Monday Sept. 26, 2005


By Brian Danko

What do NASCAR and the World Wrestling federation have in common?

They both act and think like they are legitimate sports. In reality, they have nothing to do with real sports.

That is the reaction that many people got following NASCAR's inaction following the Nextel Cup race at the New Hampshire International Speedway last week.

How else can you explain drivers on the track throwing helmets and drivers purposely driving back on the track and running over another car and NASCAR saying in a rough tone 'don't do this again or else.'

Or else what?

NASCAR had the chance to prove that they are ruling the sport of auto racing and in reality all they told the drivers is go ahead and do what you want because we'll just fine you a few dollars and take away a few meaningless points.

Then behind closed doors, they are high fiving each other for the extra print, radio and television exposure that the first race for the so-called Chase created.

While no one disputes NASCAR's rise in popularity, it's inaction like this that makes them look like a bunch of hicks, which the sport already has enough of.

Did they think that fining Robby Gordon 50 points and $35,000? Is going to make him think twice about his actions?

Is Kasey Kahne really remorseful over his actions and the 25 points?

The answer again in NO.

Neither driver lost a spot in the point's run down after the penalty so what did it accomplish?

NASCAR also gets the same amount of blame as the drivers and teams because they are afraid of sitting down a driver or team because the sponsor maybe the 'Official something or other of NASCAR."

Reports are that Mike Helton, president of NASCAR would 'lay down the law at Dover' during the drivers meeting this past weekend.

Can't you see the drivers sitting there doubled over trying not to laugh and Helton too going 'this time we really, really mean it?'

NASCAR has proven time and time again that as long as your actions continue to get us air time and extra print in markets that we aren't popular go ahead and do it.


When the NASCAR Whelen modified tour headed into the month of September and Ted Christopher holding a slim lead over four time series champion Tony Hirschman, many felt TC's time at the top was going to be short lived with the big lengthy races coming up in September.

It is Hirschman who seems to love the extra long distance events such as the 250-lap race at Martinsville, the Thompson 300 and then the New Hampshire 100. But it was Christopher, known for his aggressive, take no prisoners style that would surely falter in the heat of September and the pressure of Hirschman.

What Christopher has done is quite the media, the race fans and other teams when he went out and sweeps the three races, which are also the richest races on the tour.

But despite his tour leading seven wins in 16 events, he can't shake the veteran racer in Hirschman who quietly goes out and gets top five's and top tens on a regular basis.

Heading into the Carquest Fall Final this weekend, Christopher still only holds a slim 61-point lead with just three races remaining.

Both Christopher and Hirschman run extremely well at both Stafford and Thompson so it should be exciting as Hirschman looks for his fifth crown while Christopher goes after number one.

Regardless of the situation, people can't say that Ted just can't pace himself in the long races, he's proven everyone wrong.


What is going on with track admission prices? The Thompson 300, the most prestigious race on the NASCAR modified tour cost Joe Fan $45.00 to walk through the front gate and a hefty $60.00 if he wanted to be in the pits.

Needless to say, the crowd wasn't great.

With so many entertainment options for fans, auto racing I am afraid is pricing themselves out of business especially here in the northeast.

Thompson is one of my favorite tracks but with two races in a row to close the season, one must wonder what kind of crowds the track will draw. Especially now that the NFL season in full bloom, the baseball pennant races heating up and of course, the WWF NASCAR chase for the title going on.

Why is it that the asphalt tracks in the northeast are much more expensive than the DIRT tracks that are running their major season ending events?

The purses are for the most part are close to each other yet DIRT tracks cost the average fan a lot less money.

Now I certainly don't know what other expenses tracks here on the modified circuit have but I would rather have more fans at less money than less fans for more money.

More fans buy more food, drinks and other souvenirs but it is getting to be frightening looking into the stands and seeing less and less people at a time of year that more fans should be wanting to catch a race before the season comes to a close.