I have to say that so far I am admittedly impressed with Stewart-Haas this season. Yes I know that we are only two races into the season and all but all four cars seem strong so far for the most part. Oh and no I haven’t forgotten that they switched manufacturers in the off season. To me this makes their showing early in the season even more impressive. While it was regrettable that Kevin Harvick dominated, and I mean DOMINATED the majority of the race from the pole only to be foiled by his own hand (or foot in this case) with a pit road speeding penalty after a late race caution when many drivers took the wave around, it’s Harvick’s performance that you can judge the team by. He has been a strong teammate since joining Stewart-Haas Racing and while I know that it can make for a boring race when one car is so dominate the way Harvick’s was- it’s a pretty damn good indicator to me that the move from Chevy to Ford is not the learning curve or difficult transition that many thought it would be. This has always been the little team that could since it’s inception in 2009 and look at them charge up that hill.
While I have been a Chevy girl and will likely continue to be a Chevy girl I understand some of the logic behind making the switch over to Ford. Moving to Ford (regardless of all the money that may have been thrown at SHR by FORD) made sense for more than just budgetary reasons. Moving to Ford gives this team the ability to break out and hopefully be a top team for their manufacturer. Under the Chevy/Hendrick umbrella that was never likely to happen. So the move to FORD makes sense to me and it obviously isn’t hurting them .And no- I am not going to be trading in my Equinox for a Ford anytime soon. I know I have made no bones about branding myself as a Tony Stewart fan throughout this blog and now that he is not the sole focus of my attention I can’t help but be focused on his team. But I still consider myself driverless for the time being for those keeping track.
How many races into the season does it have to be before I can be taken seriously for not liking the new race/points format? I will give you that Daytona is not a typical race- it’s all about luck there.I know the format is still young, and that people are resistant to change (trust me- anyone that works in the technology field is well aware of that). But this format been touted as a format that will enhance and excite the racing product. I didn’t see it doing that at Daytona- it was still the same old Daytona- just wearing a new points system. I didn’t see it at Atlanta. If you want to move to a heat race format, move to a heat race format but this hybrid format where people get points for segments within the race? It’s like participation points in my eyes. Racing is not about making it to the 1/3 mark of a race or the 2/3 mark of a race. Racing is about the finish line battle scars and all. All this format does is complicate and pollute the points system and that is still my stance on it.
And while we are on the subject of battle scars- this leads me back to the 5 minute fix rule. I still don’t like it. Especially since those who apparently suffer mechincal failures without being involved in a wreck can go behind the wall to fix things. That is also confusing. Either everyone should have to be subject to the 5 minute fix rule or nix the rule. What if a car blows a right front tire and sustains major body damage but doesn’t make contact with the wall or other people? Technically wouldn’t that be a mechanical failure of the tire? It’s confusing to me. Also if we MUST have this rule can the five minutes start from the time the car hits the pitbox? That only seems fair to me. But what do I know.
I have also seen it mentioned that NASCAR is considering reducing the noise the cars make. Um what the what (to quote my middle nephew)? That is ridiculous. Motorsports makes noise it’s the nature of the beast and personally something I love about it. One of the first things you notice at your first race? Is the noise that hits you in the chest. You don’t just watch NASCAR when you are actually at track- you FEEL it, you SMELL it, you even TASTE it. It’s THAT multi-sensory experience that draws most fans in. If you don’t like the noise perhaps you should consider a different sport to be a fan of. I gave Baseball a try a couple of years ago- I even went to a game (Angels vs Yankees). It was the QUIETEST sport ever- and I am not even kidding when I tell you that the game had started and I wasn’t even aware it had started until 2 at bats. Golf is another quiet sport you might like. I hear tennis is quiet for the most part. But keep your mufflers away from my motorsports.
I am obviously still discombobulated with this new format and this new fix rule and I promise I won’t spend the majority of the season whining about it. I have honestly tried to like it but I have just been unsuccessful in seeing anything positive about this change. We will see if anything about that changes at Las Vegas.
Special thanks to Charlotte Bray & Skirts and Scuffs for the photos (visit them at SkirtsandScuffs.com or on the Skirts and Scuffs facebook for more NASCAR coverage)!
Drivers that impressed: Chase Elliott, Kasey Kahne
Drivers that disappointed: Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson
Whoops- I couldn’t help slipping in a Gratuitous Tony Stewart picture (some habits die hard you guys):
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