Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quick-Fix Change for a Big Problem

There's a show on Food Channel called Quick-Fix Meals. On this program, a female host prepares large amounts of one particular food for multiple meals during the course of a single week. This is advertised as a way to help save time for people who have busy schedules. Essentially, Quick-Fix is this program's way of saying they are solving problems.

Well a few weeks ago NASCAR made a Quick-Fix to its top two touring series by introducing the Double File Restarts-Shootout Style. I think tonight was an excellent way of viewing how the practice has changed the sport.

NASCAR scheduled a truck race at one track to start at 7:30 eastern and a Nationwide race start at another track at 9:30 eastern. So essentially they are gonna run the equivalency of an almost 500 mile race at two tracks with two series. On two television networks.

The truck race was intriguing to watch, but I think that Mike Skinner, Matt Crafton, and Timothy Peters could have put on more of a battle with Ron Hornaday that what we actually saw if the truck series used the double file restarts. This is the only of the top three series that has yet to introduce the new rule this summer. I'm hoping NASCAR is holding off so they can also announce at the same time that teams can change tires and fuel during the same pitstop which has been a total disaster and really a joke in 2009.

Now watching the Nationwide race (and I'm probably one of the few on the east coast that are watching it at this point I'm sure) the double file restarts have made this race a lot more competitive than it has been in the past. Last year in this 250-mile event at Gateway International Raceway, there were a total of 12 lead changes. I think just past the half-way point there have been 11 or maybe 12 (or more.)

These new restarts made the Infineon Sprint Cup race watchable. They made New Hampshire and Daytona more interesting than ever, and they are making the Gateway Nationwide race a sight to see in the latter stages.

The sport is better because of double file restarts. The sport is better because of the COT, safer barriers, and HANS devices. However starting a 250 mile race at 9:30 eastern is something else. I'll blog later about my opinion on uniform start times for all races. But that's for another day. I'm going to enjoy the rest of the Nationwide race now.

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