Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NASCAR drivers fare poorly on Autosport list

Autosport is a British magazine that covers motorsports on a worldwide basis. The people who work for it know far more about what's going on around the wide, wide world of racing than I ever will.

I know that a guy like me who has seen one Formula One race live and probably has seen a total of three minutes of World Rally Championship competition on television in his life has no standing when it comes to ranking the world's best drivers. That's why I don't - and won't - try to do it.

Autosport, however, does. The magazine is out with its list of the world's top-50 drivers for 2007 and it should surprise no one that F1 drivers dominate the rankings.

But 12 of the top 18? Twelve?

F1 champ Kimi Raikkonen is first, followed by Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. World Rally drivers Marcus Gronholm and Sebastien Loeb follow in the top five.

OK, here's where I think these blokes get a little wacky.

Jenson Button, who finished 15th in the F1 standings, is sixth. The rationale, apparently, is that Button had junk (by F1 standards) to drive this year and did a decent job in it.

Dario Franchitti, the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series winner, is seventh, followed by IndyCar runner-up Scott Dixon.

Does it occur to anybody that there's a name that ought to be at least somewhere along here in this part of the list - at the very least?

Jimmie Johnson won 10 races and the Nextel Cup championship. There's no question that he beat better competition in his form of U.S. auto racing than Franchitti did. But even if you give Franchitti points for winning America's most significant single race, doesn't Johnson have to be ahead of Dixon?

Johnson, though, is 20th. That's right, 20th.

OK, I know Europeans think NASCAR uses "saloon cars," dinosaurs in terms of technology. I know that they look at American sport the way we look at soccer and rugby and cricket, as curiosities. I know that American writers would tend, perhaps, to give NASCAR drivers more credit that perhaps might be deserved should one of us make such a list.

But the two-time defending champion of America's top series is 20th, behind the third-place guy in IndyCars (Tony Kanaan in 16th)? Jarno Trulli, ranked 17th, finsihed 13 in F1. He wouldn't have even made the Chase for the F1 Cup!

Jeff Gordon is 25th, two spots behind Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais. Bourdais, however, will drive in F1 in 2008.

Want to bet he suddenly moves way up on next year's list while Franchitti, who's coming to NASCAR, plummets?

Matt Kenseth is 36th and joins Johnson and Gordon as the only NASCAR drivers in the rankings.

Any list like this is subjective, of course, but if there was any way you could prove to me that there are 50 people racing in the world today who're all better than Tony Stewart, I will eat a copy of every page of every issue of Autosport magazine ever published.

68 comments:

Doug said...

This list shows just how tunnel-visioned the European media is towards sports outside of their continent. If anything, driving a stock car is MORE difficult on average than driving an F1 car, because the latter has more in common with an airplane than an automobile. They're more pilots than drivers, in my opinion.

Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, et. al. could adapt to F1 very quickly and be competitive within a season or two. I'm sure Montoya and Franchitti will attest that the opposite is much harder to accomplish.

Stick said...

Dear David,

There's a terrible joke that asks the question, 'What is the Daytona 500?' The answer perhaps provides a clue as to why the British Autosport writers rate NASCAR drivers so poorly. The answer is (with some licence), 'It's an event where 500,000 people watch 30 rednecks turn left for 10 hours'. NASCAR, while somewhat spectacular, is - to people outside the United States - rather like that other American export involving hamburgers, essentially uninteresting (F1 is only marginally more so in that the drivers also get to turn right; slot cars for grown-ups).

The REAL drivers pilot rally cars. Take a look at what they do; try an assessment by a British journalist whose words I can recall from nearly 20 years ago. He had been taken for a ride by the newest Finnish rally champion. He wrote, "It's the first time I've ever been taken over a blind brow (crest) at over 100 mph, at night ... on ice."

Your best chance of having an American driver make it to Autosport world rankings is to have them succeed in events that the rest of the world rate as serious motorsport; think Robby Gordon (Hummer) in the Dakar Rally or Jeff Pastrana (Subaru WRX) in the World Rally Championship.

For Doug, by the way, two points; firstly, the rest-of-the-world is long tired of American parochialism. The average American's ignorance about what happens outside the US's borders is the stuff of legend. There's a world that many Americans haven't a clue about (my country, for example, Australia ... where we speak English), and leads them to believe that everything they do is, therefore, the world's best. Not true! Secondly, I've been both a jet-fighter pilot and a rally driver (Subaru WRX sti - now THERE'S a real car) and I own a quick BMW. Driving the WRX on a twisting, loose gravel road at - sometimes - over 100 mph just three feet from very big trees is much closer to flying a jet than taking the Beemer at the same or greater speeds on a gently-turning bitumen road (even allowing for the 'bank').

