Sunday, May 18, 2008

A lot to digest from the all-star weekend

Well, it's midnight and all-star day is over.

Kasey Kahne, Ray Evernham and Kenny Francis have just left the media center and are down on the start-finish line doing more of the silly "hat dance" photos that are part of the postrace victory duties.

Kahne did a tremendous job in winning the race. Francis, the team director, made the right call in taking no tires on the final pit stop. I never thought for a minute that any of the three cars that didn't get tires before the final segment would win the race, but I guess that shows track position is king.

I am squarely on the record as being opposed to the idea of the fan vote, which I call the "pity pass." Fans have squandered it, horribly, in past years by putting guys in the main event that had no shot at winning. In selecting Kahne this time the fans did well, and I would have said that if he hadn't won.

Still, Kahne shouldn't have been in the race. He finished fifth in the Sprint Showdown. Two cars advanced out of that race and only one of them should have - the winner. You should have to win something to make the all-star race. I would cut the exemption for past winners of this event and past Cup champions from 10 to five years, too.

But that's all water under the bridge for this year.

It will be interesting to see if Kahne's win provides any momentum for his team going forward. It's interesting that his teammate, Elliott Sadler, was really down after getting wrecked out of the Showdown. Sadler made a mistake on Lap 2 and crashed at Darlington last week, too.

Kahne's win came at a good time for Gillett-Evernham Motorsports, that's for sure.

The 25-25-25-25 format for this year's all-star race wasn't an improvement in any way that I saw. The race wasn't thrilling because there were no cautions other than the ones for the breaks between segments. The lack of any kind of field inversion didn't help, either.

In a larger sense, though, I think that if next Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 is the same kind of event -- where the leader can't be touched and track position is the be-all and end-all - I am going to have to say that NASCAR has to do something about the rules on this car.

I know fans will howl because they didn't change things last year when Hendrick Motorsports was dominating. But NASCAR can't spend this summer, with the economy like it's going to be, having races where the only place the leader gets passed is on pit road.

There are people who say the COT needs to be abandoned, but that's not going to happen. It does look like something is going to have to be done to change what's happening on the track, though.

It'll be an hour or more before I get to leave here because of the traffic. That'll put me home about 3, I would guess. I wish I could go to the drag race at Bristol tomorrow, but I have to write a second-day story and some other stuff for next week after I finally get up in the morning.

Fortunately for me I didn't use any of the good postrace stuff tonight. That's because NASCAR and Lowe's Motor Speedway again treated the print media like crap in the postrace.

I mean that literally. Think of Kahne's time after winning as food. Network television is the mouth. Network radio is the esophagus. NASCAR "partners" like Speed and ESPN are the stomach. Photographers taking staged photos that could be shot two hours after the race - as is still being done, are the pancreas. Local television is the intestines.

And, down at the end, you know what that makes people like me, right?


Anonymous said...

"The race wasn't thrilling"??????
So I guess there were no lead changes or contact. If you hate your job so much quit and get a life.

Monkeesfan said...

anonymous, how about accepting that maybe what David said is true?

The reality is everything has conspired to ruin the All Star Race, and the racing in general. The COT's built-in aeropush was worse than normal (and I don't buy that it won't be abandoned, because no viable alternative to abandonment exists), the format continues to defy ability to make competitive racing, and the only incentive is to test for the 600. The only short-term solution is to move the All-Star Race to Talladega.

Something has had to be changed for a long time; they found the right solution with the roof wicker, big rear spoiler, and hard tires - the COT wasn't anything close to a solution.

Anonymous said...

Monkeesfan - "the format continues to defy ability to make competitive racing, and the only incentive is to test for the 600."

Yeah, I guess you're right for once.

I know I wouldn't give a damn and would just roll over and NOT compete for the ONE MILLION DOLLARS on the table.


As usual Monkeesfan, you've overdosed of fruity-loops again.

Anonymous said...


Couldn't agree more. I'm a HUGE Biffle fan and his performance is the only reason I enjoyed it. Being a fellow Buckeye, Hornish was also a great suprise.

The "aerotight" seems to getting worse. I don't know if giving the teams more travel in the front and getting them off the bumpstops will help or not.

Anonymous said...

Hoochies!!! Where were the hoochies??? I thought there would be hoochies!!! Gotta have them hoochies!!!

Anonymous said...

david poole doesn't do anything but complain and not agree with anything nascar does. pooh baby.

Anonymous said...

One thing I like about the all star race is the use of double file restarts. Wish there was more discussion about going to double file restarts in the points races. It really improves the racing. Fans like it, drivers like it, NASCAR for some reason can't see that it's better.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR has got a big problem on their hands right now. This had to be the most boring All-Star race I have ever watched. Guys could only afford to race side by side for maybe 6 laps before they had to settle back in single file fashion and stay at least 4 car lengths away in order to be able to handle the car.
The CoT car needs work, if they are going to stick with it. The way some of the teams have these cars "Tracking" is worst then the old car.
DJ thanks for the great memories, you are a true hero.

Anonymous said...

The sad, sad plight of the poor racing writers.

I guess the only thing that keeps David and the other writers going to the races is the free catered food and drink and the chance to whine in public about how tough things are in their jobs.

David is correct about writers and the anatomy comparison. We've all known it for years.

Anonymous said...

Once the "villian" blew an engine, what little interest there was in the race was gone. I expect the race next weekend to be equally boring. If they leave out the "debris" yellow flags, KB might lap the foe;d/

Anonymous said...

Once the "villian" blew an engine, what little interest there was in the race was gone. I expect the race next weekend to be equally boring. If they leave out the "debris" yellow flags, KB might lap the foe;d/

Anonymous said...

It would make you, I don't know, a WHINER? Do you really believe we like to hear you complain about terrible your job is?

