Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Have NASCAR drivers had enough of "havin' at it"?

   Have NASCAR drivers had enough of “Boys, have at it”?

   In the hours after Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, there was a lot of discussion among NASCAR fans and media members about the fact that 900 miles of racing had been completed in back-to-back weekends without a single wreck.

   There were lots of reasons offered, such as the high winds at Texas and Kansas; hard tires; aerodynamic issues; and so on. Many have been stated before. One – proffered by driver Brad Keselowski – was new.

   On Twitter, Keselowski noted that drivers may be less inclined to put themselves in position to accidently run into someone because those drivers now have a “free pass” at intentional retaliation.

   At first it sounds iffy. If a driver accidently gets into another one, why would that driver then want to intentionally wreck him back?

   For one, whether an action on the track is intentional or not is in the eye of the beholder. Just because the driver who commits the act didn’t intend it to happen doesn’t mean the driver who was hit has to believe that.

   And Keselowski is right. The “boys, have at it” mantra gives drivers an open invitation to settle things among themselves.

   Has the ability and willingness of drivers to take retaliatory action now dissuaded others to not put themselves in position for it to happen in the first place?

   Think about this. If only one on-track incident has been avoided in the first eight races of the season because of that reason, the entire premise of “loosening the reigns” of NASCAR’s regulatory powers has been lost.

   Instead of “opening things up,” an even larger clamp will have been placed on the participants.

   That’s certainly not what anyone intended.  

Drive-in movie night at Charlotte Motor Speedway

   Charlotte Motor Speedway will kick off a month of racing in May with "One Hot Fan Night," a free event featuring appearances by NASCAR celebrities and a showing of the historic 1992 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on the world’s largest HDTV.

   On Tuesday, May 1, the speedway will open the infield at 5:30 p.m. to fans for a drive-in-movie style night of entertainment. Scheduled to appear are Matt Kenseth, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton and NASCAR on Fox broadcasters Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy. The NASCAR personalities will participate in a fan forum at 7 p.m. before the showing of the 1992 All-Star Race known as “One Hot Night” at approximately 7:30 p.m.

   CMS made motorsports history in 1992 when the All-Star Race became the first modern superspeedway race run under the lights in prime-time. The race produced one of NASCAR’s most memorable moments when Dale Earnhardt spun out of the lead on the last lap and Davey Allison crashed past Kyle Petty at the finish line to take the victory.

   “We want to celebrate that historic race with the fans and some of the men who took part in it,” speedway president Marcus Smith said. “And I’m looking forward to hearing what Matt has to say about the upcoming May races. As a past winner of both the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, he’s got a great perspective on what it takes to win at Charlotte.”

   Fans can take advantage of special offers on May race tickets in the speedway ticket office or by calling (800) 455-FANS.