NASCAR and Martinsville Put on a Show

NASCAR and Martinsville Put on a Show

Monday, 03 April 2017
Dennis Michelsen

NASCAR and Martinsville Put on a Show

Couch Potato Corner- Martinsville Speedway

This has been a weird year for NASCAR so far. While the racing has been average at best the entertainment value of the shows has been pretty good. Finally we got great racing to go with a great show and all it took was for NASCAR to go back to their roots to get this done. Martinsville Speedway never disappoints because even if the leader does drive away from the field he is likely to have issues dealing with lapped traffic which usually brings the field back and closes the gap. Its too bad this style of track is less economically feasible to the builder than the larger tracks that dominate the schedule. One truth remains in this sport despite whatever rule changes NASCAR makes. Short track racing is the best racing when it comes to stock car racing. NASCAR and Martinsville Speedway put on an amazing show on Sunday.

Cup Race Grade: A

The only thing that was lacking in this race was a memorable last lap finish because other than that it had it all. Watching the drivers battle so hard for position in the closing laps of each of the stages convinced me once and for all that in today’s NASCAR we need some sort of a gimmick to get these drivers racing harder every lap. Martinsville Speedway rubbured in perfectly allowing the slightly faster car of Brad Keselowski to have a chance on the outside lane against Kyle Busch. That twenty lap sequence where they swapped the lead and often raced side by side was classic old school NASCAR short track racing at its best. I was even glad NASCAR didn’t ruin the organic racing moment in the closing laps with a debris caution when the best car drew away by several seconds.

Truck Race Grade: A

Someday NASCAR will come to its senses, dumb down the aerodynamics on these trucks and return the series to its roots by racing only on the short tracks of North America. After fans dealt with off and on rain on Friday they were treated with great weather and great racing for their patience on Saturday. This race was the perfect appetizer for the Cup race on Sunday and the only disappointing thing was the small crowd. Come on race fans bring the kids and get free tickets for the Truck races this season and enjoy some great racing when they do come to a short track this season. It was also great to see Johnny Sauter unhappy with finishing second!

Gripe of the Week

This was the wrong week for Fox Sports to park the race on the cable channel instead of the network. Short track racing is the best racing in NASCAR but with so many people cutting the cable cord nowadays this race will have a smaller audience than it deserves. All season NASCAR and Fox Sports have been making excuses for why the television ratings continue to drop. Parking the Cup race on the cable network on a weekend that was lacking in other competition for sports viewers on Sunday is puzzling because NASCAR could have displayed their best racing to a larger audience.

Checkered Flag

The beating and banging on the short tracks combined with a rule package that continuously dangles a carrot in front of the drivers gave us the best racing of the year by far. Sadly the drivers and Crew Chiefs will figure this system out and what it takes in a few years which will require NASCAR to continue to change the rules just to confuse everyone again.

Sound Off

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.


  1. Jimmy Poss says:

    Short track racing is hard to beat!

  2. Bill B says:

    Awesome race. I love Martinsville. I give the race an A. Too bad that the existing monopoly/stranglehold that SMI and ISC have on the schedule won’t allow the chance for more short track races to be added.

    What didn’t make sense to me was why the truck race was on FOX but the cup race was on FS1. How does a truck race rate for the network but the cup race doesn’t?

    • Dennis Michelsen says:

      FS1 had another sport to cover that was contracted specifically to their channel and could not be moved so the Truck race had to move. Now WHY they didn’t think the Cup race deserved to be on the main network is an answer above my pay grade. Thanks for the feedback! DMIC

  3. Ken says:

    You got the grade right this week and you didn’t have to grade with a curve. The racing was good and the weather was perfect.

    Your gripe of the week was right but you neglected to point out the biggest problem Fox and NASCAR has that causes the ratings to drop. More than a few people don’t watch because they are sick of the Waltrip brothers. Yesterday, DW said something to the effect that he couldn’t accept new technology when he was racing and wanted to do everything himself. He may have been right then and he is right now. Racing has passed him by and he can’t relate to the modern racing. I watched some of the pre-race shows until Mikey took over with his clown act. I turned on the truck race but turned it back off when Mikey kept mouthing off. I watched the Cup race in spite of DW and not because of him.

    I am not a fan of stage racing (ie-heat races) but it has made NASCAR make a change that they should have been doing already. Formerly, when there was a minor accident or flat that didn’t impact other cars, they would call a caution. They now let the race go on if the problem is limited to the ones involved. The mystery debris cautions have also disappeared.

    • Dennis Michelsen says:

      Thanks Ken…I look forward to your review every week because your comments are always on point and provide me with excellent feedback!


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