Sorry, gentlemen, but when it comes to real driving, while aggressive, talented and brave, NASCAR drivers just aren't in the race.

Anonymous said...

David I totally agree - I cannot believe Tony Stewart who runs anything with wheels on did not appear on this list is just crazy. There are nascar drivers on this list who never go out of their nascar world, but Tony came from F1. How could he not be included? It is crazy

Anonymous said...

tony stewart came from irl, not f1

Micheal Schumacher said...

I dont consider Tony Stewart in the top 3 of Nascar drivers, let alone in a list with those guys. To be a great driver I feel you need the personal touches to go along with it, and Tony Stewart is a bindafide piece of shit who needs to, at some point in his career, go head on into a wall.

Michael said...

O.k. here's my problem and the one I think David is trying to make. NASCAR drivers are racers as much as F1 and off-roaders. The problem here is that Many in the European racing media turn their noses at our form or racing...NASCAR, Dirt racing and so on cause they never took the time to understand it. Like many of us Americans don't understand F1. I like F-1 and will watch it but I Love NASCAR and other American forms of racing better. Its my opinion. I don't think lesser of other drivers cause of the type of cars they drive.
As for "stick" and his comments show the outside bias on America. He apparently doesn't like NASCAR but reads a blog on it. Oh and if everybody thought that NASCAR wasn't real racing than why is Marcos Ambrose (from Australia and a number of F1 drivers coming to or thinking of racing here?
Its real racing and we have drivers who deserve a better world ranking.......but sadly cause of "superior" and "more civilized" worldly people that are not American those rankings wont change anytime soon.

Skippety do wop said...

Just one time I would like to see Mr(?) Schumacher in the pack of 43 at Talladega at 200+ three wide. Maybe, just maybe he would change his mind about NASCAR Drivers. Of course after his comments about Tony Stewart, he might get a taste of the wish that he had for Tony.

danh427 said...

Not too suprised that American cup drivers didn't get acknowledged.

I haven't looked at the list, but I have a huge amount of respect for sprint car drivers on dirt. Not sure how Raikkonen would respond to 800 plus horsepower on a high bank half mile dirt track with 25 other drivers. Very much an American race and probably doesn't get any attention abroad (perhaps for Australia who has similar series). A lot of our top drivers have a sprint car background.

Anonymous said...

Don't pay any attention to what the Europeans say or any of the other jealous socialist losers. American eats their lunch at anything that is important. We saved their butts in every war. Our standard of living is the envy of all people. They whine and make excuses for everything. I have always wondered where the hundreds of millions they spend comes from? Most of the citizens of these countries do not have the money to spend on the sponsors products.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, how many Ferraris do you have to sell to be able to afford to spend 100s of milliions on a race team?

Anonymous said...

The open wheelers look down their elitist noses at stock car racing until they need a job.

Anonymous said...

Back in June 2003, Jeff Gordon had no problem adapting to Juan Pablo's F1 car around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Formula 1 race course. If I remember correctly, Jeff's times were good enough to run competitively in that particular race. Give Nascar drivers credit when credit is due.

Anonymous said...

No offense here but maybe they see what Nascar has really become and that's a crap series. I used to love Nascar but the series just isn't about racing anymore. It's all about the money artificially creating close racing.

Now F1 goes the other way and they could use a little standardization and create spending limits.

In the grand scheme of world wide racing Nascar is still small. They will continue to be small until they figure out what real racing is.

Doogie500 said...

Please be reminded that NASCAR is NOT REAL RACING!!

So why would ANY NASCAR driver be considered the "best"??

If all other forms of racing, one must "qualify" to run the race! Oh no, not in dear old NASCAR!! Just show up, you are guaranteed a spot! That's real racing for sure! And driving 3500# of scrap metal in circles?? Yep, another fine example of racing!

And someone mentions the Daytona 500?? Hell, the starting field, at least most of it is already decided and we are still two (2) months away from the ACTUAL event!!

YEP! NASCAR is "REAL RACING" allright!!

NOT!!

Anonymous said...

RE: Jimmie Johnson & NASCAR!

Maybe Jimmie would have been more recognized if he actually raced against "fast" cars!

In NASCAR! The "FAST" cars from qualifying get sent home, the slower cars race! So week in, week out, he races against the slugs of NASCAR!! You know, the cars that do not "qualify on time", but via some idiotic rule thats says "your in anyway"!!

Anonymous said...

