LONDON: The Racing Journal


VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. — With the NASCAR season reaching half of the 26-race first part of the season it’s time to look the year over so far.

People like Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip are falling over themselves with praise for the Gen-6 car. The NASCAR shills rave over the higher speeds. They don’t mention that the new car is about 150 pounds lighter, which would certainly help.

I don’t know how anybody can be excited about this new car being better. Despite NASCAR’s phone book-sized rulebook, there is a big difference between all the cars, even those from the same team.

Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson have been dominant. Look at the most recent races. The All-Star race at Charlotte was just plain awful. How come over regulated race cars can’t race close even in a 20-lap run? The Coca-Cola 600 was a five-hour snooze. The Dover race was ruined by another NASCAR rule game and Pocono didn’t have a close battle in front all day.

Did anyone notice all the empty seats at Dover? Before you know it, Bruton Smith will maneuver to get another date at one of his tracks.

What’s bad about a poor show at Pocono is that the next race is only five weeks away and fans will easily remember the long yawner there.

NASCAR has to manipulate as many races as they can. The penalty against Jimmie Johnson was another poor effort. This didn’t cause much reaction because people are tired of Johnson winning.

What’s fair is fair. It could have been easy for Juan Pablo Montoya to back off and make Johnson seem to “jump.” They should either abort the start or if the front row shows they can’t line up properly, put both of them in the rear. That would end the trickery.

Despite a so-so Texas race, Indy cars have NASCAR beat in plain good racing. A major test will come on July 7 when they return to Pocono. This is very important for Indy fans to support. Many Keystone staters have yet to see Marco Andretti race. Now they will get their chance. They have always turned out for Mario and Michael.

Jason Leffler was a throwback driver. He’d race anything with wheels on it. He was never satisfied to ride around and finish fourth. He’d strive for third, then second and finally the lead. His way of driving is why we go to races.

Godspeed, Jason.



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