way, if it was the old points system Jimmie would be in fourth. I find that much more exciting.

Give extra points for winning instead of toward the chase and I’ll bet the driver with the most wins will be crowned champion. And isn’t that why we watch NASCAR? To see the best driver all year win? I know I do.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

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