In fact , Gordons' performance at Indy in the F1 car was not very impressive . He spent a great deal of time off in the grass . Montoya did a very good job in the stock car .
Before the question of who ranks as the best drivers can be answered , someone needs to come up with a definition of exactly what constitutes the title of great driver . The number of wins someone has ? Maybe he didn't have much competiton. Number of championships ? Maybe he had a superior car . Is a road course more difficult than an oval ? Is a dirt track more dificult than asphalt ? Is an off road race of 1000 miles at Baja more difficult for a driver than a 4 hour race at Daytona ? Is a driver like Tony Stewart , with wins and championships in many forms of racing , as good as a driver who has only raced in one form of car , but has dominated his sport .

Anonymous said...

In the course of a year's time, how many American race fans give a single thought to European opinions about anything?

oiltalk said...

In fact,Gordon was running within two tenths of Montoya's best times. Not bad for a guy who had never been in an F1 racer. Hell. Montoya drives a full bodied car every day. He should have done well.

Wake up dude, the American drivers as as good as any.

Anonymous said...

Yes , i read that Gordon was within a couple of tenths of Montoya in the F1 car . But the facts were slanted greatly by the PR people who came up with the idea of those two switching cars . He was no where near that close .

Bass at rowdy.com said...

Although they are related, maybe we should think of these different types of racing as different sports. You mentioned cricket, Poole. What if we made a list of the best "batters/battsmen" in the world. Baseball fans would put baseball players on top of the list and cricket followers would put cricketers at the top. But the truth is, even though they are both hitting a moving ball with a bat, baseball players are better at baseball and cricketers are better at cricket. Start to compare the two and you get into a discussion that's so abstract and hypothetical it becomes kind of meaningless.

Is Sebastian Bourdais "better" than Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Well, if you follow NASCAR that seems pretty silly. How quickly would each of them adapt to the other's series? Who knows. Even with crossover, like Montoya, it's hard to say because you can't really consider Hendrick and Ganassi equipment comparable. And it may have more to do with the individual than with the relative "difficulty" of different series. Jim Brown was a great lacrosse player, but that doesn't mean running backs make great lacrosse players (or great lacrosse players make great running backs.)

Anonymous said...

Real drivers drive their cars not let there cars be programmed from the pits by engineers.Nascar takes driving skills and endurance.F-1 has maybe 6 teams and maybe 20 cars at most each week.The British I put 2nd behind the French as pu--ys who still think F-1 is great racing.Nascar has become boring but watching F-1 is real boring as watching paint dry.Team orders and fag drivers will never bring them their former greatness.F-1 and there wimpy teams screwed up the F-1 race at Indy and should stay at home in Europe where they only give any great efforts.

toyphd said...

First, let's not show the world how stupid we are by making this discussion about anything other than racing. To the world, NASCAR looks like taxi cabs that only turn left. Racing is about getting the most out of your vehicle with a list of variables. What hurts NASCAR's world-class credibility is that we are the only series to race under ideal conditions (not even rain!) and we have the lowest level of technology. Right or wrong other world series require a more sophisticated driver and draw on a wider pool of people to arrive at an even smaller number of drivers who are "the Best." There are probably less than five drivers in Cup that could drive another class of vehicel well enough to qualify but as we know, there is a huge gap bewteen driving and being the fastest. Frankly, I'm surprised Johnson made the top 20.

toyphd said...

By the way, I also think our driver credibility is hurt by an organization that is arbitrary (to say the least), heavy handed in its rule making, treats its drivers like children, is against the little guy and rewards financial commitments as opposed to the fastest driver.

For those of you who insist on taking an emotional point of view, I travel all over the world on business. It's not the rest of the world looking down on us, the problme is us looking down on the rest of the world. Let's stay away from politics and just look at sports; how egotistical is it to call our baseball championship the, "World Series?"

Anonymous said...

F1 is a sport based on technology. look at the scandels going on because engineers take information when transfering from one team to another. Driver skill is important but not as much as engineering, hence the reason tech info is so closely guarded.
Rally racing is a breed of it's own. it takes balls to do what those drivers do. its a great example of driver skill, and technology being equally important.
nascar, with it's attempts to level the playing places an emphasis on the driver/ crew chief combination.
Now lets look at thing from a different perspective. Put F1 teams and cars on mile and a half oval. what you get is a boring race. look at former champ car races at Michigan. 2 cars finish on the lead lap, 3rd place is 2 laps down. 4th and 5th are 6 laps down.
we've seen nascar on road courses. with the new COT design, all you need is some dirt and ice and hills and you have a rally race.
Give F1 its due. F1 is a technology showcase. I watched it a bit in the mid 90's. can't ever remember seeing a pass among the leaders that took place on the racing surface. but you do have to have skill to hold onto one of those cars.
Give rally it's due. For sheer excitement it can't be beat.
but give nascar it's due as well. door to door action, cars that don't have to retire just because they went off course and bent a suspension strut, and most importantly, a large field of teams and drivers. when was the last time the IRL, champ series, F1 or any other series had a minimum of 50 cars show up to attempt to qualify for every race. oh, btw, I'd like to see the day when 10% of F1 drivers spend 30 minutes after a practice signing autographs on their way bact to their motorcoach

Anonymous said...

