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NASCAR got something right

I was very critical here the other week about NASCAR’s changes to the points system, but I didn’t mention the rule about only running in one championship. That has led to the situation where none of the three race winners at Daytona is leading the title race, becuase they are all nominated on a different division.

That is fine by me. I believe that it is right that the guys running in the Nationwide and Camping World series can race for the title without interference from more experienced guys. They still get to race against them, but having them out of the title race makes sense to me. It’s what we had here in Europe in the great days of F2 where the grand prix stars would turn out against the up and coming drivers, but only the latter could run for the title.

So praise where it is due. NASCAR generally do a great job, and this rule change is another example of that. I’ll still complain about some things, but I’m happy to acknowledge that they got this one right.

The Bahrain GP is no loss, but let’s not forget the people

So Bahrain is off because of the troubles. One of those races where the organiser’s wallet was deep enough to satisfy Bernie’s demands, but at what cost to the locals?

The traditional venues struggle to afford a grand prix because they have to be self funding, accepting that the pot includes sponsorship, but how many times have we heard the call for our government here in the UK to help the British GP survive yet another of Bernie’s negotiation strategies? It won’t happen and it shouldn’t. Yes we have a great motor sport industry in this country, but it has to be able to stand on its own two feet. The idea of taking public funds to subsidise the race is obscene to me, and so is the thought that the billions that have been poured into races such as Bahrain and some of the other new venues might have helped the plight of those in need of better education, health and other services.

Motor sport is a sport. Look at the ludicrous sums of money that go on football as a parallel where sooner or later there will have to be a change or the professional game will contract radically. Yes F1 should be the pinnacle of motor sport, but why are we trying to cap what the teams spend when, seemingly, there is nothing holding the costs of the races down?

Bahrain is no loss for me. I wish the people of that nation well and hope that they resolve the issues that have led to the race being put off.

Roll on Australia.

weekend round up 20th February 2011 #NASCAR #F1

#NASCAR – Really great to see the Wood Brothers having something to celebrate once again and well done to young Trevor for holding his nerve on that last lap. Once again though, why is it that NASCAR’s finest can’t drive round without wrecking? A record number of cautions the man said last night. You’ve read my thoughts here; park ’em for the next race if they wreck someone (and why not just park the#18 every third race just for the sake of it – he’d probably deserve it anyway). Well done also last night to the Double M in the #5 – coming back from the big one and two laps down. That, and seeing the #21 in victory lane again, cheered me up a bit. It’s been a long winter, but we’re racing again.

#F1 – This isn’t the place for politics (I write about those elsewhere), but the middle east situation is changing before our eyes. The unrest in Bahrain could result in a bloodbath if the GP goes ahead as scheduled and no-one wants to see that happen. To at least postpone it would make sense.

mid week musings 17th February 2011 #F1 #NASCAR

#F1 – So Renault confirm Nick Heidfeld until Robert Kubica is fit again. As I said here the other week, I would have liked to have seen Nico Hulkenberg get the drive, but I understand the team’s concerns about his lack of experience and Heidfeld deserves to be in F1, so I’m pleased to see him in a competitive car and hope that he gets that maiden win somewhere along the way.

Will he get the chance in Bahrain though? Is there any point in running the race in the current climate? Motor sport has tended to go with it regardless in the past, but we’ll have to wait and see what they decide to do. Last year’s race there was such a bore that I don’t think I will miss it if they do call it off.

#NASCAR – Shame that Junior will have to go to the back of the pack after his practice wreck. He can still win it from there, unlike in F1, but it does make life harder. Looking forward to the action starting later today.

#Robert Kubica

Sad to hear that the Flying Pole may be out for much of the season, but these things happen.

One of the things I think is great about this guy is that he is a bit of a throwback to the days of my youth when F1 drivers competed in all sorts of racing. Jackie Stewart was not fully fit for much of 1968 after breaking his wrist in an F2 race and, maybe, this cost him a first world title, so there are precedents.

A shame about Robert though, because I had a feeling that he might have been on the verge of shaking up the 5 world champions this year and racking up a few wins. Still, maybe the door will open for one of the desrving young pretenders to take his seat for part of the season; The Incredible Hulk springs to mind….

Wishing RK a speedy recovery anyway.

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