By admin | November 15, 2012
By Richard Allen
Anyone who says this year’s Chase for the Championship has been exciting is either kidding themselves or is an employee of NASCAR or one of its networks. Otherwise, the nine races held within this season’s “playoff” have been hard to watch even for the most die-hard of fans.
Fuel mileage coasts capping off lap after lap of eventless parading around 1.5 mile tracks have hardly shown Sprint Cup racing in its best light. The Chase, which was supposed to create an air of excitement in the stretch run when NASCAR goes head to head with the NFL, has failed to produce that which is promised no matter what the talking head water carriers for the sport might say.
Simply having an artificially close points battle does not in any way improve the racing on the track.
But this past Sunday in Phoenix, there was actually a reason to talk about NASCAR. In a matter of only a few minutes, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon provided more excitment than the entirety of the Chase. Turns out, emotion and passion can still be a part of the sport. It seems as though some ‘experts’ have forgotten that it was this very type of incident that transformed NASCAR into a household word back in 1979.
Now before you scroll down to the comments box to tell me there is no place for the actions of (fill in the name of whichever you disagreed with here) in this sport, I am not necessarily condoning the act of running another driver to the wall, waiting for another driver to circle back around the track in order to take him out or the use of profanity on national television. But I am advocating that the personalities of this sport actually act like…personalities.
This sport has become far too vanilla and far too politically correct. It seems as though the major players are more afraid of making someone mad than they are of losing. Those are not the attitudes that originally drew people to this form of racing.
I am not advocating that there be a bunch of intentional take outs every week. Nor am I saying that every race needs to take on the appearance of a bar room brawl. I am saying that the principles involved need to look like they care more about winning than they do about their image as a corporate clone.
The bottom line, if the sport of NASCAR racing is to distinuguish itself from other sports and remain true to its roots, it has to have emotion and passion. That’s not to say incidents like the one on Sunday should be staged for enrtertainment purposes. This is not professional wrestling.
Contrived gimmicks are not the answer. Real racing with real dramaÂ are the answer.
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