Tune into QUICK CHANGE at www.racetalkradio.com to hear our panel discuss this article tonight at 830pm ET.

Great comment at the end David...I will bring the desert and help you eat those pages!! Tony Stewart deserves a spot in the top ten always!

Dennis Michelsen
www.racetalkradio.com

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if you guys could get your facts right about the Tradin' Paint deal with Gordon and Montoya.

Follow this link.

http://www.geocities.com/johnsonindy500/brickyard400/tradinpaint.html

Montoya did very well in a stock car and Gordon did very well in the F1 car.

Red Vogt said...

A couple of years ago Dave Despain ranked the different kinds of racing according to the skill level he thought each required (he didn't go into individual drivers).

As I recall, he ranked supercross (whatever it is, racing dirtbikes outdoors) first, and rally cars second. He offered pretty good justifications for all of it.

NASCAR was fairly far down the list.

Anonymous said...

The Montoya / Gordon show was staged for publicity . Do we really think that the PR guys would announce that one or both of the drivers were not very good ? The tv footage as well as the people who were there ( with no connection to the show ) say that Montoya was surprisingly fast right off the bat , but that Gordon spent a lot of time of course , and never really turned in any quick times . No surprise really . Gordon had no experience in a car as high tech as an F1 car.

Richard in N.C. said...

After reading most of the comments I can see how JP Montoya won the Cup championship in his first year. He didn't win the championship? Only came in 15th?

In F1 all the cars entered are guaranteed places in the field - unless a car is incredibly slow compared to the pole winner. All qualifying does is to determine the starting order.

David- article was only super.

Anonymous said...

F1 qualifying is almost identical to Nascar then . Except that a car in the top 35 in Nascar Cup points gets in the race no matter how much slower he is than the pole winner .

jeff said...

To be quite frank, who gives a shit what they think about NASCAR drivers and us fans. If it wasn't for the blood of American soldiers, they would all be speaking German!

Bobby said...

The F1 rules give all registered teams (up to 12) guaranteed slots. Nobody can barge in.

NASCAR has a more "exempt tour" format where all "exempt teams" have to race their way to keep the exempt status. A bad race or two gets you off.

And too even Montoya admits that in a Cup car, a car that's good for ten laps may go haywire on you for the next ten laps. In many series, they don't have that "ten good, ten bad" problem. Drivers have to be able to compensate for every condition. In some cases no two laps are the same. Even on road courses, the line has to change frequently to take advantage of every nook and cranny.

Jimmie Johnson is the modern-day David Pearson, and the silver and blue paint scheme is fitting. He can sit back and let others take charge the first two hours of the race, but the next 30 minutes sets him for the final hour charge where he is truly a "Big Shot Bob".

F1 races last 75-120 minutes. Cup races last 150-300 minutes. One is a sprint, the other is a marathon. A car that's set for the start won't be good for the finish. In many F1 races, a car that's set up well will just be the same all 190 miles.

Jimmie Johnson is the type of driver I'd want in a longer race since he does his best late in a run.

A rally racer has everything in talent, and Jimmie's background is the off-road material that let him in 2002 run the RoC as a rally driver. I think off-road racing is tougher than WRC because of the endurance nature.

Drivers who race sprints are more likely to do well in rankings when they are based on racing where they don't run more than 90 minutes.

They don't run races in Europe longer than two hours except for the Le Mans Series and the big 24-hour saloons in Spa, and a few other 24-hour classics.

When you're racing with a two-hour limit, it's easy to know, "two hours, we'll win." Johnson, on the other hand, is one who says, "first hour, make this adjustment, second stop make this move, second hour watch the leader, third hour creep in, fourth hour car and driver both have stored so much tire the opposition and go for the win!"

You can't drive like Johnson in F1 since the race is over before you know it.

Anonymous said...

it's been a while since we had a bonafide stock car driver take to the European race courses for some serious racing and not just something on a whim. Dan Gurney, AJ Foyt, and Mario Andretti raced sports cars, stock cars, and open wheeled cars and did so successfully. Dick Hutcherson gave it a wack at Le Mans, when it was a more challenging course. Cale Yarborough and Billy Hagan gave Le Man a try when it was a more challenging course. Jimmy Clark, who I admired, gave stock car racing a try and only did it once. I don't begrudge him for that. I think he was a great driver.

But NASCAR is suffering the same fate as F-1 in that it's being made too safe for the drivers, the challenges the tracks offered are going or being taken away, and you have technicians, engineers, sponsors and bureacrats pretty much calling the shots. It won't be much longer before we start seeing team orders as a regular thing in NASCAR like it is in F-1 today.

