Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:19 PM
The less focus on aero may or may not contradict itself; I don't understand aerodynamics too well, but the big, bulbus COT seems to be less aerodynamic. Whether or not it really is, I don't know. If you could explain, I'd appreciate it. Because I really have no clue.
Increased competition and closer racing DOES not contradict itself. You may disagree, but I've found the races this year far more entertaining than the majority of the races in 2004-2007. 2004-2007 was flatout boring and impossible to even try to watch; 2008 has had a lot more excitement. Sure, Atlanta wasn't anything to write home about, but I wouldn't classify it as being as boring as an F1 race, because it kept me in front of the TV for a while and had some interesting parts to it. There's no real way to argue if the racing was good or not, because people look for different things to define "good." I, for one, enjoy it, and think the quality of the racing is up. The ratings increase, I feel, shows the general public would agree with that.
Actually, the extra Toyota horsepower idea first came from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at Talladega when they had a dominant qualifying effort. It was proved after Daytona dyno tests that they had 15 more horsepower than Hendrick and around 30 more than Childress. I forget the exact numbers. I'm not entirely sure about the real engines without restrictor plates, but NASCAR definitely favors Toyota. Toyota brings big money, obviously. I think it was all obvious when Brian France, who was rumored to have been under the influence of cocaine (hanging out with Tony George?), was in a car accident a few years ago. The vehicle? A Lexus.
Yep, it does hurt all the small teams for now, but 2008 is an improvement over 2007 for the small teams in a way. The smaller teams could not afford to develop both the old car and the COT last year, and therefore were kind of stuck with underperforming in many races due to the lack of developing one car. The COT made sense for the future, but then the intermediate track program with the old car would fall apart, and with the god damn top 35 rule, that can be a critical hit to any team. Now that they only have to focus on one car, while it still is quite costly, it is not as much as last year. Bobby Labonte hasn't done anything special this year, but he's solidly in the top 15 in points, which suggests that things are a lot easier on Petty Enterprises. Not saying that focus on just the COT is the only reason, as a new crew chief can be a large factor in that, as well as the COT driving more like an old style racecar, and Labonte being a veteran. Perhaps the move to a new shop is influencing it, but in a recent interview, Kyle Petty suggested that the move has had no benefits just yet. I will not deny the COT hurts Yates, as it does, but the lack of performance and resulting lack of sponsorship, as well as the Newman/Haas/Lanigan deal falling through, have hindered the team moreso than the COT. Still, it is a shame to see a team that has been a staple in the sport in all the years I have been watching fall so far behind.
The handling of a stock car should be tight. It is the appeal of stock cars, as it makes them challenging to drive. If you only make left turns, the car should want to turn right to challenge the driver. Today's NASCAR is not about desiging the fastest, most technologically advanced cars in the world, whether you like that or not, but rather it is about money and entertainment (which is of course stupid). Anyway, the point of the COT is not to be the fastest thing on wheels or to challenge engineers. It is designed to promote entertaining racing, challenge the drivers, and challenge the teams. The lack of handling makes for better racing, as well as promoting the best drivers and teams winning, as it takes more driver skill to handle, and more skill from the team to figure out a way to make an ill-handling car go fast. It may not be your cup of tea, but it is what it is, and while it isn't the optimal race vehicle, I really enjoy how it drives like an older stock car.
Which race did you watch? As I said, it wasn't a great race, but it was refreshing. It was so much better than the majority of races in 2007. Again, it wasn't like an F1 race because there was actual racing for the lead, as well as racing around the track in other areas. It wasn't as good as some of the past Atlanta races, but it was better than any of the ones in the immediate past.
If T-Mobile acquires Sprint, the title sponsorship bidding will begin. If T-Mobile wants to continue to sponsor the series, they will have to enter a new bid. With that said, there's really no reason to believe T-Mobile is going to buy Sprint based on the little I've read. Last year it was British Telecom who was going to buy them, and that obviously didn't happen.