NASCAR

Bring back my Friday and Saturday NASCAR fix

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Ken Willis
 
| The Daytona Beach News-Journal

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HEY, WILLIE!

Is NASCAR using the coronavirus to get rid of practice and qualifying forever? I’m one of those old fans who still enjoyed watching a Friday practice and Saturday qualifying on TV. It beats watching the news!

What happens to the campers who like to make a whole weekend out of it? What do they do on Friday and Saturday with nothing to watch on the track?

It looks to me that I was right all along, they only care about the TV schedule on Sunday afternoon and forget about the rest of us.

EDDIE IN DELAND

HEY, ED!

To catch everyone up, NASCAR announced last week that practice and qualifying will only take place at a handful of tracks in 2021 — four new road-course venues and Bristol’s dirt race, plus the marquee events of the Daytona 500, Coke 600 and championship finale at Phoenix.

Everywhere else, it’s fly in, strap in, and turn left.

More: NASCAR SPEED FREAKS: Psst, between us, you upset over cuts to practice and qualifying?

Can’t say I was a Friday afternoon regular for televised practice from, say, Dover or Pocono. But I can get a bit nostalgic reflecting on Larry McReynolds spending five minutes in July discussing track temperature (or, as he’d say, tempatoor).

I do wonder how it’ll all shake out when things are back to something resembling normal. All great struggles throughout history, it seems, taught us something about ourselves.

The Revolution taught us about our own strength and courage. The Civil War taught us the potential fragility of a democracy. WWII taught us that adapting at home to serve a worldwide cause can bring great victory.

And 2020 taught us we can survive without practice, qualifying, and Larry Mac’s thermometer.

HEY, WILLIE!

Do you remember the good old days when the drivers strapped into their cars and went out and RACED the whole scheduled distance for the event?

Do you remember when fans in the stands used to be attentive and involved with the action on the track rather than being forced to watch cars ride around at pace-car speed for lap after lap so they could do their pit stop and then lap after lap to get the green again? 

Why should it matter that a given car led the field at lap 50? Let the drivers RACE. Let the fans ENJOY!

GARY IN INDIANA

HEY, GARY!

We’re still in January and we have our first gripe about stage-racin’. I’ll say it again: It was worthwhile to try adding additional drama within the occasionally drawn-out portions of a race, and stage points do that, especially when you consider the important role they eventually play in the playoffs.

But maybe lose the caution period after each stage? Or at least don’t count the caution laps between stages.

HEY, WILLIE!

Any chance Clint Bowyer will run some NASCAR races this season? I’d think he has the Kansas races circled on his calendar.

I hope he runs the Daytona 500 and dirt race at Bristol. The Daytona and Talladega events would be good since anybody can win those.

ZACH C

HEY, ZACH!

The 500, Bristol dirt race and first Kansas race are during FOX’s half of the schedule, so Bowyer will be in the booth with Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon. The second Kansas race is deep in the playoffs and that’s no time for a homeboy one-off.

No sane person would do a Daytona or Talladega one-off. And questions of Bowyer’s sanity, far as I can tell, have yet to center on questions of life and limb.

HEY, WILLIE!

How much money did the Ohio State boosters have to pay Michigan to keep Jim Harbaugh around?

JAMES

HEY, JAMES!

Can you imagine college football without Jim Harbaugh to poke at? I applaud the University of Michigan for not caving to the loudest detractors who feel it’s their birthright to 11-win seasons and Rose Bowl tickets.

And yes, Buckeye fans agree with me … when it comes to Harbaugh.

Reach Ken Willis at [email protected]

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