Coming to an End
Jeremy T. Sellers
November 16, 2011
I know what I'm about to say might surprise my closest friends, and others may not agree with my assessment, but I'm glad to see this season of racing come to a close. Don't get me wrong, a championship pending on the outcome of the final race is something we all like to see. This year, no one ran away with the title, and it comes down to two. There couldn't be a more exciting driver in the hunt than Tony Stewart. Face it, he has a no holds barred, balls to the wall approach to racing.
However, I would be only kidding myself and the readers if I bragged about how exciting the season was. Far from, actually. Other than the Kyle Busch debacle, there wasn't much in the form of "YOU'RE KIDDING ME?!" going on at any point during this year's tenure. Dale Jr. still didn't win a race (I'm already assuming Homestead is a washout for him), the "have at it boys" approach didn't produce any juicy controversies or media talk, and this two-car tandem that NASCAR was trying to eliviate via a one-day test at Daytona HAS TO GO! (By the way, the test proved fruitless, so now what do we do? Live with boring superspeedway racing?) To me, I can't pinpoint one thing that really got my own engine sputtering this year which is why it may seem I didn't blog as much about NASCAR.
What do we have to look forward to in 2012? I dunno, really. Apparently the new fuel injected engines aren't effecting speeds, and I guess the cars will sound the same. I have my tickets for the 500, but I'm wondering if the governing body doesn't do something about these two-car roundabouts, am I really looking more forward to the actual racing, or hanging out at O'Malley's in St. Augustine? Right now I'm leaning towards the later.
The economy has really taken a toll on the sport as well. If you have been to Daytona for consecutive years, you are aware of the carnival-like atmosphere it use to provide and there were a plethera of fan-participation activities to keep us interested until the drop of the green flag. Though there are plenty of sites to see, and things to spend your money, the decrease in the interactive phase of the pre-race hype doesn't have as much as a strong hold as it once did.
I will commend NASCAR and its affiliate tracks, souvenier sellers, etc. that they have managed to keep prices even, if not in some cases lower, to ease the pain of us working class stiffs in attending an event. Indeed the crunch has hit us all hard and NASCAR has tried to do its best to maintain prices that are fan-friendly.
So as we head into Homestead this Sunday, I say let it be done. Let's settle in to the spirit of the holidays, take a breath for a month and a half, enjoy some good seasonal brews, time with family, and relax. Before we know it, Preseason Thunder will be back at Daytona and hopefully our anticipation won't be unanswered!
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