Saturday, April 04, 2009

How was this good?

FORT WORTH, Texas -- It is not Kyle Busch's job to provide good racing. Quite the contrary, it's his or any other driver's job to make a race look exactly like what most of Saturday's O'Reilly 300 did.

Busch demolished the field, one filled with fellow drivers stepping down from the Sprint Cup Series, in winning his second Nationwide Series race of the year and his 12th over the past two seasons. His No. 18 Toyota started from the pole and just beat every other car in the race to submission.

I walked out to pit road just before the midway point of the race to take a look at how many people paid to see the race and thought it was a pretty good crowd. Not tremendous, but respectable.

But I can't imagine that anybody who saw that race went home saying, "Man, I can't wait for the next chance I get to pay money to see a Nationwide race."

Busch has won the past three Nationwide Series races here. He led 300 of the 400 laps in the two races last year and led 178 this time. Brad Keselowski closed in over the final laps and got a caution on Lap 187 that set up a little bit of drama for the folks on television to talk about, but Busch still finished it off. There was a scrum for second after the last restart, but there was never any doubt about the winner.

People who run race tracks tell us all the time that they need Busch and Jeff Burton and Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth and other Cup drivers to run on Saturday to help sell tickets for Nationwide races. But if having those Cup guys with Cup-level resources competing against the people with Nationwide Series budgets means the latter have no real chance of competing, does it really do the second-tier series any good?

How do you fix it? I've always felt that if you didn't give Nationwide points to anybody currently in the top 30 in Sprint Cup points, you'd change the equation just a little bit. But at a time where tracks need help selling every ticket they can't, I wouldn't hold my breath for anything to change.


foyt said...

I've heard most all media comment that the drivers would "race shopping carts if they had to". I have friends who say they would go watch "ants run around the track" if that was what was on the program.

Maybe NA$CAR needs to put a bunch of ants behind shopping carts and race them on Saturday.

I too am against Cup guys racing on Saturday, and agree with David's plan regarding points.

Anonymous said...

More Poole crap.
If Dale Earnhardt Junior was winning in this series Poole would be applauding it.Or any HMS driver for that matter.
Nice story though about Junior dressing like wahoo.They go hand in hand.they're all fake!Including Junior.

Anonymous said...

I just don't like a one man race. I don't know why people like to see one driver leading all the laps. That go fo Jr or Gordon or Burton or any other driver. A race is suppose to be compitition not a one man show.

Mike Hutton said...

My suggestion has always been to have each NASCAR driver designate their primary series (Cup, Nationwide or Truck) each year when they receive their license.

They may race "up" divisions as much as they'd like if they have a ride, have been approved for a particular track, etc. They may race "down" only 6 times per year.

You would then see the likes of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, et. al. in a maximum of 6 Nationwide races each year, leaving Nationwide Series regulars to battle for the title.

Unknown said...

This has turned into a JOKE.

Does any other sport allow the top tier guys to play in the minors? NO. Why does NASCAR? Because the "Good 'Ole Boy Network" can't see outside the box, or their sandbox for that matter.

Allowing this to continue to go on is like allowing the rich to get richer.

Unknown said...

If the plan is to wring every last penny out of this series while running it into the ground, NASCAR and it's partners are doing a bang-up job. Tony George and the Champ Car idiots couldn't even dream of screwing a series up this bad. Every compelling reason to watch has been systematically eliminated over the last few years.

Fix: Bring back the young drivers waiting for cup rides. There are plenty out there, name brand ones at that. Brad Coleman, Landon Cassill, Stephen Leicht, Erik Darnell, Kelly Bires, Brian Clausson, etc. Reduce the cost of competition and promote the crap out of those guys. Nobody wants to see a bunch of cup guys riding around and bunch of jerks start-and-park.

Anonymous said...

My Nationwide driver is Justin Allgaier because he is from my mother's hometown. He came in 5th in Martinsville, having never been on that track before. When one of the later television shows discussed the Nationwide race, they profiled the top 4, all Cup drivers, and didn't even mention Justin although, to me, his achievement was more than any of theirs. Someone like Justin would have a shot at winning a Nationwide championship if the greedy Cup guys didn't come down and take them.

Anonymous said...

What is Busch celebrating when he raises his hands after the race? That he beat three or four other guys? Whoopee. He would be proud of that.

Rob said...

I think the best remedy is only the cup drivers outside the top 15 can enter a nationwide or truck series race. You still get the"competition of the cup guys" but probably not the runaway high buck teams competing. Besides there is large talent pool that needs a ride

Joe said...

I think Kyle Busch would race eight year olds in go-karts if it were sanctioned by NASCAR; on top of that he would stand on the go kart after winning and do his signature bow to all the parents watching. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he races just because he loves to race, but I believe that moreover, he just wants to say "look at me, I win everything." I am in full agreement about Cup guys racing in the NNS. Even Jr. Sadly, there's nothing that can/will be done. NA$CAR needs the Buschwhackers there to sell Saturday tickets. And that's all there is to it. They don't give a rat's about developing drivers. If it's not an out-of-the-box Chase contender, they just don't care.

Monkeesfan said...

Earl, it was CART, not Tony George, who ruined Indycar racing.

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kimberly sayer said...

David Andrew Poole is an English footballer who is currently playing for Stockport County in League One.A product of the Manchester United academy,Costa rica tourshe left United for a trial with Yeovil after the Old Trafford giants decided to abandon one of their reserve sides. David, a right-sided midfielder (right winger), impressed then manager, Gary Johnson, during his month at Huish Park and he was signed by the Glovers in June 2005.

cheap electronics said...

I've heard most all media comment that the drivers would "race shopping carts if they had to". I have friends who say they would go watch "ants run around the track" if that was what was on the program.

Maybe NA$CAR needs to put a bunch of ants behind shopping carts and race them on Saturday.