Wow… The Daytona 500 was, indeed, a “wow” start to the season. The new car looks great. Action and the finish kept the pace with good “edge of the seat” racing throughout…
However… Social media remains full of naysayers and whiners who just… can’t… get… beyond… 2001.
“Bring back the old days…” No. We can’t go back and you know it. You’re flapping over something that can’t happen. You are simply being loud for the sake of making a noise. Most couldn’t explain what they think about it on a bet. Racing is not cheap. The safety measures alone dictate many changes so we don’t injure or kill any more drivers (or fans!)
Some folks even complain that modern NASCAR racing is boring compared to the “old days”. Perhaps they aren’t watching the same races as the rest of us… Upside down cars, wild spins, cars sliding through the logos on the infield…
Face it. The “old days” inspired the sport but it had to evolve. The rules to maintain safety and competition fairness had to grow with the technology available. Everything has evolved. Unfortunately, the instant nature of communicating opinions has also evolved. In the “old days” these people are pining for, you had to write a letter on paper and stick a stamp on it and mail it someone else who had to open the envelope to read the comment… If they cared enough to open it at all…
Now, however, there is no check and balance on comments and the instant nature of social media gives everyone an open shot at airing their “grievance”, even if that grievance is as useless as flushed toilet paper.
“Stage racing sucks” No. It doesn’t. People think they remember “better” racing when the reality was, mostly, hours of long laps sandbagging until the last 50 laps to bring the most expensive car to the line. Ask them why… “Why does stage racing suck…?” All they have is “they need to bring their car and just let them race…” They did that for a long time and either the most money won or the “racing” was a bit boring for 2 or 3 hours until it was time to “really race” to the finish. It was also possible that the “race” turned into a sheet metal free-for-all with a lot of damage going home on trailers. These people didn’t understand the points system then. Now that it is simplified with stages and wins they just complain for the sake of it. Stage racing makes the entire race a possible points gain. It keeps the teams and drivers in the competition from green to checkers.
“The new car and one lug wheels aren’t NASCAR” Well… In some ways, you got this one. It certainly is not a “stock car” which is implied by “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing”. Reality check: It hasn’t been a “stock car” for a very… long… time. Many factors bring this generation to the track but cost and safety top the list. The central chassis is supplied and uniform across all teams. Cup cars are no longer built from the ground up but are assembled with parts from sanctioned supply chains. The brakes are bigger so the wheels are bigger. The design makes the central lock hub a better fit with larger and lighter wheels. The suspension is enhanced with current independent design from the solid axle system carried over from the earliest days of driving.
The shell is flexible so sheet metal is not bent or ripped as much as before. The numbers position allows more room for sponsor placement so their investment is a better showcase. The tires are wider. The interior design meshes with the entire car structure for better driver safety.
There is also something to be said for the earlier reference to “free-for-all” wreck it racing. It is too expensive. Car owners and sponsors are not going to watch their investment wreck out. It’s just not economic or viable to “race” that way. It never really was. If that was your idea of the “good old days” you were never a “racing” fan – You were a “wrecking” fan.
Face it. NASCAR bought a new car and it’s a step up.
“Bubba Wallace” We can’t even… There were multiple social media comments essentially mocking the integrity of the finish asking why Wallace was not penalized for going over the yellow line, “like any other driver would have been”… OK, two things. By “any other driver” these idiots are showing their racist ignorance by implying that Bubba Wallace is being given some kind of preferred status because he is African American. Let’s just toss that out with the MAGA hats. It’s just too stupid as these people do nothing but try to disguise their bigotry by making a “fair for all” comparison by complaining that Bubba’s treatment is preferential.
NASCAR also made a social post about history and referencing four Black owners fielding cars on the track. Brad Daugherty (JTG Daugherty) has been involved for a while. Michael Jordan is returning with 23XI Racing and Denny Hamlin. Floyd Mayweather (The Money Team Racing) and entrepreneur John Cohen (NY Racing) are running new teams for 2022. The alleged “enlightened” voices of fairness couldn’t stay away and the post lit up with responses. Most were supportive. However, the “let’s just stop talking about it” crowd could not leave it alone while stepping completely on the reality that this could not have happened in the “good old days” they yearn for.
This is highly simplified. However, the flap is real. If you are going to argue that there is unfair focus on African American personalities then you are only arguing for the sake of modern Caucasian innocence which attempts to sweep years of inequality under the rug and “whitewash” the real economics of racism.
Let’s not forget that the defending NASCAR Cup Champion was suspended just over a year before for using a racial slur during a promotional “virtual” race event. At the time the talk was that his career was set back and permanently damaged. He then was given a chance at a ride back and won the Championship. So… Let’s not jump out on the “preferential treatment” for Black drivers or Black owners just yet…
Face it. 2022 is here. The new NASCAR season is here. The new car is here. The concept of diversity behind the wheel and in the garage has grown much wider.
Don’t look too closely… You might see some women coming up through the ranks…
let’s go racing, Everybody!