March 8, 2005 | 10:59 A.M. EST
Jerry Banks, Boise, Idaho
I'm not a fan of NASCAR road racing so I thought the actual product we watched on Sunday was pretty dismal. The race wasn't a true reflection of what showcases NASCAR racing at its best, high speed, close and side-by-side oval track racing. Unfortunately Mexico doesn't have such a facility, so in order for NASCAR to export its brand of racing, the Busch Series was forced to adapt to road racing.
But there is no arguing the fact that the event was a huge success. Sunday's crowd of more than 100,000 was tremendous and Saturday's qualifying turnout was in excess of 35,000, which is more than a race at Milwaukee or Memphis or even IRP will draw.
The opportunity to expose NASCAR racing to the Mexican fan base is huge and the right thing to do. In order to grow this business, exporting internationally is going to be essential. Canada will be next and Mexico will most certainly be back on the Busch Series schedule in 2006.
I have no problem with Mexico being added to the schedule but I am nervous this expansion will take place at the expense of "traditional" tracks like Darlington, Martinsville, Pocono, etc. Don't you think NASCAR needs to concentrate on the U.S. fan base first before taking the show on the global road?
Mike Bloomfield, Batavia, Illinois
NASCAR will not take the NEXTEL Cup Series across the border before it accomplishes the goal of getting a track built in the Pacific Northwest and New York City. That most likely won't happen until the end of the decade, so the first foray into Mexico or Canada for Cup won't happen until after 2010.
The sad truth is the expansion will certainly have to be at the expense of at least a race being taken from Pocono or New Hampshire or maybe Martinsville, small markets that in my opinion don't warrant two Cup visits a year. If every track can keep at least one race, and not be shuttered like Rockingham, I have no problem with adding dates. The all-star race should not take up its own weekend and needs to run the Friday before the Coca-Cola 600. That would free up another weekend.
The days of having a myopic view of NASCAR, which unfortunately has been expressed at RacingOne by a previous contributor for some time, are over. Like it or not, the sport is in the mainstream now and management has to do whatever necessary to maintain and grow that position.
Meshing the past and the future however is still vital for the sport's overall success. It's a complicated balancing act that we must hope NASCAR can find.
Is Danica Patrick the real deal?
Benny Forrest, Willow Spring, California
Danica certainly showed in her IRL debut that she is capable of handling an IndyCar at a high-speed oval like Homestead, not a bad jump for someone who has primarily a road racing background. Unfortunately she got caught up in an accident that wasn't her fault which ended her day and may keep her out of the car for the next race in Phoenix.
The IRL wants to market her very badly and attract a younger, hipper and possbly female audience. She can do that only by succeeding on the race track (see Sarah Fisher). Danica Patrick has talent and much better equipment than Sarah ever did, so her chances at making it are excellent.
Do you think the new F-1 rules will stop the Ferrari steamroller this year?
Gary Williams, Jupiter, Florida
The rules will definitely make this season very interesting. But the rules didn't stop Michael Schumacher in Australia, a crash with Nick Heidfeld did. Without that incident, the Ferarri would have been in the mix no doubt. However, the rule changes will make it a bit more difficult for Schumacher and company to dominate.