Saturday, March 06, 2010



A cold weekend in Atlanta, but nothing cheers me up more during a dreary cold winter than the sound of high horsepower V-8 engines and the smell of high octane racing fuel. Back several years ago after a hiatus from driving short track race cars, I returned to the local track to drive a car for a friend one Saturday night. As I walked across the track, I saw a friend fueling his late model. I walked over to the gas pumps and chatted with them a few. When they asked me if I had missed racing, I stuck two fingers in the race car fuel cell dipping into the sweet smelling racing fuel and then splashed it behind both ears like cologne. I think it sufficiently answered their question.

I have been out of the seat of a race car for the last 9 years, but my passion for racing and motorsports has not died. So, covering the race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway is always an enjoyable sideline.



Friday night the track hosted open wheel modifieds on the 1/4 mile "thunder ring" short track and it was some of the best racing I have seen in a long time. As I write this the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is qualifying for today's 3pm race. Tomorrow the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars will compete.





Watching it on TV is enjoyable. Sitting in the stands at the track is even better. But, being able to walk thru the garage as teams ready their cars and walking down pit road during the pit stops is the best fix I get since retiring from driving.

11 comments:

FLHX_Dave said...

Never been to a NASCAR race. Always said that I was going to show up at one.

Hey, your post reveals alot. I have a couple of friends who used to race. Injuries and time eventually took that from them. This was a good moment wasn't it. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Allen:

I too have never attended a NASCAR race.

Why are the stands so empty?

Glad you got your fix.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Allen:

I too have never attended a NASCAR race.

Why are the stands so empty?

Glad you got your fix.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • toad

Allen Madding said...

Jack,
the sacntioning body has killed the show with cookie cutter cars, handing out required springs and shocks, etc. It has gotten down to where the Cup Series is basically guys driving identically prepared cars and one major team dominating the sport.

They have tried to elevate the sport by insisting on drivers to be politically correct to the point that the majority of the drivers have a vanilla persona with very few personalities on and off the track that keep anyones attention.

Drivers like Earnhardt, Tim Richmond, Richard Petty, Davey Allison, Jeff Bodine, Bobby Allison all spoe their mind and were going to race tooth and nail for every position. They was no "just ride here with what we got until you make it perfect" attitudes. They would take an ill handling car and run it through the field to the top ten.

Its almost like we now have a bunch of guys that refuse to push a car that isn't handling exactly perfect.

Who wants to see that? And with the economy in the toilet, how many people can afford $59-$150 a piece seats and $5 Cokes?

Finally, they have abandoned a lot of the old traditional tracks to expand to "major markets" but can't fill the seats in those markets.

What's the answer? Quit focusing on trying to be the next NFL and focus on the show. Give the crews more areas to adjust their cars. They cannot even decide what stagger to put in the tires anymore. Let the teams choose springs and shocks.

Finally, stop with the cookie cutter cars. There isn't a car sitting out here right now that looks like what it claims to be. Chevy doesn't build a two door Impala. Build the templates off of a showroom production car. Heck they are all running 355 cubic inch V-8s. Try buying a Toyota Camry with a 355 V-8 in it.

The fans used to be able to identify with the race car. From the grandstands, you can't tell one manufacture from another sitting on pit road.

{quietly steps down from his soap box}

-Peace

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

I've always wanted to attend a race. I need to get my father to one before it's too late. He LOVES NASCAR!

I would like to see more of the days of E Sr. and my all time favorite Richard Petty! You are totally right that NASCAR has become cookie cutter. They need to get more down and dirty and make it more exciting.

Allen Madding said...

Steph,
Pick one and take him!
Here is the schedule: http://www.nascar.com/races/cup/

Personally, I'd suggest Bristol, but that's just me. Your mileage may vary.

-Peace

努力 said...

GOOD........................................

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Ok...when I said I wanted it to be more down and dirty I didn't wish for what happened yesterday at the end of the race. I had no idea that Edwards was a hot head.

irondad said...

There is nothing like being there, to be sure.

The whole world has become too vanilla.

Easy for a guy like Edwards to be a hothead when there aren't guys named Bodine, Unser, Foyt, and so on. Can you imagine what they would have done to Edwards back in the pits if he had purposely crashed one of them?

I wonder how far Nascar will let this new "drivers work it out" policy go?

Allen Madding said...

apparently from today's announcement from NASCAR, they plan to let it go to all extremes.

-Peace

Allen Madding said...

glad i got the pic of the No. 12 car on Saturday. That car doesn't look the same anymore