Monkeesfan said...

marc, as usual you don't understand the reality that's there in front of you. If they were trying for that $1 million - I mean really, honestly trying - where were the lead changes? You continue to oversell these drivers and teams by thinking they'd care more about a $1 million purse than the points of the race next week.

Start getting real for a change, marc, because you don't know what you're talking about - ever.

Anonymous said...

Very boring. When a car on 25 lap tires can out run cars that took 4 tires, that's not good.

Bring back the inversion, and make the final segment shorter, either 10 or 15 laps max.

Anonymous said...


Snafam said...

Usually, the racing at the track is much better than what can be shown on TV. But last night, I heard from friends at the track that they were bored bored bored!

As far as the PooleMan, he can diss NASCAR all he wants. It is great to have at least ONE writer who fights foo while going against the tide of 'politically correct thought.'

Anonymous said...

Agree with you entirely about the race. Maybe you should switch covering the race with one of your other print reporters next year. I will be on a cruise to Alaska next weekend and was going to shell out 100 bucks to use my laptop to watch the race on Trackpass since there is no way I can watch it live. After watching the AllStar race, I will have my daughter tape the 600 and watch it when I get back to SC.

Anonymous said...

Monkeesfan - "marc, as usual you don't understand the reality that's there in front of you. If they were trying for that $1 million - I mean really, honestly trying - where were the lead changes?"

Whatever guy both the all star event and many other nascar event now and before the new car was introduced are called "boring" by many.

The reality is tough luck, sh** happens live with it and quit implying something (that drivers aren't trying) you can't possibly know without the powers of Kreskin.

And BTW, how "right" were you in discussing the "twisted bodies" seen Saturday night.

Anonymous said...

david poole makes me sick with all his complaining. if he hates his job so much why don't he find a different job, we would all be happier.

jasmoran66 said...

Anonymous- you make me sick with your
constant complaining about David Poole. If you hate his column so much quit reading it and get a life. All you do is complain and not agree with anything David Poole says. It makes you, I don't know, a WHINER. Do you really believe we like to hear you complain about how terrible David Poole is? Why don't you post somewhere else, we would all be happier.

Man that was tough to write. It's amazing how being an ass can be so easy for certain anonymous types.

By the way, the race sucked!

Anonymous said...

David whines yet again that NASCAR treats the poor print media like "crap." He also complained about the location of the press box at Darlington last week, even though it's been there for 25-30 years. Quit the whining about everything in a blog where the readers are race fans spending 4 bucks a gallon on gas and yet still being so devoted they go to the races!

David is mad because he threw a temper tantrum earlier in the week and was finally firmly put in his place by NASCAR PR when he started cussing and being totally unprofessional. It's about time! They have put up with his hissy fits for years without any repercussions.

The truth is that the print media has it easy. Too easy. They get immediate quotes from TV. They get PR reps from the manufacturers to hand-deliver them all of the transcribed quotes. NASCAR gets the post-race press conference going as quickly as possible.

Actually, David is wrong about the photographers too. The photographers actually only take group photos and one quick single photo before the winner is hurredly whisked away to the media center. They do this so the team can get to work in the garage and start the 2+ hour inspection process. The photographers stay far longer than most writers. In fact, the photographers had to go back out again after the precious print writers like David get their opportunity to suck up to the drivers in person in the press conference. Saturday night, like happens every race, there was a second round of photos taken while David was writing his blog about the human anatomy and where he falls on NASCAR's biological scale.

Notice how David used to whine about the radio people but doesn't do that any longer? Now that he's got the Sirius gig, all of a sudden the radio people are OK.

David complains about everything. The parking. The security people. The track policy. NASCAR. The schedule. His seating assignment in the media center. The guys hanging the TV lights. The press box amenities. You name it . . . he's complained about it ad nauseam.

It's time for Poole to find something he enjoys doing.

Unknown said...

The previous "anonymous" is clearly a member of the NASCAR photography corps or knows someone who is.
The "tantrum" he refers to was at the pit crew competition. The event ended at just after 9 p.m. For 45 minutes, the winning teams stood around on the floor waiting for Speed and the photographers to have their "fake" celebrations. Meanwhile, those of us trying to write stories are sitting there having never talked to a winner and not being allowed to go on the floor where the photographers and local television are allowed.
The PR rep who "called me" on it was right to tell me to watch my language.
Part of the problem Saturday night was that we did NOT get to hear the quotes from the TV interview. We were on last-minute deadlines and every moment that kept Kahne from coming to the media center meant I was missing papers with my story. There were no transcribed quotes in time for me to hit my deadline.
He (or she) is also right that I complain about how things are set up for the media on a frequent basis. I am going to keep doing that until the NASCAR media, photographers included, are treated like they matter -- the way they are in other pro sports.

Anonymous said...

BUT!!!!! What about the hoochies, mon??????????

The Hoochies were AWESOME!!!

We really needed MORE hoochies Saturday nite!!!

I love me some hoochies!!

Monkeesfan said...

marc, stop just accepting a flawed competitive product. I can know when they're trying when the lead is not secure, when they are fighting hard for it.

"Many races were considered 'boring' before the new car was introduced.'" The new car was supposed to solve those problems and all it has done is exacerbate them. How is that supposed to be acceptable?

And twisted bodies from Saturday night? NASCAR thought it would solve that and it didn't - another example of the sanctioning body having no clue.

Zelda Rose said...

My solution? Make this a REAL Saturday night show. Split the field into two groups. Top ten from each go to the A Main. Run a consolation race for everyone else. Top five from that race go to the A Main.

Twenty five cars-nobody gets a free pass. Thirty laps, no pit stops, winner takes all. Watch the sparks fly.

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