Updated May 22
Last week's NASCAR All-Star Race in Charlotte was the main topic of interest from our readers, most who found the event to be a bore and are worried about what it means for this week's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Kasey Kahne's win of the fan vote and eventual race win, as well as the field for this weekend's 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500, were also on readers' minds.
I feel sorry for the people who actually paid money to sit in the stands for three hours and watch that joke of a race in Charlotte last weekend. Whether it was the drivers just being lazy or the continued problems of the new car, that was one of the most boring NASCAR events I ever witnessed.
I've gone on record as saying I'm not a fan of the All-Star Race anyway and have to agree with you that last week's 24th edition was a non-event. I don't think the drivers were holding back on purpose, like they did at Talladega last October with the new Sprint Cup car. I think that even with the two days of extra testing at LMS, figuring out how to make the new Cup car racier at intermediate tracks is still a puzzle. And you're right, I really don't think we're gonna see much in the way of racing this weekend, either, which could make for a long and boring 600 miles Sunday night.
Hi, longtime NASCAR fan here. The answer to the All-Star Race boredom is to make each heat, or segment, become an elimination round. Start with 22 cars; after 1 segment, 4 cars go home, 18 move on. Make this segment 50 laps with a MUST have green flag pit stop. Start segment 2 with 18 cars; afterwards, 4 cars go home. Make this segment 25 laps with a MUST have green or yellow flag pit stop. After segment 2, allow teams to work on cars for 15 minutes. Segment 3: Start with 14 cars, after segment, 4 cars go home. Make this segment 25 laps with a MUST have green or yellow flag pit stop. Segment 4: remaining 10 cars -- 25 laps -- crown all-star champion. This way, guys won't wanna run at the back, because of the possibility of elimination. My 2 cents!!!
I actually like the idea, Ron, and of all the changes that have taken place to the All-Star event in the last 24 years, your scenario would certainly spice it up and eliminate the strategy of holding back until then end. But I still think NASCAR would be better served to take this date, scrap the trumped-up All-Star ideas and rotate a real Cup race around the country at places like Rockingham, Gateway, Kentucky, Nashville or Milwaukee every year. Now that would be cool.
Does NASCAR think we fans are stupid enough to believe Kasey Kahne actually won the fan vote and that the voting was fixed?
Next thing you're going to tell me is the NBA rigged the 1985 draft lottery to land Patrick Ewing in New York? Kasey Kahne is one of NASCAR's most popular drivers and does have a huge fan base, so I'm not surprised he did garner the highest number of votes from the drivers who were eligible for the voting process. In the past the fans have used this pick poorly -- Kyle Petty and Kenny Wallace were chosen as "All-Stars" before -- but this time they got it right and I think it was legit.
With the open wheel merger, a lot of tracks that were staples of Indy Car racing will not make the cut when the 2009 schedule comes out, which I understand will be no more than 22 races. Which venues do you think should stay and which should go?
My first hope is that the majority of the schedule remains on oval tracks, because I think that was one of the best things that came out of the split and that the IRL did well. But a mix of road courses and street circuits is a must. I'm hearing Toronto and Mexico City will be part of the 2009 slate and that either Road America or Cleveland will also be added.
I'd hate to see any of the current ovals go away, but unless Iowa bumps up capacity it might disappear. Nashville has also had attendance problems, but because it is in the backyard of major supporter Firestone's home base, will most likely stay. August is when we'll get the whole slate.