I happen to be something of an oddity in that I like rally racing. Having spent 15 years living in Europe, I had to replace my dose of NASCAR with something else and rally racing was it. Do I think we have any NASCAR drivers who could run rally races? Sure, Robby Gordon and Marcos Ambrose could. And they'd be competitve.

As to drivers crossing over from F-1/IRL/CHAMP CAR, it's not so much about the challenge as it is about the money. NASCAR drivers make a heck of a lot more money than the other series drivers do. You've only got so many years to practice your craft and you want to make the most money you can. So do you want to make $500,000 a year driving an open wheeled car or make $5,000,000 a year in NASCAR? Simple choice. Economics is driving things, not the challenge.

As to folks looking down their noses, I seem to recall a certain monarch who did that and got one heck of a surprise when a document called the Declaration of Independence was signed and the so-called colonist created an independent nation which today, everyone seems to want to move to.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, most of the reason 'us Europeans' look 'down our noses' at the American racing scene is the attitude displayed by a good few here. Not sure what right anyone has to start talking of the wars and such given that we sacrificed just as much as anyone, but the xenophobia on display in this thread alone is at least as bad as the one you're all moaning about. It's like the pot calling the kettle black.

The reasons for Autosport's list are partly due to it being mainly an F1 rag these days, and that in our country (and most of Europe) NASCAR just doesn't register. Given Autosport's main audience, it was always going to focus on the European scene.

As for why NASCAR doesn't register here, there are a number of reasons. Firstly, it's a completely different ball game to what we all grew up with. The nature of the racing is completely different, and most people struggle to get their heads around it. There's also the fact that NASCAR vastly more commercial than even Formula One, and your media and coverage of it is once more completely different and - in my opinion - verging on nauseatingly commercial. It's just differently presented to what we're used to. Sure we're used to advertising, but having the winning driver thank each sponsor by name, or have the commentators read out a whole list of products at various stages in the race? A bit much for some of us.

NASCAR is a fantastic spectacle for sure, but for our market it doesn't get half the interest that the open-wheel and rally scenes get because that's what we grew up with. That won't be changing any time soon, especially with no major network in the UK wanting to show NASCAR at any time other than 3.00am.

As for our lists being crazy (and I agree they're slanted), the recent Speed list had F1 championship runner-up Lewis Hamilton 17th, below IndyCar has-been Scott Sharp. Anyone care to justify that?

toyphd said...

I think its funy when people say F1 is all about technology and the engineers decide the set-ups. If you don't know that NACSAR has evolved into the same thing then you really don't know the sport. Are any of you aware of the fact that the driver in F1 can make changes to the car from the cockpit? How much knowledge and skill do you think that takes? F1 has an almost infinite number of options while NASCAR has reduced the variables. It's also stupid when people say Montoya ONLY finished 15th. With the dominating teams and his first year in this kind of vehicle this is an AMAZING accomplishment which I sincerley doubt any driver in Cup could duplicate in F1. Gordon in the F1 car was total stunt. If if you think it's so scary being door to door in a pack at 200 miles (it car with the protect of a tuna can) imagine going 240 in an open wheel car. Stock cars are designed like bumper cars but in F1if a vehicle touches wheels the driver is likely to become a space capsule. Don't confuse balls for brains and NASCAR does not require the most of either

Anonymous said...

It's true, F1 is the top level of auto racing. Looking at the team budgets how can it be considered any else? Therefore, logic would dictate that F1 teams only hire the worlds best drivers. Why wouldn't they after spending 100's of millions developing the cars? However, some of these best drivers are now very nervous because they are losing traction control in 2008 and half the downforce in 2009. They can no longer punch the throttle after a corner and point the car, they have to actually drive the thing. Bunch of wimps.

On the other hand, NASCAB is a joke. As Doogie500 and others have said here, it is NOT REAL RACING. Period. The open wheel guys heading there are doing it purely for the money.

But I have an idea for NASCAR which might get thier drivers up higher on that list. Get rid of the pickup truck series and start a new one using school buses with huge supercharged engines! I'd pay good money to watch 30 of those going 180 mph around an oval. Ok stop laughing, I'm serious. For one thing, just think how much more room there would be for sponsor logo's. Plus, you could charge admission for passengers and tv crews right onboard the bus. C'mon, you think the money grubbing folks at NASCAR haven't given this some thought already?

Charles P. said...

Back to the Indy Switch in 2003, if i recall, Jeff only went off once when he entered the first hairpin to early. There is no way that the car was set up close to competitively. Williams probably made him sign some sort of gag order on the stuff he was told by the BMW crew, but thats no guarantee that when he got a call from Maranello that he would have turned some cash to blab about the BMW chassis. So 1:16 second laps, as i recall, are pretty admirable.

