– March 4, 2004

He Shoots, He Scores … But Where’s The Race?

It was
a pretty long winter for most of us in the North East. Chilling temperatures
that never seemed to go anywhere but down. Snow… endless amounts of snow.
Just something we all endure that makes us as tough as nails, then soon
becomes a distant memory once we’re all sent screaming back inside around
mid-May with fears of West Nile Virus and Lyme disease.

What keeps
us going is the thought of the Daytona 500 in February, and of course its
precursor, the 24 Hours of Daytona. Any glimpse of palm trees and bare ground
is enough to make the heart beat a bit faster, bringing much needed color
to our pale, winter hide.

Speed TV’s
seemingly nonstop, thrilling coverage of anything on 4 wheels with a number
on the side of it was eclipsed only by the Daytona 500 itself. The excitement.
The crowds. The cars. The drivers. All was well again once the green flag
was dropped, followed a few hours later by the wave of the checkers.

Next stop…
The Rock! We’re on a roll and we’re all settling in for a new season of

Who could
have known the Rockingham race would have been such a “toldyaso”
by those surrounding Kasey Kahne? I even have to think real hard about who
actually won that race since the highlight was the NASCAR rookie showing
his years of successful racing was in no way overestimated by Ray Evernham
or Awesome Bill from Dawsonville. The torch was not only passed on, but
the 9 car has a formidable shoe.

Next stop
… Leap Year 2004. No racing on the weekend of February 28/29….

I have
tried my darndest to come to some sort of understanding as to why February
29, 2004 has upset the NASCAR schedule to the point where I have actually
turned to hockey over the past few days. FEBRUARY 29! It is only one day…
not an entire week of groundhog day-like vaudevillian cinema! Is it written
somewhere that every 4 years, another die-hard Cup fan needs tranquilized,
sanitized, and defribulated because of the sudden STOP order issued for
races that fall within a leap year? I’m serious!

As I type
this, I am listening to online streaming audio of the hockey game between
the New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs. And I’m liking it. I’ve
been told that the Islanders player, Mike Peca is actually a relative of
mine and although Toronto is winning right now, Peca has made some awesome
plays. And listen to the fans scream with delight!!! Hockey fans are having
way too much fun! Man, someone ought to change their rules and knock’em
down a peg or two. Nothing like screwing up several decades of history and
tradition. “He shoots, he scores, he’s been high sticked, he’s lost
some teeth…. there’s a fight…. the fans are fighting… the coaches
are fighting” ….
How stinkin’ redneck is that? No matter WHAT
part of the world you’re in!

To Mr.
Brian France, and anyone else who is honestly concerned about race fans
and their undying support and happiness …. such a fuss has been made about
the last 10 races in the NEXTEL Cup series needing “enhanced”
so as not to lose fans to other sports during the fall season. I’m thinking
you should consider making the start of the year a little more consistent
while you’re sharpening your pencil during your next tweak of the system.
The puck has gone a bit too wide of the net for me already this year.

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