September 28, 2011

Monster Mashing

They might as well rename The Monster Mile
 to Jimmie Johnson's Speedway. (Getty)
This weekend marks the start of October on the calendar and for all you loonies out there that decorate more for Halloween than for the Holidays, the month of Halloween has started.

For the rest of us, we'll just be subjected to feverishly flipping through radio stations trying to find one that isn't playing yet another rendition of "Monster Mash."

At least we can agree on one thing, however, this weekend's at "The Monster Mile" will feature a lot of championships getting mashed.

Here at NHMS, we're used to hosting the first race of the Chase.  Chase qualifies showed up at "The Magic Mile" with a clean slate and fresh optimism.  That changed this year, as we were slotted into the second race and it added a whole new dynamic.

September 27, 2011

Number One Fans

NASCAR fans are the best
in sports, bar none. (NHMS/HHP)
As my inaugural season as an employee in auto racing comes to a close, it's time to look back and reflect.  When I first arrived at NHMS, I had a strong understanding of the basics of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  I knew the drivers, I knew how the points worked and I knew that restrictor plates regulated car speeds.

However, in my year of experience, I've learned a lot more about the sport.  The most significant thing I've learned: NASCAR fans are the best in sports.

I'm not saying this to pump fans' tires.  I'm not saying it because I'm biased toward the sport.  I'm merely stating it as a matter of fact.

September 20, 2011

Indian Summer Falls on the 603

Kurt Busch is the only Sept winner (2004) at
NHMS that went on to win the Chase. (NHMS 2004)
By the time the green flag drops on a race this weekend at NHMS, the weatherman will claim that autumn has started (officially on Sept. 23).

Yet, in New England, we've come to assume the weatherman isn't always right and we won't be listening to him this weekend.  NASCAR's in town and our summer isn't over yet!

At the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, there's one more chance to fire up the grill.  One more chance to camp.  One more chance to catch some sun rays.  And, one more chance to watch NASCAR race at NHMS!

Shining the SYLVANIA Light

Stewart-Haas Racing finished one-two
 in July's race at NHMS. (NHMS/HHP)
No, sorry fans, this isn't an announcement that NHMS will be investing in lights for a race.

I hear the requests of fans.  I understand the appeal to a night race.  And, I realize that with a company that specializes in light bulbs, like SYLVANIA, sponsoring our race that the marketing is already there.

But, it's not that easy.

We can't just toss up some lights and start hosting night races.  This is 21st century America, people, and there are certain laws and regulations put in place.

Heck!  You need to apply for building permits to renovate your house and there are even some places (usually near the lakes) where you need to get special permission just to cut down a tree on your own property.

September 16, 2011

Chicagoland Entertainment

Despite hanging outside the Chase, Bowyer
has a lot to prove down the stretch. (Getty)
Is it just me or does Chicagoland sound like some sort of absurdly oversized amusement park in the midwest?  It strikes me as the kind of place that would have about two dozen roller coasters and a water park about the size of Rhode Island.

In truth, it doesn't have that, but it will be a giant amusement park through eyes of any NASCAR fans this Sunday.  And, it will certainly have plenty of metaphorical roller coasters with the Chase kicking off this weekend in the GECIO 400.

GEICO 400, huh?  What's the 400 stand for?  The amount of different marketing campaigns they've tried to launch over the last several years!

September 13, 2011

Powering Up for the Chase

The Chase field is set for 2011. (Getty)
I've been writing this blog every week.  I've come up with various stories about NASCAR, INDYCAR, motorcycle racing, an old piece of junk car I owned in high school and whatever other idea seemed relevant.

This week's blog is one of the easiest and, considering we're busy ramping up for the race week here at NHMS, that's a needed relief.

It's the power rankings and the Granite Stripe's predictions for NASCAR's coveted 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup trophy.

September 8, 2011

Choosing the Chase


Saturday night's race at Richmond will set
 the sun on the regular season. (Getty Images)
 There's a constant debate among NASCAR fans on whether they like the Chase or not.  That debate has been compounded this year with the addition of the wild card.

Interestingly enough, if the Chase started today, the wild card would have no bearing as the two qualifiers currently sit in 11th and 12th and would have rounded out the 12-car field anyway.

That doesn't stop the argument on NASCAR's choice of having a "playoff" Chase format.
It's human nature to resist change, and, since the Chase system wasn't created until 2004, many NASCAR fans have struggled accepting the change.  However, while traditionalists detest the setup, the Chase has undoubtedly added a viewer friendly element to the sport.

September 6, 2011

Heartbreak Holiday

Clint Bowyer was one of several drivers to see his
 Chase hopes wrecked on Tuesday. (NASCAR.com)
The writing should have been on the wall when NASCAR postponed Sunday night's race through the Monday holiday by scheduling an unusual Tuesday morning start.

For the majority of fans in Atlanta that meant they'd have to head back to work or school or other commitments and wouldn't be able to watch the race.  For those around the country, it meant the same thing.

For Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne and David Ragan, they might have preferred fewer people watched.
You wouldn't want to get dumped at a restaurant, and you wouldn't want your championship hopes dashed in front of a sellout crowd.  Nobody likes having their heartbroken in public.