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What a shame more fans could not see Atlanta race

By admin | September 6, 2011

By Richard Allen

After a disappointing rainout on Sunday evening which eventually pushed the one and only Sprint Cup race of the season at the Atlanta Motor Speedway all the way to Tuesday, it was an easy guess that not very many people would be in attendance or able watch the television broadcast of the AdvoCare 500.

As it turned out, there were actually more fans in the grandstands than many might have thought on Tuesday morning when cars took the green flag. However, there were still far fewer than would have been on hand had the race run on its scheduled Sunday night. And very likely, the television audience was significantly smaller than it would have been as well.

Both of those factors proved to be a shame as many fans missed one of the best races of the season. As is so often the case when track surfaces are as abrasive as that of AMS, cars were running high and low at both ends of the track. There were so called ‘comers and goers’ as tire wear would cause some drivers to jump out to the lead only to fade as those who best conserved their rubber early in the run would move through the pack late in the run. There was plenty of passing and side by side action as well as some intense action after restarts.

A number of drivers including Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson took turns leading and looking like potential winners. There was even a bit of controversy involving Clint Bowyer and Juan Pablo Montoya.

And while the pit strategy of two tires vs. four tires played a role in the running of the race, this event was not won simply by the team knocking down the best pit stop on the final caution of the day.

This race had all the elements of a classic contest and in the end it proved to be just that. The final twenty lap battle between teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson featured some of the best racing of the year with both drivers pushing their cars to the limit and hanging both machines sideways as they went side by side on a number of occasions.

NASCAR needed a great race at this critical juncture of the season and they got it…on a Tuesday. It was truly unfortunate that not many people saw it due to the poor timing of Tropical Storm Lee. The staff of Atlanta Motor Speedway had worked hard to make their one event of the year a great one. They deserved a better fate.

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7 Responses to “What a shame more fans could not see Atlanta race”

  1. Charles Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    The racing was good if you are a Hendrick and Chevy Fan, Jeff Gordon fan!

    Its more of the same old “predictable Hendrick” benefit this time of the year,that seems to be taking place, except they are bringing Jeff Gordon up this time!

    The ‘power”advantage of Chevys RO7 Engine,that has run ranpant with no penality and G.M strong lobbying power has made Nascar as far as Chase or Points or Nascar racing a joke, and here come the same old same old again!

    While some fans may like bringing Jeff Gordon up, just like they did with Mark Martin, some of us has been there and done that! As for Hendrick as long as its one of his drivers and keeps it in the family he dont care, its been his playground for years, Gordon has 4 titles, Johnson 5 in a row, not to mention Terry Labortes 1, so 10 titles in 17 years has gotten old!

    Look Jeff Gordon is a great driver and so is Jimmy Johnson, but if Nascar wants to get its act together,spread its fanbase to include, car fans as well as driver fans then the wise thing is to “even it up”so the status quo want have as easy of time!

    Having Jeff Gordons Chevy race with say Carl Edwards Ford, or Kurt Buschs or Brad Ks Dodge would have been a better script!! Not a Hendrick benefit!

  2. Ken Says:
    September 7th, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Charles, the problem is that, without a doubt, Tricky-Ricky has the deepest pockets, and therefore will be unbeatable. Nobody in a Ford, Dodge, or even Toyota, will be able to compete over the next 11 races. And you can bet, what with the buddy-buddy relationship that Tricky-Ricky has with Brainless-Brian, this Championship will be “All Jeffy, All Jimmie”, and there is nothing anyone else will be able to do about it! Look for these two to dominate the TV coverage (at Brian’s orders?). The season is now officially over for any other driver and their fans. Oh well, I can’t stand either of them, so my Sundays and Saturday nights are now freed up! See you in 2012, unless that also turns out to be more of the same.

