Friday, June 27, 2008

A Look at Loudon

Cross-posted at NASCAR Bloggers FT Digest
If Dover can be thought of as Bristol on steroids, then New Hampshire Motor Speedway would be Martinsville on steroids. The frontstretch and the backstretch are identical, and just over 1500 feet long, which leaves little room for the corners on the one mile track. This gives the track a "paper clip" look, much like Martinsville, only bigger.

Needless to say, this doesn't allow much for side by side racing and quality passes. That has been a problem for many race fans watching the race on television, but to the fans in New England, NHMS is the place to go. Every NASCAR race there has been sold out. The fans also turn out for droves in the Whelan Modified Series and Busch North Series, to watch all the racing they can. This is not only the home track for Concord, NH, but for Boston, Portland Maine, Providence Rhode Island, and the two or three race fans in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Vermont. In addition, many race fans from Canada make their way "south of the border," twice a year to watch the races at Concord (aka Loudon, to prevent confusion with Concord, North Carolina, aka Lowe's). In short, New Hampshire Motor Speedway is the home of NASCAR to many in New England and Southeastern Canada.

Those fans received some good news from owner Bruton Smith, this morning. While there have been rumors that Smith, who bought the track last year, would ask NASCAR to ammend the schedule to move a race from NHIS to Las Vegas or Kentucky, on NASCAR Live Smith said, "If I were a fan, I would not be worried. We are not considering that."

I love it when the rumor mongers who call themselves "journalists" end up with egg on their faces. As a blogger, not a journalist, I depend on journalists to present the facts, on which I, in turn write my opinion. If the facts aren't straight, we, meaning myself and other bloggers, wind up writing our opinions on what turns out to be nothing. Hence, you can see my skepticism toward many so-called "main stream" journalists.

Much of a driver's success at Loudon depends on qualifying position, pit strategy, and the driver's ability to rise to the challenge of the "Magic Mile." Unlike most of the races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit, winning at NHMS does not so much mean being able to outrace the other drivers, but to be near perfection at getting the right line through the turns and to have the right amount of throttle control exiting the turns. Since the race is fairly short, there is very little time to fix a bad setup during the race, so the crew chief must have the car at its best before the green flag waves. While this may mean a "boring" race for many fans, it is exciting for most of the drivers. This is a track where skill, more than luck, determines the winner, and the outcome of the race is mostly in the hands of the driver.

Mercifully, for us fans, the race is relatively short--301 miles, or 300 laps around the 1.058 mile speedway. However, we may be surprised Sunday as the Lennox Industrial Tools 301 takes place. The track saw new pavement and progressive banking added last year, and is showing signs of having a second groove, according to some drivers. While Las Vegas, Texas, Atlanta, and Dover were disappointments compared to the anticipation of the races, we have been pleasantly surprised by some great racing at Lowe's, Talladega, Phoenix, and Martinsville this year. We are sincerely hoping that Sunday's race may turn out to be a pleasent surprise as well.

In other news, Greg Biffle has signed a three year contract with Roush Fenway, so the rumor mongers were wrong again about Biffle being the driver for RCR's fourth team or Tony Stewart's replacement at Gibbs.

The Nationwide Series powerhouse, Braun Racing, is mourning the passing of "Mama B," Linda Braun, owner Todd Braun's mother. She was a fixture at every race, so much so, she was considered a team member. She will be missed by all who knew her. The # 32 and # 38 cars of Braun Racing will be racing without sponsorship decals and painted black in memory of Mrs. Braun.

1 comment:

Clance' said...

The flock is waiting for you at The New Church:)