LONDON: NASCAR Banquet Is Boring No Matter The Location

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VALLEY STREAM, N.Y.

Remember last year when it was announced that NASCAR was moving its awards banquet to Las Vegas? This was going to bring this affair to a new and exciting level. It was as boring as most other things in NASCAR.

Hours of sponsor plugging, poor attempts at humor and an embarrassing “red carpet” prelude by Kenny Wallace made the whole thing seem like a bad high school play.

So now we have lived another year of the dreaded Chase. For all the comments and e-mails I get, the letters here to Public Forum, it seems like only Speed commentators and NASCAR members like the Chase.

Yes, it was close this year, but so what? The World of Outlaws had a three-way bout all season and the IRL was very close. Despite all the NASCAR hype, the TV ratings for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway were very ordinary.

So now that it’s over, do race folk sit around bench racing about the point battles?

I never can recall doing that. Great races, yes, but points are still boring.

Isn’t it chintzy that NASCAR only salutes the top five in its Nationwide and Truck series? With Cup teams grabbing most of the top spots, the Nationwide regulars are second-class citizens. All this talk of change. Just limit Cup drivers to 20 appearances in Nationwide or four wins. Do Saturday promoters benefit from Kyle Busch winning most of the races?

• Port Royal Speedway has management changes set for next year and its Saturday-night fans will have a non-smoking, non-alcohol seating area. Biggest news is that the Port’s all-time winningest driver, the beloved Keith Kauffman, will be back with a new ride.

• Wall Stadium had a successful Turkey Derby despite a very cold day. The plant is for sale for more than $15 million. It is unlikely it will ever hold races again if sold at that price. The owner will never make that money back, which is why the place is in a mess now.

• Sorry to have lost three longtime friends recently. Jack Purcell was a veteran TQ and midget driver; Donovan Kempster raced modifieds with his stepdad, Mousey; and Ed Serwacki was a promoter. RIP, men.

• Let’s hope former drivers Gene Bergin, Bruno Brackey and Mickey Corr will be up and about from visits to the hospital. My best also to veteran writer Jerry Reigle, who is fighting some health demons.

• Indoor racing returns early next year to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., Jan 28-29 and to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., Feb. 5.

• Are you ready for this? The NYC fire department will charge a fee to all automobile accident victims starting next July. So I guess the EMT will take your blood pressure, your heart rate and your Visa number! Reggie Himes may not be able afford to drive there!

• Annoying my Facebook friends at 25 Emerson Place, Valley Stream, N.Y., 11580. E-mail to [email protected]