And the Only Reason Jensen made it was because he is British, and there should have only been room for one IRL driver with that pansy 16 race schedule that is won by the cars not the drivers.

toyphd said...

WOW, I love the misinformation, F1 spends 100's of millions of dollars. Please. You buy the BS from people like Roush - it is not economically feasible to spend that kind of money. Oh yeah, all the F1 drivers are quaking in their boots about the loss of traction control and downforce. Traction control was only legal a few years and every year they reduce downforce. Are you aware that they have to get through the entire weekend on one set of tires? NASCAR is outspending F1 with windtunnels like the one developed by Haas that was built for NASCAR but will be used by series from all over the world so stop with the F1 drivers having it soft because of the money spent. You really should learn more about F1 before you buy all the BS spit out by the redneck press to keep your eyeballs glued to NASCAR. It's the car winning, not the driver? You can say the same thing about NASCAR.

And again, maybe Jeff turned a few good laps but no way he would be competitive. He was only a "few tenths behind?" Are you kidding me? How far back in a NASCAR qualifying field would "a few tenths" put him? He wouldn't even make the race.

Guys, its not a slap in the face to the cars or the drivers, its a statement about NASCAR. Let NASCAR start driving in the rain, set the starting grid by speeds, reduce the whorish way they promote themselves with 6 hours of pre-race covereage and stop with the arbitrary rule inforcement and then maybe, maybe we'll get some respect.

Anonymous said...

The WRC embodies more of what the traditional "NASCAR values" are--production cars raced on the dirt/snow/rain/ice/tarmac.

Do any of you douches remember the origins of NASCAR racing? old moonshiners running hot rodded production cars on dirt roads. Now, NASCAR is overly regulated, contrived, and runs bloated cars which are artificially slowed. That's hardly pure racing--fixed fields, etc.--like Tony Stewart truthfully said--NASCAR is little more than pro wrestling these days

toyphd said...

By the way, one of the major reasons we don't get any respect from the motorsports press around the world is our redneck, Good 'Ol Boys Club press and people like David Poole. He admits to not being knowledgeable about other driving series from around the world yet he questions the list of best drivers. Talk about making Americans look boorish and stupid. NASCAR and its contributing writers are no better with stupid comments like: "Worthy drivers bumped from Cup by the onslaught of open wheel drivers." Three open wheel drivers are coming in next year, 3 out of a potential 50 drivers. Oh yeah, let's blame open wheel drivers because the old world we once knew is no longer pertinent.

E-Man said...

Good point about Redneck mentality Toyphd.
I'll bet that the europeans think that the Stock Cars look not much better than a Sherman Tank.

Mmmm--A few years ago, the Sherman looked pretty good to them when it went over to "surrenderville" and save their sorry asses.

Stinkin' european surrender monkeys.

Anonymous said...

who did those europeans surrender to, anyway? was it other europeans? did you learn anything in reform school, idiot?

Anonymous said...

I would put Tony Stewart up against any F1 driver in any type of racecar at any time and he would be leading the field in a 5 laps.

Tony Stewart is just that good. And so are many of the NASCAR drivers.

The F1 drivers have so much technology that there is no way in this world that you can say that this is real racing.

Racing is driving a car by the seat of your pants. Not pushing buttons on a little bitty steering wheel.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR is racing.Open wheel is driving a $6,000,000.00 carv fast

Anonymous said...

Autosport is based in UK, and it is a British publication, where F1 is God, Nascar only has a small page every week, and it has a limited following. I must admit those who find Nascar love it, however, even when F1 is at is worst, the British will watch it, and therefore names like Trulli will always rank higher than Jimmie Johnson.

Consider the source, if this had been an American publication, it would have Jimmie or Jeff as number 1, and the Formula one drivers would be no where!

Nutbeem said...

Great comments - a few rednecks in there with their "USA kicks ass" schtick, but some surprisingly good and thoughtful posts.

NASCAR can't compare with F1 in terms of resources, prestige or manufacturer support, and what those drivers do week in and week out is amazing.

HOWEVER, modern NASCAR is still great fun to watch. Often the races are determined by less than a car length, and the ability of the cars to touch and keep going makes the races even more exciting (was there EVER a more exciting finish to any motorsport race than Ricky Craven/Kurt Bush at Darlington? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdm2EbYbkzw&feature=related)

As for pure driving talent, those drivers that have been successful at several different types of series surely have the edge.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to ignore the fact the European series, including F1 race regardless of weather.

NASCAR would be more of an international attraction if they used the rain tires Goodyear developed 10 or so years ago.

