This past Sunday, the Indy cars ran the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR ran the Coca Cola 600 a few hours later. Whose race was more exciting?
Without a doubt, the Indianapolis 500 was far more exciting than the Coca Cola 600 and that seems to be the trend the past couple of years.
In Indy car racing, they run close together, they are not afraid to pass and they are not afraid to take chances. Their restarts are far more exciting than NASCAR and the Indy cars no longer have Danica Patrick.
This past Indy 500 race featured a last lap crash for the lead, a record number of lead changes, a couple of hard crashes with no one hurt and a lot of side by side racing.
In the Coke 600, we had 1 spin out and 4 manufactured debris cautions in 400 laps. There was no side by side racing except for the first lap after a caution, no late drama and only 10 cars on the lead lap at the end of the race. The race had Danica Patrick, and the only thing she showed was that she doesn't deserve to be a NASCAR Sprint car driver. She only beat the start and parkers and those with mechanical problems and she had a superior car to many of the poorer teams. Her goal of the race: to finish. Hell, I could have finished the race in my 2002 Ford Taurus. But for some reason, she was stilled praised for her "effort".
But now, even the NASCAR beat writers for ESPN have noticed that the races are becoming boring. From ESPN: Ed Hinton, ESPN.com: C'mon. It wasn't even close. Any fan out
there who watched both races knows it was Indy by a landslide. A record
35 lead changes among 10 drivers in open-wheel -- well, semi-open-wheel
-- cars should have NASCAR hearing footsteps in the competitive racing
department. NASCAR R&D had better work fast toward closer racing,
because clearly, IndyCar R&D has found the formula. As 500 winner
Dario Franchitti said, most IndyCar races are like that. It's just a
matter of getting fans to watch the other races.
So, what are some solutions the drivers and writers have proposed? Shorten the season. Yeah right and who are they going to cut? All the drivers and writers want is to work less instead of improving the product.
Whatever the solution, NASCAR needs to find the fix very quickly. Sponsors are fleeing NASCAR and some of the best drivers are not even being sponsored for the entire year. Matt Kenseth comes to mind. Fans are turning off the TV and they are not going to the races. I don't know how many times I have fallen asleep this year watching a NASCAR race this reason because the race is so boring not because of the beers I drink.
One reason why the races are so boring is that the drivers are much better than in years past but also the drivers don't want to take a chance anymore. They would rather be cautious and try and to get the best finish possible without taking chances so they don't blow their chance to make the NASCAR Chase.
As the NASCAR radio guys said this past week, this is the new NASCAR, get used to it. And that sucks.
I think I'll take Indy cars over NASCAR if they go head to head, they are far more exciting and there is no Danica Patrick.
"Look how much fun we're having."
10 minutes ago