Letters To The Editor – March 23, 2011

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Bring On The Challenge

I applaud the efforts of IndyCar for offering a $5 million bonus to any outsider who can win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It adds much needed pizazz to the series.

Also, it makes a fun topic to discuss. Obviously it will be almost impossible for this to actually happen, right? Well, I’ve already witnessed one miracle so far this year. Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500. Let’s keep an open mind.

Kenny St. John II, Indianapolis

I Don’t Get It

I’m trying hard to understand NASCAR’s latest idiotic move. Robby Gordon is put on probation for the rest of the year for an incident with Kevin Conway that no one seems to have witnessed.

This is the same NASCAR that wouldn’t even slap Carl Edwards’s wrist when he basically tried to kill Brad Keselowski last year at Atlanta. That move was witnessed by thousands. What’s the deal?

Robby’s not a good old boy, he never has been, and NASCAR has never made any effort to hide its disdain for Robby. Perhaps NASCAR would learn to love Robby Gordon if he learned to do some off-the-car back flips.

Ken Bagenstose, Jr., Temple, Pa.

Kevin Can’t Beat Robby

In a recent radio interview, NASCAR’s least talented Rookie of the Year Kevin Conway was asked why Robby Gordon confronted him in the garage at Las Vegas.

Kevin basically expressed ignorance about Robby’s possible motivation, but said he would be more understanding if the situation were the result of a racing situation on the track where they were banging doors off each other.

The only way a field filler like Kevin Conway will ever bang doors with a race driver like Robby is if he hits him on the pace lap or during a caution flag.

Paul Luiz, Nipomo, Calif.

Don’t Protect The Slow

Why does NASCAR continue to protect drivers who cannot “get-er-done” during qualifications? Go fast or go home should apply to every driver/team.

They all started out with the need to qualify for the feature event. All proved they could or they would not be in NASCAR, which should quit protecting those who don’t go fast during qualifications.

I’ve heard the argument that teams that have invested hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in equipment and sponsors expect their car to be in a given race. Even the unprotected drivers/teams fall into that category.

NASCAR, treat all teams equally. Apply go fast or go home to everyone.

Tom Boscher, Mitchell, Ind.

Well, That Didn’t Work

Three races into the season and it is already obvious that the changes NASCAR made to the rules make almost no difference to the number of drivers in and winning the races.

Some made it obvious that the new rules are not going to work because they said in interviews they could win the owner’s title. That is important to them. The fact that the drivers are still exempt from qualifying while the regular drivers have to qualify on time because the qualifying is based on owner points says to me that it needs to give no owner or driver points to teams if they use a Cup driver in the car.

If it were up to me they wouldn’t get any money for winning either. Brian France has made it absolutely clear that he won’t get rid of the top-35 rule, which simply says he doesn’t get it. Racing is about speed in both qualifying and in the race.

Also, no matter where they qualify, make them start at the rear just like they used to do at the short tracks and give them the last pit selections after all the regular, committed drivers have picked.

Bill Raver, El Cajon, Calif.

Ethanol Facts

This letter is in response to Greg Zyla’s column entitled, “Ethanol Is More Than A Little Controversial,” in the Feb. 23, 2011, issue.

As farmers from the Midwest who are also racing fans, we find the criticism of ethanol rather unsettling. There are many, many studies on the benefits of ethanol. The column stops short of presenting all of the facts.

During a time when many Americans are out of work, ethanol production, construction of ethanol plants, and research and development supported nearly 400,000 jobs in all sectors of the economy in 2009.

As for government support of ethanol production, federal incentives totaled $5 billion in 2009. At the same time, ethanol production increased the country’s gross domestic product and, by creating jobs, increased household income for Americans.

Ethanol more than paid for itself in 2009, generating an estimated $8.4 billion in tax revenue for the federal government and nearly $7.5 billion in additional tax revenue for state and local governments.

As for the suggestion that ethanol production is driving up food prices, economists will tell you that the real reasons behind higher food costs are severe weather events around the world that have wiped out or severely damaged crops, as well as increased demand for food by developing nations like China and India.

Mr. Zyla is entitled to his opinion. Your readers deserve to know the facts.

Gary Wubben, Warrensburg, Ill.

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