Is NASCAR Being Trained Like a Puppy?
Couch Potato Corner- Phoenix Raceway
This week I actually feel sorry for NASCAR. Over the weekend at Phoenix Raceway they put on two fairly interesting races and wake up this morning to zero attention in the sports world. Most of the press is going to the crazy NCAA Basketball Tournament with the scraps of attention for the racing world going to the Gator Nationals of the NHRA drag racing world. Last week the racing was not good at all but NASCAR made the headlines because of the fight. Is NASCAR being trained like a puppy?
Cup Race Grade: B
There is still too much of an advantage for the lead car in the clean air but at least we saw some exciting racing farther up front in the pack. The leaders seemed to shoot themselves in the foot with penalties which mixed up the running order a bit. We still didn’t see that many passes for the lead or hard side-by-side racing for the lead except right after a restart. Maybe the biggest surprise of the day is that more cars didn’t stay on the track on old tires when they knew it was only going to be a 2 lap dash for the cash. Ryan Newman didn’t have the fastest car all day but he was racing consistently in the top ten all day to get rewarded with the gift of being the first car in line to stay out on old tires.
Xfinity Race Grade: B+
This might be the first race that the Xfinity Race was better than the Cup race in many many years. This was a “Dash for Cash” event which restricted the event to only the most recent Cup drivers. We also had some drama when Austin Dillon one of the few Cup guys in the race was taken out by youngster Cole Custer and then Austin used his car as a weapon to retaliate. Obviously a fight among Cup guys gives better video and interests the media more than a mid pack Cup guy having a temper tantrum. It was a feel good win for Justin Allgaier who had not won a race since 2012.
Gripe of the Week
In my opinion the new “Stage Racing” seems to be making the drivers race a little harder for the bonus points. But listening to the announcers on a weekly basis rave about the new rule changes you would think NASCAR has found a cure for hangovers AND has also improved the racing. It almost sounds like they are reading off the same memo that told reporters NOT to call these rule changes in the first place.
Did your puppy ever do something bad that looked so cute that you couldn’t help but laughing? That puppy was training you! NASCAR put on a good (Not great but good) weekend of racing and nobody in the mainstream media paid attention at all. The week before NASCAR put on a stinker with a fight and they got all of the attention for looking cute. Hopefully NASCAR won’t eat the slippers in a humorous way next week and will just keep putting on a good show minus the shenanigans. Otherwise NASCAR will be like the cute little puppy doing all the wrong things for attention.
What did you think about the race weekend? Give us your grades and the reasons why you thought that and the best comments might be used on “The Final Inspection” on 105.7FM The Fan in Milwaukee on Saturday at Noon CT. Steve Zautke hosts the most entertaining two hours covering all things racing and Lori Munro and Dennis Michelsen will have your NASCAR news and views every week.