NASCAR: My Rant As Speedweeks Has Come to an End

Credit: Sean Gardner / NASCAR via Getty Images

Credit: Sean Gardner / NASCAR via Getty Images

Daytona Speedweeks… I think its safe to say that this has got to be one of every NASCAR fan’s favorite weeks of the year, maybe second to the one week leading up to a NASCAR race in their home town. There is plenty to see, plenty to cover, and plenty to talk about. Now I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, hell it’s what made me want to start this website in the first place. Some people bring up some great points, some people just argue for the sake of arguing, some people weigh in because they don’t like or don’t know the sport.

For the first time in a few years I was able to keep up with a lot of what was going on during speedweeks  thanks to a couple of things. My in-laws actually packing up and heading down their for the week and allowing us to house sit and use their cable for one, plenty of activity on social media, as well as the Fox Sports Go app that I was glued to either on my iPad or phone for two! Over the past week I have seen a good amount of people ranting over all kinds of things on Facebook & Twitter. Now over the past year I have learned how to distinguish between my friends and colleges posting things for the simple fact to get people fired up and talking and when hey actually don’t like things. So that is what I am going to do today; some of my rants are truly things I was yelling at my screens this past week, while some things I just want to see how people react.

Issue With Group Qualifying on Super Speedways

Speedweeks 2015 1

Traffic piling up on I-64 EB at the HRBT… I mean the end of pit road (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Group qualifying… Euro qualifying, or what ever you want to call it should never have been introduced to Super Speedway racing! PERIOD! End of story! Back in 2014 when this method was introduced the VP of competition and racing development Robin Pemberton was quoted as saying the changes to the qualifying procedure was to engage the fans watching on various forms of media, not only that but creating even greater competition for the drivers and teams going into the event.

We believe the timing is right for a new Coors Light Pole Award Qualifying format across our three national series. –NASCAR.com

Well my friends I think they dropped the ball incredibly hard on this one. Take away the thought of Talladega because we are talking about speedweeks but, did NASCAR just somehow forget about the Budweiser Duels? Let me lay it out for you like this; NASCAR puts on a race during qualifying to set the field for the qualifier race that sets the field for the 500? Why? Just seems like a whole lot of moving and extra stress.

This style of group qualifying has all the making of being highly competitive and more engaging to our fans in the stands and those watching on television and online. For the drivers and teams, we believe this new qualifying will fuel even greater competition leading into the events. –NASCAR.com

Competitive? Yes. More engaging? Heck no! Again I am only speaking about group qualifying on the Super Speedway. What is so exciting about watching the teams get the “green light” to hit the track and all they do is get pushed out of their stall and stall out at the end of pit road and wait to see who goes first. Looks a lot like the old style qualifying to me, just this time cars are scattered all over the place and instead of letting them go one at a time the official on pit road just says, “screw it, have at it.” The format is great for smaller tracks, but on a track that is so dependent on the draft, I say get rid of it!

 

People Talking So Much Crap About Danica Patrick

DanicaPatrickSo let’s get this out-of-the-way pretty quick, back when Danica ran in the Indy Car series I would root for her on race day. I never really had a dog in the Indy Car fight, but I wanted to see her do good things! It’s pretty fair to say she was never spectacular during her time in open wheel racing (1 win, 7 podiums, 1 pole) but none the less she made it to the top tier in her sport, some credit has to be given.

When she made the jump into NASCAR I don’t really think she should have come right to the now Xfinity Series. However with her level of stardom and marketability you can see why she was given what she has. What I don’t get is the amount of crap people online were giving the girl all during speedweeks. Of course you are going to have your fans that pick a driver to hate, yea don’t try and fool yourself we all have them. Then there are some people out there that I feel hate on the girl because maybe they are a little jealous?

