Weekend Leftovers

I'm still no doubt hopped up on tripdafan from the unbelievable amounts of turkey I consumed over the last few days. Three legs and all the trimmings from Thursday's initial feast until Sunday's leftover finale will do that to you I guess.

But in between feeding my face, spending time with family and friends, decorating the house for the holidays and partaking in an adult beverage or two (or three, but who's counting?), a few pointed thoughts about the racing world crossed my fertile mind:

  • The NASCAR season is definitely too long. The ten month grind and 38 weekends that comprise the Sprint Cup Series schedule makes it nearly impossible for fans to stay excited and interested. It's just a case of human nature that attention spans are shorter these days and with all that's going on in today's busy lives dedicating so much time to one given thing is incredibly difficult. I would love to see the season compressed, run a couple of weeks with mid-week events to get some doubleheader weeks on the schedule and eliminate the wasted all-star weekend to get the year wrapped up by the first weekend of November.

  • NASCAR's television coverage will no doubt spark a lot of discussion this off-season given the lackluster ratings and public outcry for the product being delivered into fans' homes these days. I will say this, televising a NASCAR race has to be the most difficult assignment in all of TV sports. But that said, what I watched in person at several late season events did not remotely reflect the broadcast of those races. Two races in particular seemed like completely different events after I caught the recorded television version later in the week.

  • Danica Patrick will announce her Indy Car deal on Monday with sponsorship from GoDaddy.com but don't expect anything NASCAR-related. And I'm now at the point where I've lost interest in that story. I've said before her coming to NASCAR would be good for stock car racing and if she's willing to invest the time she could be competitive. But this back and forth and "Will She or Won't She" game has grown more than tiresome and maybe in retrospect she should concentrate on trying to win more Indy Car races than jumping into the NASCAR fray.

  • NASCAR has taken some criticism for introducing the new Nationwide Series car next season given the economic burden most teams are feeling. However in the long run I think it will be the best thing to happen to NASCAR's number two series if teams can survive the financial pinch. I'm not so sure about the same scenario for a certain asphalt late model series that plans to unveil a "radical" new stock car for the 2010 season. It seems illogical that asking cash-strapped short track teams to build and invest in cars that can only be raced in one series is a wise move. Short track racing needs to find a way to bring all late model rules under one umbrella to allow drivers to compete in various series or at different race tracks without having to completely change specifications. To me this "specialization" between tracks and circuits has been one of the major issues to hurt that segment of the sport.

  • I'm looking forward to this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ceremonies in Las Vegas leading up to Friday night's Awards Banquet, which I'm hearing will be completely overhauled from the tired affair that unfortunately the last few New York events evolved into. While I won't be able to make the trip, there will be lots of radio coverage on Sirius NASCAR Radio and television exposure on SPEED so it should be a fun week to keep our eyes on.

  • Do we really need to know what led to Tiger Woods' unfortunate accident over the holiday weekend? Whatever is going on in the Woods' personal lives has absolutely no bearing on the rest of society but yet it's being turned into a media spectacle. Because someone has a public persona, we somehow believe anything that happens in their lives is the rest of the world's business. For instance what does Brian France and his ex-wife's divorce documents have to do with anything than certain newspapers trying to sell copies? It's nobody's business as far as I'm concerned and Tiger's issues fall into the same category.
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    Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2009

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