Monday, February 20, 2006

Another boring Daytona

You know, if it wasn't the first race of every new season and if it wasn't the Daytona 500 I would have paid as much attention to yesterday's race as I do to the other three restrictor plate races NASCAR stages each. How much is that? None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Why is that? Because restrictor plate racing sucks ass. It's not a race when half the field sandbags for the first half of the race so they can avoid the wrecks this situation brings on. It's not a race when cars can't pass the leader, at all. It's not a race when cars have to slam into the car in front of them in order to move ahead because all the cars are equal. It's not a race when the field takes 1 1/2 laps to hit top speed because of the loss of horsepower due to a metal plate over the carbeurator. It's not a race when the only reason to watch is for the big wreck because the competition has been hogtied by the rules. Drivers still get excited when they win this race because of where it is held. They no longer get excited because of the quality of race. It's sad that NASCAR has taken their biggest venue and turned it into a Disneyish obscenity that now only hosts boring follow-the-leader type events that occasionally turn into car-destroying freak shows.

Personally, I'm done. No longer will I give these races any attention. I'll check in on Mondays and see who won and who got hurt in the big wreck but I refuse to get suckered in by this sorry excuse for racing. I will watch no more until they knock those walls down and take the plates off.

If you have visited this page more than once I know you are thinking "why do I have to read another anti-restrictor plate rant?" Becasue it drives me crazy. If they would modify the track so that the cars had to lift in the turns then you would see some awesome big track racing. If the cars can hit 200 mph going into the turns at Atlanta there is no reason you couldn't drop a few degrees off the banking and allow these guys to run around 200-210 mph at Daytona and Talladega. Instead of dumb luck you could now count on your driver and your equipment to get you win. What a concept, I know.

An upbeat ending

Did you hear the story about Kirk Shelmerdine? He made the Daytona 500 by a miracle. He had no sponsor, no pit crew and no money for tires. He borrowed a pit crew and a collection was taken to buy him tires in the garage area and some old Earnhardt fans helped him out. He used to be Earnhardt's crew chief. This is from a USA Today article: "Left without a sponsor and relying on volunteer crewmembers, Shelmerdine received financial help from a family of Dale Earnhardt Sr. fans to pay for his tires, which enabled him to grab the last available qualifying spot for the Daytona 500.

"They paid our entire tire bill. It was a substantial chunk of change," Shelmerdine said. "Dale Sr. fans — there's still a lot of them out of there — some of them old enough to remember me.""

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "In a visit with the media on Friday, Kirk Shelmerdine wondered aloud whether, as an independent driver, he'd be able to find the funding to buy the tires he needed to run 500 miles. A friend picked up the tire bill. His old boss, Richard Childress, bought the quarter-panel spot on Shelmerdine's car to advertise the Childress Vineyard and provided family members a flight to Daytona for the race. Shelmerdine's $272,008 payday should cover any other costs incurred during the weekend."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Now, that's racin'

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