This Week in NASCAR [March 22nd Edition]

With the penalty overturned, will Jimmie Johnson put an exclamation point on his week with a win at Fontana?

3/22/12 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

So by now, unless you live under a rock, you know that John Middlebrook overturned the penalties levied against the 48 team, and with that ruling, Jimmie is now in 11th place in the points standings. 

Now, the question is, will he put a great big EFF YOU on the week by winning at Fontana?  It's entirely possible.  Jimmie does well at Fontana,( now known as the Auto Club Speedway for yet another commercial reason), and could easily put that cap on his week.  After all, he and Chad won here first in 2002.

However, Fontana is a track where other drivers also excel.  Chevy has won the last four races at the track, but that doesn't mean the Fords of Roush can't  come out on top.  Matt Kenseth is having a very decent year so far, unlike his teammate, Carl Edwards, who has had a disasterous start to his year.  Carl is due to have something go right, and this weekend could very well be the one to turn his year around.  

But wait, did I forget Harvick?  He was the victor last year.  He has also been pretty stout this year so far, only needing a win to get his drive for a Championship started off in the right direction.  

Rumors have been circling that Bruton Smith, the owner of Bristol Motor Speedway, is concerned over the empty seats in the stands for the last race.  Twitter was all abuzz over the empty seats, and although all of my friends who regularly attend the Bristol races were there, many more were not.  A few years ago there was a two year or more waiting list to get seats to a Bristol race.  Now, it seems they couldn't give them away.  The track was reconfigured in 2007, making the banking more variable and opening up the racetrack to allow for more side by side racing.   Unfortunately, the fans don't like that.  They want to see the beating and banging that Bristol was famous for.  They want to see more of the racing that makes tempers rage and drivers want to take off their helmets and punch the guy who took them out.  

Bruton has said that they are looking at the specifications for the track before the reconfiguration of 2007 and if the fans want to see the old style racing on the old track,  well, he just might be convinced to give it to them.  Bruton will have to weigh the pros and cons.  If he invests a pile of money in the re-reconfiguration, the fans should return, right?  

It could be that it is more than the track configuration keeping the fans away.  If the economy is playing a large part in fans not travelling to the track, the re-reconfiguration of the track won't change anything.  

Here's hoping the fans are honest about their opinions and Bruton gets a true idea of what they want to see.  We should know by next week if the track will be ripped up and put back the way it used to be.  Bruton has promised the changes will start immediately and be completed in time for the August 25th night race. 

One thing is for certain, the stands are not as full as they used to be, at any of the tracks.  Some of the venues have reacted to the economy and lowered ticket prices, or combined tickets with food, drinks, parking, even hotel rooms.  It's informative to follow some of the media on twitter, as they don't hold anything back when commenting about the prices at the venues.  According to some, the price of a hotel room withing 60 miles of Bristol was three times what it would be normally.  That is the kind of deterrent that will certainly keep fans away from the track, old configuration or new.  

The Nationwide race at Fontana will run Saturday with the race Sunday getting underway at 2:30 ET.  

So, tell me.  Who are your picks for the races?  What do you think about the changes considered for Bristol?  Do you think changing the track will bring back the fans?  And what about Fontana?  Is this going to be an exciting race, or a ho hum day?  
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

3/24/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Aaaaand, Joe Gibbs Racing continues their dominance at California with Joey Logano winning in the Nationwide Race (time delayed by the LOSERS in sports, TSN)

3/23/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Agree, some "ha ha" & "oh noooo" moments

And a few laugh out loud moments as well.............

3/23/12   |   JenX63   |   32817 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Yep, the incar audio has been great for the fans. We get to hear the disagreements, the sarcasm, the bitching and moaning.

Agree, some "ha ha" & "oh noooo" moments

3/23/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

JenX63 wrote:
HaT! to Carl. I said it last year, I watch very closely when jimmie & chad are together, just like couples that have been together for a long time. Their body language doesn't match what the mouths are saying. Heck it was a good run for them, but, times are changing just like people. Jimmie will win some races, maybe even another championship, but beating a dead horse doesnt make it deader, just flatter.

Yep, the incar audio has been great for the fans. We get to hear the disagreements, the sarcasm, the bitching and moaning.

3/23/12   |   JenX63   |   32817 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I am feeling the same about Chad and Jimmie, to be honest.  I'm just not sure it is over and done.  I hope so.  I think Harvick will be be a contender for sure.  And yes, I feel good about Matt's chances.  He has been quiet and strong, as usual this year.  And I'm loving all the trouble Carl is having......

HaT! to Carl. I said it last year, I watch very closely when jimmie & chad are together, just like couples that have been together for a long time. Their body language doesn't match what the mouths are saying. Heck it was a good run for them, but, times are changing just like people. Jimmie will win some races, maybe even another championship, but beating a dead horse doesnt make it deader, just flatter.

3/23/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

JenX63 wrote:
I'm taking Harvick (well cause I like him, but I think it's time for the push to champion row and Mattie, I dont have a clue, just feeling this is the track. Go for it Bruton, I miss the old Bristol. Jimmie, meh, hes had Chad since Daytona, either he will do ok or not, I still think the "magic" is gone in that relationship, this year will prove it or not.

I am feeling the same about Chad and Jimmie, to be honest.  I'm just not sure it is over and done.  I hope so.  I think Harvick will be be a contender for sure.  And yes, I feel good about Matt's chances.  He has been quiet and strong, as usual this year.  And I'm loving all the trouble Carl is having......

3/23/12   |   JenX63   |   32817 respect

I'm taking Harvick (well cause I like him, but I think it's time for the push to champion row and Mattie, I dont have a clue, just feeling this is the track. Go for it Bruton, I miss the old Bristol. Jimmie, meh, hes had Chad since Daytona, either he will do ok or not, I still think the "magic" is gone in that relationship, this year will prove it or not.