Disappointment in NASCAR is Bigger in Texas
Couch Potato Corner- Texas Motor Speedway
They always say that everything in bigger in Texas and this weekend they really were proven to be right. Every time a race track is repaved we have seen uncertainty and often single file racing. But the experts at Texas Motor Speedway thought they had an idea that would work better. They changed the banking in turns 1 and 2 and kept the banking the same in turns 3 and 4. The idea was to add some challenges to the Crew Chiefs by making the perfect handling set up impossible. The concept was to put things more in the hands of the drivers instead of the aerodynamics. Despite this valiant effort the racing we saw at Texas Motor Speedway was simply awful. It really is true that everything is bigger in Texas because my disappointment in NASCAR has never been larger after this weekend.
Cup Race Grade: D-
This entire race was a joke! First, nine cars couldn’t even get through the inspection process before the first round of qualifying ended. While you might say, “The teams shouldn’t cheat and this wouldn’t happen” the reality is that NASCAR has turned the inspection process into an ordeal every week. Team engineers have told me “Off the Record” that the tolerances have become so tight in NASCAR over the last few years that even if they zero in their car perfectly in their garage at the track the slight difference in pavement in the tech area might be all it takes to make their car illegal at inspection time. This year NASCAR has traded in the debris cautions for the stage break cautions. But this week we got both. That last caution robbed Kevin Harvick of a sure win and still didn’t give us a great finish either. If this is the type of racing we can expect the rest of the year on the mile and a half speedways I might consider a more exciting thing to watch on my Sundays…like watching my grass grow!
Xfinity Race Grade: F
NASCAR has discovered the perfect non-drug cure for insomnia and it is called “The Xfinity Series on Larger Tracks.” The commercials that talk about this being the series where young drivers make a name for themselves is a joke. How can you make a name for yourself when you are ten seconds behind the leader after 10 laps? In the first six races this season we have seen 4 Cup guys win, one Xfinity Series lifer, and one lucky win by an Xfinity Series regular at Daytona. This race was a complete waste of time watching and is the perfect way to make sure attendance and television ratings continue to fall in this series.
Gripe of the Week
NASCAR had decided not to manipulate the outcome of the races this season by throwing fewer debris cautions than we have seen over the last few years as the new Stage concept in NASCAR racing has debuted this season. This week at Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR found their debris cannon and launched it early and often all weekend trying to cue up yet another restart. But no matter how hard they tried to make the racing interesting there was no way to counter the awful aerodynamic rules that has made the racing boring and predictable at mile and a half speedways.
Usually I am very unhappy to see an off weekend in NASCAR because the races are a fun part of my weekend all season. This year I am thankful to get to an off week after that awful display of racing that we saw at Texas Motor Speedway. Has anyone seen Jeff Gordon since the start of the race on Sunday? His nose must have grown to about 12 feet long he tried to oversell the race on Sunday’s broadcast!
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.