Postponing Brickyard until Monday would have been best option
After days of hearing about how his track’s “abrasive surface” is part of the reason Sunday’s event turned into something less than a race, George came out Tuesday and said: “The problem is solely (NASCAR‘s), and by that I mean it’s theirs to figure out. It’s not going to come with anything we do to the track.”
Then George threw down the gauntlet: “The track won’t change next year, so if they want to come back, they better figure it out because I don’t think the fans want to come back and see that.”
Tony George has done a lot of things in the past that fans don’t like (see: Indycar split), but he is a very smart man. He realizes, as should fans, that NASCAR and Goodyear really screwed up by not doing more testing to make sure the tires Goodyear provide were going to work with the COT. They did not do their homework, and the race fans and race teams suffered as a result. The “diamond-grinding” process Indy uses to smooth out the track works fine for the Indy 500, so that’s not going to change anytime soon. Between now and next summer, NASCAR and Goodyear need to do as much testing as is necessary to find out what’s going on at Indy and make sure next year‘s race goes off smoothly.
In a move I hope doesn’t turn out like George Bush Sr.’s “No new taxes” remark, NASCAR’s Robin Pemberton has come out to say “This won’t happen again” … I hope he’s right, but I won’t head to Vegas just yet to bet on it.
One argument that really bothers me that I’ve been hearing all week is: “At least all the drivers raced. Most of the Formula 1 drivers pulled into pit lane and refused to race after their tire problem”
In retrospect, all the drivers pulling into pit lane and refusing to race would have been the best move possible Sunday. They should have given Goodyear and NASCAR 24 hours to either rubber up the track properly, or bring in a tire that would last more than 10 green laps and not endanger their lives, and then held the race Monday. The Formula 1 drivers were smart … why should they go out and risk their lives just so F1 can continue to put on its show. Safety is more important than entertainment. CART drivers pulled a similar move at Texas in 2001 to ensure their safety, when the speeds and G-forces got out of control and they were feeling dizzy and couldn‘t control their cars.
The standby “They did the best they can” argument to defend NASCAR means very little when what happened on track Sunday can hardly be called a competition.
I know why a postponement didn’t happen … there were more than 200,000 people in the stands who were promised a race, and postponing it would cause chaos … as many would have to go to work Monday and thus never see the race, but it really was the best option if the goal was to provide a good race for the fans.
Though it will never happen, those fans deserve a refund.
I’m not sure who needs whom more between NASCAR and the Brickyard, but neither one of them wants to see the Brickyard 400 stop running. The chance of that happening is close to zero, as too many people make boatloads of money off this race. But if next year brings another show like we had Sunday, it might actually be discussed.
Adios, Mexico City!
In a move I find disappointing, the Mexico City race has been dropped from next year’s Nationwide schedule. NASCAR says its already achieved its goal of further developing stock-car racing in that region.
They say a permanent race outside the country was never planned.
I think that’s a copout, and robs the up-and-coming drivers of another chance to hone their road-racing skills. Also, I bet money was a factor in removing the race, which is understandable, but they won’t even come out and say it. The replacement race will likely be at Iowa Speedway, which could be an entertaining race, but I hate to lose a great race at a great track from the schedule.
Johnson going Truck racing
Randy Moss Motorsports has delivered on their promise to land a big-time Cup driver, at least for one race. Defending champ Jimmie Johnson will get into the team’s Truck at Bristol Motor Speedway. It’s Johnson’s first Truck race ever, but it’s still a huge score for Moss’ team to land a driver of Jimmie’s caliber. The team must be on the right track, or stars like Johnson wouldn’t consider getting behind the wheel.