  3. Sue Rarick Says:
    September 7th, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I have to agree that it was a great race even though my favorite was no where to be seen at the end. I happen to be lucky and have set up my studio so I can watch TV on one of the monitors, so I can worl and watch at the same time. Although I also have a steering wheel on the desk so I can do some iRacing for a break - lol

  4. Carl Watson Says:
    September 8th, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I’ve been watching NASCAR since the 70’s and the conspiracy theories never cease to amaze me.

    When Kyle goes out and wins a ton of races, I read comments from people about how that is the result of all that Toyota money lining NASCAR’s pockets to gain an advantage. An act which is driving away fans because they’re allowing a foreign make to run roughshod over an American make.

    When Ford goes out and wins races at the end of 2010 and seemed so strong at the start of this year, I read about how that was because of the unfair advantage of the new Ford engine, with its lower center of gravity, and once again NASCAR was allowing this unfair advantage to exist.

    Now I’m reading about how Hendrick money is responsible for an unfair advantage, and NASCAR is basically manipulating things (or standing idly by and allowing others to manipulate them) to give Chevy an advantage.

    The only conspiracy theories I don’t seem to come across are ones regarding Dodge, probably because they only have 2 cars in the field and even conspiracy folks have a difficult time beating up on a single team.

    So if conspiracy theorists are to be believed, NASCAR is concurrently taking bribes from 3 competing manufacturers to give each the advantage. Doesn’t seem very logical but logic be damned, conspiracies are more fun!! LOL

    Besides, if that were true, it would indicate a leveling of cunning on Brian’s part that I don’t think his little mind is capable of…

    I wish folks would realize that this is in part why we have this Can of Tomorrow rolling around the track.

    Every week one manufacturer (and its fans) was complaining to NASCAR that “Mommy!!! His toy is better than mine! Fix it!”. The days of France Sr saying “Well, if they’re kicking your butt, figure out what they’re doing, and go do it” died with the man.

    So eventually we wound up with NASCAR passing out the same ugly, crappy little toy to all of it’s whiny children to play with, because at least they’re equal. ROFL

    That’s OK though, because eventually we’ll wind up with some SPEC engine and then folks will have something new to moan about.

    It was an exciting finish, I enjoyed it. I turned off the TV. Try it sometime, just enjoy a thing of beauty for what it is and leave it at that! Geez. :)

  5. Charles Says:
    September 8th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Carl Watson

    I am giving you facts!!!, not comspiracy theory!!!!!! its been one manufacterer GM or Chevy and Hendrick dominating the main crown in Nascar for the last decade!


    Lets see Hendrick has won 10 point titiles in 17 years all under one brand Chevy!And thats with 3 different drivers!

    Name me another manufacter that has won over two in a row in that time period!

    If you are a Chevy and Hendrick fan and ‘you must’ be then you are showing your colors and are satisfied! A lot of fans of the other teams and brands of cars have done just what you said ‘turned TV and Nascar off!

    Remember the ‘”big crown” in Nascar is the point title, who has dominated that?? This Globetrotter Chevy and Hendrick and the others the Washington Generals business plan has gotten old to some of us! An its a reason to complain! Sure they will take the crown while the others get the scraps!

    Nascar is different that say Football or Baseball in that they all use the same ball, so far in Nascar the engine is the only main difference, no one in the press explains Chevys horsepower advantage the RO7engine, but at Daytona the first race of the season all the press was trumping the Ford engine before it even one 5 races! Fair needs to be fair!

    Nascar needs to let the ‘Car Owners” have at it again, and start complaining weekly, thats what Car Fans loved in the old days! Be more transparent, this secret hush hush of todays Nascar is causing more questions that answers!

    Chevy has great cars and teams t, but no matter how you want to cut, deny it, the facts are the same, one brand and one team is dominating for decades now, and its Nascar responibiliy to ‘even it up”!!!!

