Monday, October 1, 2012

NASCAR Truck Series More Exciting Than Cup

I've been a NASCAR fan since the early 1980's. I like the action, the competition and the speed. I used to park myself in front of the television from pre-race hoopla to post race interviews. Lately though, I've become increasingly bored with the Sprint Cup and the Chase. I fast forward a lot on DVR, skipping the long commercial breaks and mind numbing parade of cars riding carefully around the track. At most races, there's no excitement unless one of the drivers throws a tantrum. When the announcer says “Ooohh, they almost touched going down the front stretch!” I wonder what happened to the racing I once loved. 

The Truck Series is another story. Last weekend's truck race at Las Vegas was more like old style racing, even with no Cup drivers infiltrating the field. It was more thrilling than the past three Cup races put together. Here's why I like the trucks.

Quality racing: The drivers actually race each other from green flag to checkers. They aren't afraid to rub fenders or bumpers. They take chances and make a few mistakes. There's more side by side action, passes for position, lap after lap, in the front and back of the field.

Fewer unnecessary cautions: Officials don't regularly throw yellow flags for hot dog wrappers, water bottles, or bits of fake debris. When someone spins or brushes the wall, as long as they get back under control, the race usually stays green. Cautions come out for actual wrecks, not for contrived drama. 
Shorter races: Fewer laps to the checkered flag means more intensity on the track. There's no mid race slump where the drivers are content to just ride around—every lap matters.  

Yeah, I know the stands are nearly empty at the truck races. It's like they're the redheaded stepchild of NASCAR. There's no Dale or Danica, no Jimmie or Jeffie. There aren't as many big name sponsors. But I still can't understand why more fans don't go, or watch racing that is so competitive, action-packed and fun.

"No, he didn't slam into you, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you. He rubbed you. And rubbin', son, is racin'." – Harry Hogge, Days of Thunder

Finishing races is important, but racing is more important.” – Dale Earnhardt