By admin | November 5, 2012
By Richard Allen
If someone tuned in only for the final 20% of the AAA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway that viewer might have thought he was watching one of the greatest NASCAR races of all time. Well, maybe that’s a stretch but the final laps were exciting to watch, especially when compared to the monotonous first 80% of the event.
Unfortunately, Sunday’s race in Texas has become more like the very predictable norm rather than the exception in modern day NASCAR. All the elements of what the sport has become were on full display in the ‘Lone Star State’.
First of all, the race started too late which made it seem as though it dragged on for too long as daylight was consumed by darkness. NASCAR and its television partners seem to remain convinced that later start times are beneficial even though the delay in getting races going gives the powerful NFL juggernaut time to hook the casual fan audience before the green flag ever waves.
And once the race began, the same tired themes began to surface. Aero-tight cars just logged lap after eventless lap with no passing and no excitement throughout the first 400 miles on yet another 1.5 mile ‘cookie cutter’ track. Long green flag runs interrupted by the occasional debris caution put pit stops and track position at a premium.
And every race that plays out in the way described above will end in one of two possible ways. Either a late race caution will come out to set up a dash to the finish that is sure to provide a much coveted SportsCenter moment or a fuel mileage coasting contest will decide the issue. In the case of the Texas race, it was the former that prevailed even though a fuel run seemed to be in the works with just over one full green flag run remaining.
And to cap it all off, late race circumstances once again played out in favor of Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports team. Shocking huh?
It’s like a bad script that keeps getting sequels made even though the box office returns diminish with each screening. This ’sport’ has become far too predictable.
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