By admin | March 17, 2014
By Richard Allen
The racing on Sunday at the Bristol Motor Speedway was outstanding. Drivers were swapping positions as they moved up and down the score board all throughout the day and night in what has proven to be the most entertaining race so far in this young 2014 NASCAR season.
But please, don’t be fooled by the hype. No matter what you may have heard on television or some other source of information, the new format for making the Chase for the Sprint Cup did not cause great racing on Sunday. Instead, the tire brought by Goodyear did.
Drivers have always wanted to win. This new format hasn’t suddenly made them want to win more. The problem has for some time been the fact that the car(call it CoT, Gen5 or Gen6 if you want, it’s all the same car) will not allow them to race any better than they have been. Combine a bad car with tires that are so hard they never show signs of wear and you will get bad racing every time. Finally on Sunday in Bristol, all the circumstances for great racing came together at once.
The fact that this race was held on a short track rather than a 1.5 or 2 mile ‘cookie cutter’ helped to negate the effect of ’clean’ and/or ‘dirty’ air. And most importantly, the tires used this past weekend actually showed signs of wear throughout a full fuel run. In other words, there was a noticeable difference from the beginning of a run to the end of the run in the speed and performance of the cars.
But don’t just take my word for it.
During Friday’s practice session, Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer tweeted, “Finally…FINALLY, there is a tire at Bristol that drastically falls off during a run. Good for business folks!!!”
And after the weekend of racing, Nationwide Series regular Elliott Sadler echoed Bowyer’s thoughts when he tweeted, “Great job by @GoodyearRacing this weekend… Tire had grip and fall off… Fall off creates great racing…”
NASCAR has for a long time needed a tire that will fall off during each run. That creates a situation in which there will be ‘comers’ and ‘goers’ as different driving styles and setups have varying effects on tire wear. The points format could be any one of the multiple choice options that have been used over the last couple of decades and the racing would be great if the car being used was capable of passing. NASCAR could have this virtually every week if they would loosen up the rules a bit and encourage and/or allow Goodyear to bring compounds that will wear away.
But for now, I guess we will have to be happy with one good race that no one attended and fewer watched on TV than last year.
Topics: Articles |