Thursday, July 23, 2009

Speedlinking: Brickyard 400, TV Ratings, Chicagoland, Double file restarts and Brian Vickers.

Welcome to another edition of five wide. Normally when I do a five wide edition, I highlight five articles that I have read in the past few days and enjoyed, however for this edition, I’m highlighting just one article today, the article is called ”A few quick questions for you” from a blog I read almost daily called 4ever3blog.com, however rather than just highlighting the questions for NASCAR fans, I am taking it one step further and going more in depth with each question.

At the same time, I am also announcing a change here at RaceDriven.com. Change is a part of life and evolving your site or blog is needed to keep with the times, so I have removed the “nofollow” on comments. So basically U Comment, I follow. Now that doesn’t include a link in the name, I am still working on that to whether or not that would be a good idea, but putting your site address inside the comment section along with a good comment is acceptable, however no comments that just say "Love your blog" or "great post" followed by a URl is rejected and that goes double for ads.

Anyway, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the third biggest race behind The Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the schedule, here are a few questions going into the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard (formally known as the Brickyard 400 from 1994-2004).

1) After last year’s (2008) Allstate 400 at the Brickyard tire gate where NASCAR fans saw a race pleaged with tire failures and tires going straight to the cords in 10 laps which resulted in a caution every 10 laps to change tires, are you (NASCAR fans mainly) going to watch the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on television? Are you going to be attending the Sunday’s race at IMS (buying a ticket and sitting in the grandstands)? Why or why not?

Answer: While I will not be attending the race in person, I will be watching the 2009 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard this Sunday on ESPN. I will be watching to see not only who wins, but if Goodyear has fixed the tire issues that they had last year and asking myself whether or not the Indianapolis Motor Speedway should be in NASCAR’s future or not.

As for attending the race, if I lived up in Indiana, it would be hard to say if I would attend the race or not. If the ticket price is $40 or less, I would consider it and most likely buy one. Why? Because it’s the Brickyard race, sometimes people and in this case races deserved a second chance and since Goodyear did do a lot of work on improving the tire to run there, I would attend it, however I will say that if I attended the race last year (2008), I might not because I paid a lot for a ticket and got basically nothing, so if you attended the last year’s race, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t attend.

2) Is the reason why the NASCAR TV ratings are down is because of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s on track performance is down too?

Answer: The idea that TV Ratings are down because of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s performance is down is completely wrong, not everyone is a Dale Jr. fan, just for the record, I and, but I am also a Tony Stewart fan and a NASCAR fan, however NASCAR and everyone has to remember that NASCAR was once what’s hot right now, it’s the “NOW” thing, now that was so a year or two ago. NASCAR fans might not be watching because they are tired of Mayfield vs. NASCAR, their policies (drug policy), how about the ugly car, that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The biggest might just be the television coverage. Fans are finding other ways to watch the races from everyone getting together in one place like a Superbowl party or they just don’t like the television coverage period, but I hardly think Dale Jr. is the reason or even part of it (there are other drivers too).

3) Some people may have noticed that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland a few weeks ago was not only NOT a sellout, but had (I heard) 20,000 plus empty seats, then recently on NASCAR.com, there was article called “Relief may be on the way for angry Chicagoland fans”. Since Chicagoland opened back in July 2001, they haven’t sold single day tickets, so if you wanted to buy a ticket to the Cup Series race, you had to buy what they call a track pack. A track pack is tickets to the cup series race, Nationwide Series, Truck Series and I believe the ARCA race and IRL race together. Do you buy that?

Answer: Chicagoland made a huge mistake right from when they opened and as a result, they might not be able to recover from it with fans. The idea that fans can’t buy a single-day ticket to an event is wrong, stupid to say the least, you don’t make fans do that. I don’t buy what is commonly referred to as a track pack or season ticket, if I called for tickets and they told me I had to buy a track pack, I would have said NO, get lost and went and bought a ticket at another race track.

4) What do you think about double-file restarts, are they good or bad? If good, should they be in all NASCAR series?

Answer: Double-file restarts are huge in the Cup Series right now, they do help the racing and at the same time help the fans follow who is racing who. Double-file restarts do add drama and sometimes cause wrecks too, however double file restarts should not only stay in the Cup Series, but should be in all NASCAR series, it would add some excitement.

5) Will Brian Vickers be back next year with Red Bull Racing? Will Red Bull Racing be running Chevrolet next year? (Note: This last question is just a taste of what I will be writing on NASCAR Silly Season next week.)

Answer: Simply put, I wouldn’t expect Brian Vickers to be back with Red Bull Racing. There are better drivers without rides that could get the job done period. Some would say, he has 5 poles, yes he does, but hasn’t backed it up with anything. And by the way, his only victory was at Talladega after he wrecked not only Dale Jr., but his own teammate (Jimmie Johnson). Now the concept of Red Bull to Chevrolet doesn’t do it in my eyes, I don’t see it, Toyota gives a lot of support, why would you move to Chevrolet that is cutting support? If they do, it would be a shocker.