Sunday, May 20, 2012

We Don't Bump No More

Mark it down: the 48 team is back
It was a no bumping weekend as both the NASCAR All-Star race and qualifying for Indianapolis 500 featured nary a nudge.

In Saturday’s race, Jimmy Johnson and company figured out the secret to All-Star success.  Win the pit stop competition and get your pick of pit locations.  Win the first segment and you’re the first on pit road.  Then just stay out of trouble and save your tires.  Easier said than done.  But that’s exactly what Johnson and team accomplished.

Write it down.  This is a turning point for the 48 car.  They’ve got their mojo back.

In general, the racing was good.  None of the bashing and crashing promoted heavily in the pre-race show, but that’s not what fans really want anyway.  Just some pretty good racing.  Certainly better than the All-Star shows in almost any other sport. 

At Indy, there’s a full field of 33 cars after two days of qualifying – barely.  There were no bump attempts, no car jumping, none of the drama of past years.  The final two qualifiers, both equipped with Lotus engines, were well off the pace.  The fastest lap by the 33rd qualifier, Jean Alesi, was nearly 16 mph slower than the pole sitter.   Afterward he said he thought the speed spread was “unsafe.”

There’s a move afoot to allow the Lotus engines to run higher boost levels than the Chevrolet and Honda engines.  Worst possible idea.  Will Power said the situation was “bloody dangerous” and suggested the Lotus engine should be allowed to run more boost in the race or parked.   

Well then park them.  What we need is more innovation and competition, not more managed competition. 

8 comments:

  1. Richard PetersenMay 21, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Well Art, I was not happy at all with the end of that race. I really hope they change it back to the way it was because it was ridiculous. I'm a Dale Jr / Kevin Harvick fan and Jimmie Johnson dominating the first segment? Okay, whatever, he earned it fair and square, I'll give him that credit. But, what he, Matt Kenseth, and Brad Keselowski did after that what non-sense. All three of them after the first segment just sat on their asses all night until the finial ten laps came where they just had it in the bag! I was very unhappy with that. These drivers come to race and put a show on for these fans, not play little strategy games and pretty actually cheat your way to victory, its unfair really. These drivers are way too giving now and days. If I was president of NASCAR I'd tell these drivers "Go up there and show your muscles! Go show them drivers what you got and earn your win the hard way! Make them drivers earn them positions the hard way! Don't sit on your ass all night and play your little strategy!". Its just unfair to thoughs who were actually working their tails off for this win like Dale Jr, Kyle Busch, etc.

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  2. The strategy played (well) by the 48, 17 and 2 was purely a result of the new rules. Congrats to all 3 for segment wins and to 48 for pretty much showing everyone how it's done. If they don't want them riding in back after their segment win, put the rules back like they were before. Don't blame the drivers/teams for doing their job and doing it well. Nascar, as usual, never thinks very far beyond the rule change until they see what the intelligent teams do with them. Then they go 'Doh!', we didn't think of that. REALLY. FYI they did 'earn them positions the hard way'. They each drove their tail off and won their segment. What more can you ask? You'd have done the exact same thing if you were in their shoes, no matter what you say, you would.

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    1. Richard PetersenMay 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      Obviously you didn't actually read my comment. I did blame it on the format & the three drivers. Yea Jimmie Johnson won the first segment and earned it too, so did Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth in the 2nd and 3rd segments. Sure, I give them that fair and square. But to go to the back and pretty much cheat your way to a win? NO! They came to race and put a show on for these race fans, not sit in the back all night just to have this win GIVING to them and not actually race and earn it the hard way like Dale Jr., AJ Allmendinger, and so on. I don't know about you, but NASCAR needs to really change that format for this all-star race and these drivers shouldn't be so giving all the time and actually show their muscles.

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  3. This is a perfect example of unintended consequences. Nascar could learn from economics which is anchored by the idea that people don't act unless there is an incentive. Johnson, Kenseth, and Keselowski had ZERO incentive to race hard in the segments leading up to the 10 lap dash. And I would love to see the statistics of lead changes at CMS with 10 to go. Did they REALLY think there would be a mad dash? Johnson's win was in the bag at the drop of the green flag.

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  4. I have been saying for years there is a really really really simple way to fix this race. Run 50 laps. The only guy who gets any money is the leader of each lap, say $10,000 per lap lead. Then, the car running at the lead on lap 50 gets maybe $500,000

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  5. I love it, "write it down, this is a turning point for the number 48 car" LOL, Hendrick cars will not win the championship this year. JJ, will not win a ton of races and move into the points lead, Dale Jr will continue to do what he does best, run a couple good races and a couple bad races. NO, I think this years championship belongs to either Jack Rousch team or one of the Toyota teams.

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    1. Ok William, you're on record. Although picking someone from Roush or one of the Toyota teams isn't going very far out on the limb.

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  6. Thanks all for your comments. Bottom line, that's what you get when you try to manage the competition. Somebody always figures out how to work the game. Don't blame the teams. They simply followed the rules.

    How about a good old fashioned Saturday night at the races. Run a series of heat races, five or 10 laps each. Everybody -- everybody -- has to qualify by finishing in the top two in one of the heats.

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