The Gen6 Car Gets Another Look at Daytona
Go figure. I guess there wasn't enough drama in NASCAR this week, so some had to be created.
In any case, confiscation or not, Matt Kenseth showed last night that he has Daytona all figured out. First he came out and led the Daytona 500 in a brand new car with a brand new team, only to be taken out by a failed engine. After the win in the Nationwide series last night, and a front row start for tonight's race, one can only hope the engines will hold up and give Kenseth the win he deserves. His teammate, Kyle Busch, the pole winner, might be his biggest competition. In fact, with Toyota dominating the top ten positions, it will be interesting to see if they can hold it all together, or if the Fords and Chevrolets will show themselves. Kasey Kahne is the only Chev starting in the top five.
One thing to definitely hope for is a race. We always know there is about a 99% chance we will see a big one, but some racing during green flag laps is a benefit. A parade of cars or a two-car-tango is not what the fans want to see. By most accounts, the Gen6 car will allow us to see racing.
But back to the Nationwide race for a second. We all know that I am a strong advocate for the series to be a Nationwide drivers only race. I've said that for years, back when it was the Busch series. I still say that. However, I will say I enjoy the parade of special paint some of the Sprint Cup drivers display. This year it was Kurt Busch channeling Cole Trickle. Travis Pastana had a Red White and Blue scheme in honor of Independence Day. In 2010, Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the Childress Racing number 3 Wrangler. For tonight's race, Brad Keselowski also has a Red White and Blue paint scheme, but the Nationwide Series paint schemes always seem to be the ones I remember.
Before I wrap this up for today and let you get on with making your race picks, I want to offer one more gem. Most of the race tracks on the circuit are suffering financially, due to empty seats. Unfortunately, although most of the tracks are offering deals on ticket prices, the businesses surrounding the tracks can't be counted on to do the same. As we've heard many times, although Bristol is one of the best races to attend live, the average Joe can't afford to stay in a hotel for even one night, let alone two, when the room prices triple and sometimes quadruple for race weekend. That, my friends, is the very definition of gouging, in my opinion. Daytona will undergo a radical transformation over the next three years, commencing immediately after tonight's race, and in fact, ground breaking has already taken place. It has been dubbed "Daytona Rising" and will see the removal of 31% of the seating. However, when completed, the seating will be transformed into "Neighborhoods", and the plan promises a better experience for those fans who do spend the big bucks to attend a race. With big screen TV's visible from every seat, fans are promised they will miss none of the action. Everyone seems to think it will be a much better experience, and worth the money.
I'll reserve judgment on that. In fact, I'll go attend racing at my local track where I can see the cars race, in person, with no TV screens necessary. I'll get the dust from the track on my clothes, breath in the oil and gas fumes, eat a hot dog, complete with said dust, and drink a cold beverage poured into a Red Solo Cup. It costs me $15 to get into the track. A hot dog is $2.50 and a beer is $5. And the racing is definitely something to cheer about.
Yep, one of these days I'd love to go to Daytona or Bristol. I guess I'll just keep buying those lottery tickets.
I'm taking Dale Earnhardt Jr this week. Enough engine problems. Enough bad luck. Jr., let your talent shine through this weekend.
How about you? Who's your pick?