Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NASCAR's sputnik moment

NASCAR's pre-season isn't going according to plan. After the Tony Stewart affair down under, about which the homeboys are saying nothing, we moved on to the Presidential State of the Nation Speech by Brian France, live from Charlotte on Speed Channel. The craven hacks applauded as he took to the stage, after all he is their meal ticket. France then portentiously announced some tinkering with the Sprint Cup points system.
The big build up on Speed Channel fell flat when the sound system, which was only suitable for a village fete, glitched and the President sounded like he was speaking from inside a fish tank. He also had to contend with a voice off air. It reminded me of the fall of Ceausescu.
The Speed Channel cheering section said that the new points system was undoubtedly a good thing as the previous system had been incomprehensible. Now that drivers received points from 43 for a win down to one for last place it would be much easier to follow. Jeff Hammond helpfully suggested that if a driver finished twentieth for example it would be easy to work out how many points he would receive, er, 23 presumably. Drivers would also get points for not finishing races? There would also be points for having shiny shoes and not bopping the race promoter.
Driver reaction seemed to be that nobody cared what the points system was and that they were going to win whatever cockamamie scheme was dreamt up by NASCAR market research and their fan clinics. Junior to have a head start please. What they meant to say was that Jimmie Johnson would win it whatever the points system.
Despite the obvious advantages of brand identification the cars would remain identical. Surely the gormless fans could tell it was a Toyota if it had the word
Camry written on the front. We could stand by for Hyundai and Volkswagen clones in what was without question the greatest racing series on the planet. Aside to sound man: "You're fired!"

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