Locking in via owner points eliminates the excitement generated by having everyone qualify...otherwise it seems to the casual observer to be a fixed program.

As far as technology, NASCAR uses a ton of data collection devices, they just aren't available on race day. Otherwise, how do you employ 200+ in your shop. They've got engineers for the dang shocks, for chrissake!

Anonymous said...

Don’t forget that this publication sells 75% of its print run in the UK and Ireland so they are, just like they did a year ago, preaching to their own community. Forget about F1, they only reason it is being watched on TV by Europeans is because if they don’t they got nothing to say their fellow workers on a Monday morning. Most Europeans are simply too lazy to get off their backsides and try understand the basics about NASCAR. In general European racing has become processional, i.e. the winner will most likely come from the top-4 qualifiers and with the we-know-better attitude that does the rounds here in Europe there is a distinct jealousy as far as American racing is concerned.

Funny that in Scandinavia that has produced so many fantastic rally drivers NASCAR is very popular. And a large number of rally drivers like NASCAR as well, same in Germany where NASCAR is steadily becoming more and more popular.

As mentioned before, I was totally infuriated a year ago when this useless poll was published. This year I just glanced over it and concluded that AUTOSPORT, pretentious as they are, still have not become any wiser. Again, it has a lot to do with the circulation of this publication, any solid knowledge does not come into the equation.

From somewhere in Europe, Merry Xmas to you all.

Joe W said...

Here is the bottom line. Nascar is an American sport and that is O.K. Just like the NFL is an American sport. To us in the U.S. they are exciting and we know our guys are the best. F1 is like Soccer. It is European and very very boring to the majority of us. There are no passes for the lead in F1. It is not about competition on the track, just like they never score in Soccer. I would rather watch paint dry than watch F1 of Soccer. Let Europe have them both.

toyphd said...

There is no pass for the lead in F1? You don't watch F1.

NASCAR is "very" popular in Scandanavia? NASCAR is growing in popularity in Germany? Is your last name Hasselhoff?

Europeans are "jealous" of our racing? Oh yeah, hardly any history of racing in Europe.

The Enlish are more prententious than Americans? Have you read your own letter?

Europeans are too "lazy" to understand NASCAR? How are your Cricket lessons coming?

Maybe some of you should take Dave Poole's tactic and don't try to argue things you don't understand - or at least TRY to understand.

If not, your last name must be France.

Monkeesfan said...

toyphd, we do watch F1 and the lead never changes. That's why F1 is the most expensive and least relevent form of motorsports in the world.

NASCAR FAN said...

AS FAR AS JEFF GORDON GOES I CAN ONLY SAY SCREWED AGAIN. IF NASCAR HADN'T KEPT SCREWING OVER HE WOULD HAVE SIX CHAMPIONSHIPS NOW, CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HOW THEY SCREW HIP THIS YEAR HOWARD

toyphd said...

Well you are a Monkeesfan.

"Least relevant form of motorsports" really, least relevant to what?

F1 is the ONLY racing series that has consistently produced automotive (actually many forms of transportation) breakthroughs in performance, safety and durability with direct applications to today’s, consumer vehicles.

To name a few: Kevlar, carbon fiber, lighter and more rigid molded materials of all kinds that do not rely on petroleum, radical aerodynamic engineering, brake management/distribution /yaw control, superior brake pad materials, synthetic suspension bushings, next generation traction control, human ergonomics that reduces stress and improves action/reaction input, drive by wire controls, variable valve timing, CVT transmissions, individual cylinder fuel management that produces more power using less fuel while needing lower maintenance and is more environmentally friendly, filters of all kinds that perform better and get replaced less, plastic compounds more durable than metal, metallurgy binding of exotic metals to have the best contact characteristics which has resulted in the lightest engines with the best horsepower to weight ratio ever, foam molded chassis and core structures that are lighter with greater rigidity, interactive adhesive compounds, interior lighting that reduces stress and preserves night vision, hundreds of mechanical parts replaced by electrical activators and this little tidbit:

EVERYTHING in cars today is run by an EVA board computer with a very durable and user friendly interface for downloading and pin pointing issues while constantly adjusting to changing conditions to maximize performance. This control system is a direct descendent the brain created by F1 and is the single greatest factor as to why cars stay on the road longer. This saves you money, helps the environment and saves the automaker money (you too) because they no longer have to constantly retool and make manufacturing changes.

NOW, let's look at NASCAR. LOL. NASCAR uses antiquated systems that are no longer in use production anywhere in the world. NASCAR has never made any contribution of any kind to improve our driving experience and help the auto industry.