There is one thing that we have to come to terms with when it comes to Danica Patrick; she will never be Earnhardt or a Petty, she won’t be a Jeff Gordon, or do something as spectacular as Jimmie Johnson. She may in fact go through her entire NASCAR career and never get a win. Does not getting a win in one of the top three tiers make her a waste of space on the track? She wrecked three cars I believe during speedweeks, at a track where in a millisecond things can go bonkers!

The one thing I will always argue is the fact that she is there and we are not! Sure, I have witnessed plenty of female drivers in the local series and touring series with some talent and maybe one day they will make it up to the top, but we will just have to wait till then! Honestly, if Danica could have started in the K&N Series or something maybe she would have had more success on the track! Either way Tony Stewart being the savvy business man he is saw an opportunity to attack a new market into NASCAR and his team and capitalized! Lets stop ranting how she doesn’t belong in the sport, she is a waste of driver space, she has no talent, blah blah blah.

No Busch Brothers to Start 2015

It was pretty wild to see the events unfold that took the Busch brothers out of the Daytona 500. Both very unfortunate events for sure – Kurt being suspended for something that was never proved in a court of law & Kyle injury himself in a Xfinity race. I’m sorry but I don’t see where NASCAR has the right to suspend a guy for something he was never convicted over. I get it, NASCAR doesn’t want the sport to get a bad stigma by allowing people to participate who are going to bring a bad reputation. What happened to “innocent until proven guilty,” your potentially ruining a mans career over allegations. My question is what happens when he goes to court and is found not guilty, will you lift the suspension NASCAR?

Photo: Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Then that same day younger brother Kyle goes for this long slow half spin down and into the inside wall of Daytona and seriously injuring himself to the point he needs surgery. The immediate reaction from reporters, fans, other drivers and the such were why no safer barriers down in that area in the first place. You know I didn’t really ask that question when it first happened because look at the amount of run off there is in that particular area. The one thing I will say I am always pleased with NASCAR is their reaction time. When a problem pops up they quickly move to help make the sport safer for everyone involved! Seriously, take a step back and look at all the improvements we have made to the cars, the seats, the restraints. 14 – 10 – 8 years ago if Kyle Busch would have hit that same wall, at those same speeds, in the car of that time, would Busch been able walk away from that wreck with his life… without some other life altering disability?

The wreck happened, the injury happened, and a plan happened to make those walls safer in the future!

2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (going into round one, with seeds & wins)

My last little segment to go along with this post is my very early and very bold predictions going forward this season. I have spent some time thinking over the chase format and how things went last year and how things were looking during speedweeks and have come up how the Chase will atlas start of this year. Just to help clarify things a bit; the number all the way to the left is the seed I am predicting they will be placed at for the “play offs” if you will, and the number to the right is the number of wins I am predicting from that driver!

Again, with just one week into the season I know it is pretty hard to envision what will happen months down the road but let me just explain a few things. I think Harvick will continue to ride the hot streak from 2014 and be the man with the “most” wins/points after Richmond in September. I think Tony Stewart will have a great “come back” year and snag him a few races. I also feel that Kyle Larson will rise to the top and grab his first and/or second wins in the Sprint Cup Series! AJ Allmendinger & Sam Hornish Jr. are my pretty bold picks to grab a spot this year and I believe we really need to watch out for them again at the road races. Making the show but not gathering a win again Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman with my ultra-bold prediction of Martin Truex Jr. sneaking in there as one of the guys who is going to be consistent all season.

Make sure to leave a comment with your predictions!

1. Kevin Harvick (5)
2. Joey Logano (5)
3. Jeff Gordon (5)
4. Brad-K (4)
5. Jimmie Johnson (3)
6. Tony Stewart (3)
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2)
8. Carl Edwards (2)
9. Denny Hamlin (2)
10. Kyle Larson (2)
11. AJ Allmendinger (1)
12. Jammie McMurray (1)
13. Sam Hornish Jr. (1)
14. Matt Kenseth
15. Martin Truex
16. Ryan Newman

 

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