Yer So Jaded

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I frequently get email chiding me for being too negative about NASCAR racing (with writers frequently suggesting I find a new line of work or remove my head from an orifice). Maybe sometimes I do see the glass as half-full but compared to some email I get from other disgruntled fans trust me, I am Polly-frickin-anna. Some notes I’ve received this year are so toxically hot I’ve taken to wearing asbestos gloves when checking the old e-mail box. So I’ve developed a quick test to help you evaluate where you stand compared to other fans on the hot button issues in the sport today.

1) The new Chase for the Championship system was conceived……

A) To help the TV networks take on the all-mighty NFL
B) To try to ensure that Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon were in the title fight annually.
C) As a sop to the greedy idiots at NBC who couldn’t market a bucket of water to a man ablaze.

2) The recent 25 point penalty NASCAR slapped on Dale Earnhardt Jr. for using profanity at Talladega in Victory Lane was…..

A) Very necessary because a lot of younger fans watch races on TV.
B) Necessary because it was consistent with penalties dealt to other drivers for the same infraction
C) The biggest bunch of horses—t I’ve ever heard of for the usual s—t head suspects.

3) The first year of Brian France’s tenure as CEO of NASCAR indicates…..

A) He is not afraid to try radical new ideas to help grow the sport.
B) He is still getting his sea legs under him understanding how our sport works.
C) He’s a shameless greed-hound who prostitute his sister if there was a dime in for him and he was probably bottle-fed leaded paint as an infant.

4) The best thing about moving the Labor Day race date to Fontana is…..

A) It brings the sport to a huge new market on a high profile weekend
B) Fontana sells more tickets than Darlington so it was a sound business decision even if it was regrettable we had to sacrifice the Southern 500.
C) It means I can go out an enjoy the Labor Day weekend since I’m not going to waste four hours of my time watching that sorry excuse of a race.

5) When I think of Darrell Waltrip I think…..

A) Of a three time Winston Cup champion and one of this sport’s greatest drivers ever.
B) A guy still figuring out this TV broadcasting stuff that really needs to lose that “Boogity, boogity, boogity” nonsense of his.
C) An infected boil on the face of NASCAR racing that really needs to be rendered mute by the act of a benevolent God.

6) The race date at Joliet……

A) Provides NASCAR’s loyal fans in the Midwest with a second race to attend.
B) Really isn’t that much worse than all the other cookie-cutter dates that have been added to the schedule lately.
C) Provides me with a Sunday afternoon to catch up on yard work while those Cowish-boys and their cattle watch in slack-jawed catatonia in the stands.

7) The idea of shortening some traditional race lengths is being discussed because….

A) You get all of the action with less of an investment in time.
B) It would suit the TV networks better.
C) The Yuppie-scum new fans suffer separation anxiety from their ugly little Volvo wagons after two hours and we don’t want Jody and Biff to miss soccer practice.

8) The vast abundance of NASCAR related TV programming weekly provides……

A) Fans with an incredible amount of oppurtunities to stay current with their favorite sport.
B) A vast wasteland of vapid programming with toadies parroting the company line.
C) The best excuse ever to convert to the Mennonite church.

9) If I was put in charge of NASCAR for one day……..

A) I’d be overwhelmed by how many difficult decisions need to be made and very glad it wasn’t my full time job.
B) I’d restore the Rockingham and Darlington race dates to the weekends they belong on the schedule
C) I’d order all senior NASCAR management folks flogged and hung by the neck to announce the start of a fan revolt to take back the sport we love.

10) The quality of racing this year……..

A) Is about average. You have good races and bad ones just like always.
B) Is somewhat below average because the aerodynamic genie has escaped from its bottle.
C) Is so bad after this year I’m done with the sport.

11) Kasey Kahne hasn’t won yet this year because…..

A) He’s had some incredibly bad luck.
B) Rookies usually don’t win. They get overeager when they get to the front.
C) NASCAR cashes big checks from Chevrolet not Dodge.

12) The New Hampshire race track………

A) Serves all the loyal NASCAR fans in New England and is just fine as it is.
B) Would probably be better with some banking added in the corners.
C) Should be converted to a toxic waste dump.

13) The biggest problem facing our sport today is…….

A) How quickly we can reach out into new markets to attract new fans while losing some of these Dogpatch rural tracks.
B) The out of control costs of attending a race and overemphasis on aerodynamics to the detriment of on track racing.
C) Mike Helton.

14) If I could pick one song to sum up the 2004 Cup season it would be………

A) Simply the Best- Tina Turner
B) Downbound Train- Bruce Springsteen
C) I Know You Rider (You’re Going to Miss Me When I’m Gone)- The Dead

15) TV coverage of NASCAR races could be improved…..

A) If they had a more diverse people on the broadcast team.
B) If they’d show more of the racing back in the pack rather than fixating on one driver dominating the race.
C) If they’d put the races back on ESPN where they belong.

16) I wish they’d put some more (fill in the blank) into stock cars.

A) Of those funny little signs on the dashboard
B) Stock
C) Sanctioning bodies

17) If someone were to start a stock car racing sanctioning body to rival NASCAR…..

A) It would be a disaster along the lines of the IRL- CART split
B) It might encourage NASCAR to adopt some badly needed innovations to remain supreme.
C) It would revive not only my interest in the sport but my will to live.

18) Any public relations release NASCAR issues through their official site….

A) Can be taken as gospel.
B) Should be taken with a grain of salt just like any public relations release be it political or even the annual letter that comes with a Christmas card.
C) Is probably so rife with self-serving lies it isn’t worth reading.

19) If Kurt Busch wins the 2004 championship……

A) I’ll rush out and buy a Kurt Busch 2004 Nextel Cup Champion T-shirt.
B) NASCAR is going to have a bit of a PR dilemma marketing a young man who is quirky to be kind and often stumbles verbally using big words that don’t mean what he intended or just making up new words.
C) Then the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are sure to appear before New Years.

20) The reason there are so many young photogenic drivers in Cup racing today is…..

A) Age doesn’t matter, talent does.
B) Kids today start racing by the time they are four so even an 18 year old has fourteen years of racing experience under his or her belt.
C) NASCAR has sold out to Madison Avenue to the point where it doesn’t matter how talented a driver is, it just matters how good he looks and sounds after climbing out of the car he drove to a 22nd place finish three laps down.

21) The best season of stock car racing was….

A) 2004, of course.
B) 1992
C) 1948 before NASCAR got their greedy paws all over the sport.

22) The best way to stop over-the-top rowdy behavior like throwing stuff on the track at NASCAR races would be to…..

A) Ban beer, Confederate flags and tattooed people at races.
B) Provide adequate and well-trained security guards to identify and eliminate the small element of troublemakers in the crowd.
C) Have someone at NASCAR actually listen to their fans rather than treating us with this condescending “we know what’s best for you” attitude all the time.

Scoring Yourself:

If the majority of your answers were A, you’re probably A newer fan that hasn’t got a peek behind the curtain yet.

If the majority of your answers were B, you pretty much B-lieve what I B-lieve about the powers that B.

If all of your answers were C, you need to take a deep breath before you have a C-zure, though I’ll admit I sometimes C things as you C them, especially after a Couple Cans of Coors Light.

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2004

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