  6. Bob Robbins Says:
    September 11th, 2011 at 12:49 am

    It should be any car on the track has to be a production car. Take them off the showroom floor, make them safe, then work with the engine and drivetrain that is available in that model. If the car is a front drive at the dealer, then that cannot be changed. If it comes with a v6 then that cannot be changed. There are no Ford, Dodges, Toyotas,or Obamarolets out there. This is supposed to be STOCK car racing, not hand built machine racing. Who cares any way. It is all fake and rigged. Congrats to Jimmie Johnson on his 6th championship this year.That is pretty good when you can win nascar championships and super bowl titles with the cowboys. By the way, Jimmie looks younger since he quit coaching and started racing.

  7. Carl Watson Says:
    September 20th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    @ Charles - Not a Chevy or Hendrick fan, although being an old school Terry Labonte fan, I was happy when got a chance to enjoy a resurgence for awhile after most teams had written him off, in the same way I was happy to see Bill Elliot get a chance for a resurgence at Evernham, albeit driving a Dodge.

    I’m a blue oval Ford guy if you must know, I grew up in a family who drove Fords, including a beautifully restored 1956 Ford Customline. So it ain’t like I’m thrilled to see Chevy go out there and win so damn much. LOL

    Rest in Peace Davey Allison, cause him + Yates horsepower would have resulted in a lot fewer wins for Gordon and HMS. Believe that, cause if you wanna talk about engine advantage, Yates in his prime wtfpwned.

    Red Farmer was competitive behind the wheel of that Havaline Ford once race while Davey was injured for crying out loud.

    ..and ONLY a Ford guy would remember that little detail above.

    Yes, it is a fact that HMS was won all those championships you speak of, but then dollars buys speed, and always has, and he has them aplenty. Hence the old racing axiom of “How fast can I go? How much can you spend?”.

    Consider the teams that the other manufacturers have been aligned with for the past 10 years or so.

    Dodge - Their main teams were the now defunct Evernham Motorsports, Petty, and then Penske. Evernham was strong with Sterling for a few years, but he pretty much let others captain that ship while he cut checks after awhile, and the team fell apart. Petty, god love em, hasn’t been a really strong team in decades, whether they were running Fords, Pontiacs, or Dodges. Penske, now he truly has mega bucks like Hendrick but in 30 years, Penske South has never enjoyed the same success as his open wheel stuff. If you can pinpoint why, go give him a call.

    Toyota - Well they had Red Bull, big whoop, MWR, a team owned by a guy who was an also ran his entire career, and JGR. JGR’s been their only saving grace, and even that hasn’t stopped them from having way too many parts failures. If you will recall, JGR was the only decent Pontiac team back in the day as well.

    Ford pretty much lives or dies on whether Roush has their act together, and they’re up and down from year to the next. Yates crapped out, Woods only runs partial schedules, Penske left Ford for Dodge. It was only just a few years ago that Edwards won 8 or 9 races in a season.

    Hendrick could have won championship with whatever manufacturer they aligned with, it just happened to be Chevy.

    This whole idea that NASCAR needs to even it up is in large part WHY we have this utterly craptastic car of tomorrow.

    Back in the day, manufacturers would design the vehicles to gain an advantage, and for one year or two, one manufacturer would have a better front end, spoiler, roofline, etc. Then the other manufacturers would go back to the drawing board and design their cars to compete.

    It led to some pretty cool looking production vehicles on showroom floors. Today, I can’t tell one brand from another unless I drive up into their bumper so I can see a manufacturer badge.

    The shape of the bodies were different, and gave each mfr certain advantages and disadvantages, even at different tracks. But every damn week, one make was complaining about the other make, until finally NASCAR said “Here, now you’re all identical, shut the hell up already”.

    Now you want NASCAR to even it up on the engines. Great, let’s just move to a spec engine, and then we can have a spec engine in a spec car. We had that, it was called IROC, and IROC died.

    I honestly don’t know how anyone can even be a Chevy fan, or a Ford fan, or an anything fan anymore since they’re all just generic bodies with generic teams and all too often generic corporate PR spokespersons driving the things.