Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Random Thoughts Before Charlotte

Is It My Imagination Or What?

First of all, I want to apologize for not posting more lately.  I’ve had some problems which I’m not able to discuss here, but I hope that I’ll be back on a regular basis soon.

Am I imagining things or has Joe Gibbs Racing figured out the spoiler much faster than anyone else?  Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch have won most of the races, it would seem since the re-introduction of the spoiler.  So far, the Hendrick guys haven’t been able to get the handle on the spoiler, so the fact is that the JGR guys have shakes things up a little.  That’s not a bad thing.  Let’s light this firecracker!  We’ve  now got some legitimate claims to end Jimmie Johnson’s  claim to his 5th Sprint Cup title.  Jimmie and Chad Knaus are the most incredible team in recent history, but it would be interesting to see another JGR or RCR team break the streak.

Kevin Harvick still leads in points after the 12th race of the season, and he’s only won one race this season.  That’s how the points system works, folks.  It’s not wins, it’s top 5 and top 10 finishes.  That’s how championships are won.

What the heck is going on with the 88 team?  Dale and Lance snipe at each other on the radio and Dale has a horrible finish at Dover.  Is there a new crew chief in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s future?  Dale is obviously not the easiest guy to work for.  It’s hard to figure out why a guy who has won so much in the past is running so poorly in the last few years.  I’ll let you experts figure it out.

It’s almost time for the races at Charlotte, and I’m looking forward to it.  I’ve been to the 600 a few times and it’s incredible.  If you really want to see a really good race, go to the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway.  The race starts under the sun and ends at night.  It’s the longest race of the season, and you will not be disappointed by the quality of racing.  This is old home week for the teams and the drivers, because most of them all live in the Charlotte, NC area.  Drivers and crew will all have lots of friends and family there, so they’ll be putting on the show of the year.

Don’t worry about Hendrick.  Sooner or later Jimmie or Jeff or Mark, and hopefully Junior will be winning races again.  If you’re a Junior fan, lookout, fireworks are going to happen.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's Time For NASCAR TV

First of all, congratulations to Kevin Harvick, who ended the longest winless streak of his Cup career last week at Talladega.  Is it now fair to call Kevin a super speedway specialist, since his last two wins have come at Daytona and Talladega?  Just kidding.  Kevin Harvick is a great race car driver, and I think we all knew he was going to win this season, it was just a matter of when.

Now, to the meat of this article.

The NFL has it’s own channel, though I’ve never seen it.  It costs extra to get the NFL channel, assuming it’s even available on your cable or satellite network.  There is also a golf channel, which I used to get on basic cable (Charter).  I think it’s time for a NASCAR only, 24-7 channel.

Sure, SPEED TV does a great job with it’s NASCAR coverage.  To a certain extent, so does ESPN.  But don’t you think that NASCAR has gotten big enough to have an exclusive TV channel?

I’m certainly not faulting SPEED TV or ESPN, but they’ve both got bigger rows to hoe than just NASCAR.  ESPN does a brilliant job of trying to cover virtually all sports on the planet, and that’s certainly no easy job.  SPEED covers not only NASCAR, but also everything from motorcycle racing to monster trucks.  They do a great job of it too, but for the true NASCAR purist, I think it’s time for a NASCAR only channel.

The NASCAR channel could do live updates on news several times a day.  You know, kind of like a televised version of Jayski.  I don’t know what they do about the current contracts that FOX, ESPN, and TNT have for televising the actual races, because I think it’s important that people without cable or satellite have the opportunity to watch at least some of the races.  Right now, only FOX and ESPN, through ABC can do that.  I think it’s important to bring the sport to the masses.  Perhaps NASCAR could reserve the right to simulcast the races on their own channel as well.  Or, they could put together their own crew and broadcast the races the NASCAR way.  Either way works for me, as long as Mom and Pop can sit and see at least some of the races with that Channel Master antenna on the roof.

The NASCAR channel should be basic cable.  Enough advertising could be sold to fund the network, just through the myriad of NASCAR sponsors.  Team sponsors could jump in on the deal just to sweeten it and get extra exposure on a NASCAR exclusive network.  There is a hardcore base of fans who would probably watch that channel all day and all night too.  You know who I’m talking about.  Yes, you!

Other than the news updates, the NASCAR channel could fill time by broadcasting earlier races, from all it’s various series.  Go back to the 70’s or 80’s, and there is a wealth of good stuff there.  Televise races live from the various regional series and give these drivers a little exposure.  It’s all good.

The NASCAR channel already has a core group  of veteran race broadcasters.  Remember MRN?  MRN stands for Motor Racing Network, which is owned by International Speedway Corporation, which in turn is owned by the National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing.  Recognize that name?  Of course, it’s NASCAR.  I love listening to the MRN guys on the radio, and they would be great on TV as well.

It’s time for NASCAR TV.  We, the fans, well, we really want it. 

Really bad.  I know I do.