Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rubbin' is wreckin'

Two of my favorite venues for Busch/Nationwide series racing are the O'Reilly (Indianapolis) Raceway Park, and Memphis Motor Speedway. Usually, we can expect plenty of great short track racing at those two tracks, and they are always something to look forward to.
I say "usually."
The Sam's Town 250, a must watch for me every year, was somewhat of a let down Saturday. If a race is to go 250 laps, 18 or 19 laps of green between cautions is not really a race. We can expect a lot of rubbing and bumping and banging in short track races, which is why we like to watch them, but the wreckage was just a bit too much this time around.
In my opinion, it seems that there are crew chiefs and spotters in the series who want to urge their young developmental drivers to prove that they are not to be messed with. They want to instill aggression in their drivers, and give them instructions to retaliate.
The Busch Series is not the place to be entering into this kind of training. If a driver is going to be in a mood to retaliate, he or she should already be aware of the options and consequences, and even the technique of retaliation, by the time that driver reaches the Busch level.
With the redefining of the Busch/Nationwide series that has taken place over the past few years, it has become more of a "Cup Lite" series than a developmental series. Perhaps, with this in mind, we should expect more of the drivers who race in the series. I would suggest that the team owners give their developmental drivers more time in the ARCA/Remax series, or even the NASCAR Grand National Division--where they can learn more of racing etiquette and protocols--before moving them up. We have seen, too often, promising young drivers attempt to be successful in the Busch series only to meet with failure and the resulting obsucurity. In other words, in the upper levels of "Stock Car" racing, races such as the Sam's Town 250 should be the final exam, not the entrance exam.

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