Friday, August 14, 2009

Is Pit Road Safety a Nascar Concern?

In discussing the JPM speeding incident at Indy, I came to the realization that justifying the pit road speed for safety is a load of horse "puckey"

Nascar does some stupid stuff when it comes to "safety" Example A. That whole rule involving only putting on tires or getting gas in the Truck series. How is doubling the amount of stops needed making pit road safer. It just doubles the amount of stops, thus doubling the chance for and accident to occur.

I think that the speed at which the cars enter and exit, has little to do with improving safety. The incidents I have seen, usually didn't occur with the car traveling pit road speed.

Usually they involve a car turning in and clipping a crew member, or catching one on the way out. I am suprised that we don't have more of these incidents every week.

The Pit Crews used to be just mechanics from the shop, that worked double duty by pitting the car during the race weekend. As the sport progressed and 10ths of a second began translating to spots on the track, most teams now have dedicated Pit Crews, that instead of building cars, spend their weeks training and practicing for Sundays.

In my opinion if Nascar was serious about pit road safety, then they would freeze the fields and it wouldn't matter if you had a 12.5 second stop or a 15.0 second one. Thats the only way I see to alleviate the types of incidents that occur on pit road these days.

Now we all know thats not going to happen. So my best scenario would be for Nascar to get up off its fat Wallet and make the cars better on the track. If its easier to pass on the track, it would take the necessity for passing on pit road out of the equation.

Now I appreciate the work that these guys do. To change 4 tires, add fuel, pull a tearoff, make adjustments, etc etc, in 12-14 seconds is freakin amazing. However, to me, its anticlimatic to have the race won or lost on pit road. Especially at the cookie cutter tracks, usually the guy who gets of pit road first, just takes off in clean air. That takes the race out of the drivers hand and puts it into the crews. I don't watch the races to see which crew is best. I want to know who the best driver is that day. Not which crew chief made the best adjustments.

I could get on a JJ rant but I will refrain.

Also, I think that any track that wants a Nascar race( Truck, NNS, or Cup) should have 43 identical stalls, and where possible, they be lengthened to give drivers a way around crew members. I know you can't do much at tracks like Bristol. I love Bristol, it gets a pass from my rant.

Do I really know the answer, NO. I am just a lowly Nascar fan, I love the sport, and I just want to see the best racing possible. I don't think we are getting that right now.

Feel Free to lambast my ideas, or add your own. Who knows!! One day somebody important may read these blogs and do something. I doubt it, but there is always hope.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Random Thoughts on Nascar!

The last few weeks in Nascar has been quite entertaining, yet difficult for me to watch. With the last races being on Monday. I missed both of them. I forgot to DVR the Pocono race and the relative I relied on to set the DVR this past Monday, got ESPN and ESPN2 confused. I look forward to finally watching The Glen race when I get home tonight. I hope I am taping the Speed channel replay. Keep your fingers crossed.

Anyway, enough catch up. Most of these thoughts have already been blogged and discussed, but I will still put my 2 cents in.

* I don't think JPM was speeding at Indy. A guy with a 6 second lead isn't pushing it on the last stop. Add the fact that he wasn't busted earlier in the race, and was "supposedly" hitting the same light on the tach each stop. Sounds fishy to me. All Nascar has to do is show teams the speeds in real time, so they can adjust after the first stop. If it was really a Safety issue, not a way to Nascar to "shuffle the cards" then they would provide them teams the info.

* The one Pocono race I miss and its exciting. Whats up with that?

* Thumbs up for Denny winning the race! Thumbs down for Denny for driving over top of the 00 and spinning him into the 47! Thumbs up for Denny apologizing and taking blame for being a little hasty in getting back to the front.

@$#%%^ What the &^% is up with Robby Gordon?? As most of you guys and gals know, I really don't like RG. I think he makes Paul Menard look like a top 10 caliber driver.
Maybe the last two weeks will open the eyes of the rest of the racing community. Not only did he retaliate against Stremme for no reason at Pocono, but the crap he pulled with Logano at the Glen really irritated me. First trying to spin him and flattening his own tire, then coming back out and finishing the job under caution. Wiping out a rookie and turning his car into a flaming ball. What a way to show your lack of driving skill and intelligence.
I think RG would be better off pulling a Waltrip and retiring and putting somebody else in that car. When so many other teams are struggling to find sponsors, Robby seems to be going out of his way to run his off.

* Nascar should have parked him for the Cup race at The Glen.

* Smoke continues having a great year. You think if he wins the Championship, that Rick Hendrick will get to sit up at the owners table with him???

* Great weekend at the Glen for the Aussie!! I read somewhere that Marcos is pronounced Marcus in the Outback. (Is this true Tez??) if so somebody should tell everyone!

* I loved the dive bomb move during the Nationwide race! I think what po'ed Kyle the most, was that somebody used one of his moves to pass him. Although not the safest pass I ever saw, I didn't think it was dirty.

* Speaking of Kyle. It looks like all the media lambasting has finally worked. He seemed rather subdued in his interviews, almost like a puppy that has been hit with a shoe to many times. Too Bad!! I didn't always agree with the things he said, or how he said them. But it made the interviews more interesting to watch. Now he may as well just be another Drivertron 3000 spouting sponsors.

I am sure I am forgetting some other stuff. I may have to make additions after finally seeing the Watkins Glen race.