Everyone criticizes the International press for being too lazy, egotistical or jealous to appreciate the subtleties of NASCAR yet every negative comment here is based on misinformation, a genuine lack of awareness and a knee-jerk condescending, dismissive xenophobic reaction to anyone who doesn’t share our opinion. Never let the facts get in the way of a good gut feeling. LOL

Monkeesfan said...

toyphd -

Least relevent to what? To racing. F1 offers nothing in the way of memorable competition. The testing-bed for street cars argument is laughable since even F1 has been banning some technological items, and some of those items like radical aerodynamic engineering are meaningless. The technology F1 employs means NOTHING and is irrelevent.

"Now let's look at NASCAR." Even today, with the need to take technology out of NASCAR, there is still real racing there, albiet almost all of it is at Daytona and Talladega, where passing and sidedrafting are infinately more common and competitive than anything F1 can offer.

The negative comments about F1 here are based on the truth. We let the facts get in the way, F1-ophiles don't. Take the technology out and get back to real racing.

Anonymous said...

I'm British and Love my Nascar! It's the media, not race fans that have issues. But if you have read other articals from Autosport, you will see they are Pro-Nascar with the challenges that Nascar offers its drivers. Autosport views racing as a world sport, covering many forms. So overall, Nascar drivers are low compaired to WRC (Rally) or F1 as a sport. But if you view it as drivers, the ones that cover different forms, then list would be different.

Anonymous said...

Truthfully the F1 and all you foreign racers don't belong in NASCAR because it is was oriented as an American Sport. So why do you think you have the right to put our sport down? We (Americans) the ones I know don't put your racing sport down.

Anonymous said...

HEY toyphd
This is from autoracing1.com, not from people like Roush as you suggest. Still think F1 teams don't spend as much as NASCAB teams? Your full of it.

-----------------------------------
Autoracing1.com
-----------------------------------
Toyota might withdraw from F1 Toyota's high-spending formula one team risk being consigned to history unless they can get themselves into a consistently competitive position over the next two seasons. After six years with only two pole positions to show for their efforts, despite the international car manufacturer topping the sport's spending league with an annual outlay close to $500m (£252m), the Cologne-based team have been warned by their Japanese senior management that things must improve dramatically, a message which carries the inescapable threat that the future of the entire programme may be called into question and the team withdrawn from grand prix racing.

"I have been given two more years," said Tadashi Yamashina, the Toyota team principal, in the company's recently published motorsport report. "So we will work and fight to make sure we prove ourselves in the 2008 season."

toyphd said...

Monkey,

You win the; "Stick your head in the sand award." I guess the world is just too scary a place for you. The more you repsond the more it is obvious you know nothing about F1 and even less about NASCAR for which you claim to be a fan.

You ignore the incredible contribution F1 has made to the world of automobiles because its just to overwhelming for you to digest.

Then you say the best NASCAR racing is with restrictor plates? Man, you are alone on that one.

So let me get this straight, your idea of the best racing possible would be with old technology vehicles, they should all be similar, the racers should be competing in packs, there is lots of passing and there is an opressive governing body.

I got it.. you should be watching the Tour de France!

Face it, NASCAR drivers have the
least challenging vhicles (COT) on the least challenging tracks (they created the term cookie-cutter for them)under the least challenging conditions (Sunshine and only turning left) and you are surprised JJ was ranked 20th? Me too, he should have been lower.

Monkeesfan said...

toyphd, all you do is prove you're an ignoramus and a liar. F1's "incredible contribution to the world of automobiles" is fiction. All your responses show is how bigoted you are and how cut off youi are from reality.

Technology has contributed almost nothing worthwhile to racing. F1 has no relevence to anything because its technology is meaningless. NASCAR has now surpassed F1 in popularity because it's still racing.

NASCAR has cars harder to drive, tracks more challenging to race (as opposed to drive; F1 tracks offer no racing challenge because they impede any ability to pass), and superior competition.

"And then you say the best NASCAR racing is restrictor plates?" Yes - more lead changes, more cars fighting for the win, superior competition. F1 has nothing remotely competitive in racing./

Don't lecture me or anyone else about F1 because your arguments are a lie.

Anonymous said...

To Monkeesfan,

NASCAR really takes no skills. Want me to send you a website about the different kind of drifting, sliding, etc that Rally racers have to use? No offense, a NASCAR can use an automatic transmission and still win the race, while rally you have to change gears consistantly, use the full potential of your engine, car's weight, tires, etc.

Turning takes more skills to do than passing another car. How fast you turn, inside or outside affects a lot. Where as passing another car you just need SPEED. If your car is faster, then obviously you can pass him. Turning takes tons of skills and experience, turn turning a 40 degree turn in 100+ mph in an F1 car, then turn another 40 degree turn to another side right away. That takes skill, how to slow down car to turn yet not losing speed and time.

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