What NASCAR Needs in 2013

How are you guys? Holding in there? I hope the NASCAR Withdrawal hasn’t kicked your butt yet.

I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been contemplating the 2012 season. The good aspects, the flaws, and the questionable moments. It wasn’t that hard to do; replaying those races fed that craving inside my veins a little. Not enough to cure me fully, however.

My objective was to find what the sport lacked. Needless to say, the two things I found were right on the surface.

CONSISTENCY

A huge dose of consistency is long overdue. It’s hard to watch a sport you love dearly fumble and make mistakes without raising an eyebrow. From not throwing cautions to dishing out fines, NASCAR’s credibility is starting to dwindle away from its own doing.

Case in point, the Phoenix Chase race, which shows the three points I attempting to make about stability here.

The huge Bowyer/Gordon fiasco: so much publicity came from that! When NASCAR’s attendance is at a sluggish decline, it needs as much exposure as it can get, so the sport should’ve soaked it up.

Nope, let’s slap some fines on some people. I understand they had to take action, but rest in the spotlight for a bit, won’t ya?

Anyway, from that incident, they penalized Gordon and Bowyer’s crew chief Brian Pattie. What about the crew members that actually tried to jump Jeff? Apparently that’s Pattie’s fault for ‘not controlling his crew?’ How was he supposed to know one of his guys was going to snap?

Twitter on your own time, BK: You know who else got fined because of the fight? Brad Keselowski. The driver, under red flag, decided to check Twitter. Just like he did back in February during the Daytona 500. So, what exactly is the price of a tweet? Somewhere around $25,000.

Yeah, yeah, NASCAR said after Daytona Keselowski couldn’t have his phone with him anymore. But, as I read somewhere after The 500, Brad keeps his phone on him for personal, family-related reasons. It gives him and his parents a piece of mind during those scary on-track moments. Why create all this fuss about that? You didn’t care when his tweeting brought attention to the sport, right? Hmph.

No caution for Danica: At the end of that crazy race, Patrick spun around with a few laps to go. She soon began to leak oil on the track.

So what did NASCAR do? Of course! NOTHING!

Because they did nothing, a large wreck happened right as Harvick crossed the finish line, almost taking title contender/eventual champion Keselowski down in crushed sheet metal. Just like that, millions of dollars went down the drain.

What are you doing, hotshots? That was a pretty bad missed call. Sorta like Watkins Glen earlier this fall. What exactly were you thinking, that it would make the ‘racing’ better? Uh, no.

When you do something that blatantly changes the entire outcome, it makes the sport seem rigged. I certainly don’t like that. Let the racing happen as it’s supposed to, whether it may be an all-out brawl or a snoozer.

All that NASCAR has done consistently is being inconsistent. It’s what they’re best at. Wipe off the slate, start all over, and watch everything with fresh eyes, please.

GRACE

The definition of grace is “disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.” To paraphrase that, it’s to basically be respectful.

Well, these drivers need to learn that.

The finale Truck race at Homestead. Cale Gale won for the first time, fighting off Kyle Busch in the closing laps. Their battle was pure old school, banging doors and having no boundaries. Gale added to the eclectic group of first time winners in the NCWTS, and he earned it.

Of course, one person wasn’t happy with the outcome. Poor Kyle Busch. Waaaaah.

I get it, he had a bad year on the Cup side. It happens. Engines blow, parts fail. The part that was off-putting was how disgusted he seemed about these troubles.

The post-race conference didn’t help his case, either. Winless in the Nationwide and Truck series, he was a bit upset, claiming Gale ran him into the fence. Then, he stated he was only getting attention because he was in the drama.

How hard is it to say, “No comment,” or “He raced well?” Maybe commend the youngster for having some passion? The irony is that Gale raced hard, just like Busch would’ve done if he were in that exact same situation.

A lot of drivers who go into the lower series’ races have the same essence. “Get outta my way, I’m a Cup driver! I’m better that all y’all!”

NEWSFLASH: you’re not supposed to be in the race anyway, and, if you’re better than the younger crowd, beat them. If you can’t, get over it.

I love how passionate and aggressive drivers can get. I love when the bumping fenders turns into shoving each other after the race. It’s just that some drivers need to handle reality a bit better.

If NASCAR and its drivers can work on these two aspects, I believe the fans will be happy, and the sport will gain a more stable persona. I’d hate for this sport to destroy itself; I love it like crazy. So, 2013 is the year to make up lost time.

Crossing fingers, let’s all pray it goes well.

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