Letters to the Editor – Dec. 1, 2010

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Who Needs Ethanol?

I read recently in NSSN where NASCAR was bribed, influenced or otherwise hornswoggled into using so-called Sunoco Green E15 fuel, a mixture of unleaded gas and 15 percent ethanol.

Even though it has all been said before, ethanol requires almost as much gasoline to make per gallon as it costs, uses and pollutes more water in its production than any comparable fuel, destroys plastic parts in the carburetion systems of older vehicles and corn is one of the least efficient organic compounds from which you can make ethanol.

Of course, NASCAR’s end of it is to be a front man to introduce E15 to the public when even some auto and recreational vehicle associations are fighting it. That, and to get cheap fuel that only race cars will run on when we all know that the proper place for corn is your dinner table or around a hot dog. This from the same guys who introduced that other great idea, the Chase.

NASCAR’s press release added some fluff about how it’s made from American corn from American farmers. Fine, but that just gives us one more reason why our grocery bills keep going up.

The best thing about making ethanol from corn — even if it is less efficient than, say, sugar cane — is that the corn farmers get paid more money for it that way. That means we pay more at the pump and at the checkout counter while the fuel gives us less mileage.

Nice work, NASCAR. Way to support a public trying to make every dollar go further.

Norman Gaines, Hartsdale, N.Y.

Kill The Chase

After 50-plus years of watching and attending various forms of racing, I have a major complaint — the Chase.

The last 10 races of the NASCAR season are hard to watch for the most part, with the Homestead event being painful. With so much focus on the 10-race championship, I almost forgot others were racing. Thank goodness I was able to switch to the NFL on and off.

A point championship in racing has always been the result of an entire season. Trying to create a playoff system when everyone racing during the regular season is still racing does not cut it.

All you get is a 10-race champion. A 10-race Sprint Cup champ and a Winston Cup champ are not equal, one being the best for 10 races and one being the best for the entire season.

My hat is off to Jimmie Johnson and his team. They are great. He and Chad Knaus are the best combination since Richard Petty and Dale Inman, perhaps better. They won under the system NASCAR gave them and the championship is theirs.

I don’t like the system. The last 10 races of the regular season are all about the championship contenders and I will never feel the 10-race champion is equal to a Winston Cup champion.

Jack Tworek, Averill Park, N.Y.

Fixes For The Problems

NASCAR losing 20 to 25 percent of its audience is no surprise to the longtime race fan. NASCAR forgot its roots when it tried to market its product to people who have no real interest in auto racing.

It markets the party more than it markets the race. That worked for awhile, but now it is left with us old race fans again. If it doesn’t change, we will leave too.

Dump the Chase. We hate it. It alienates all of the other fans, the other drivers and their sponsors. The results would usually be the same, but everybody would be in the game until the last lap of the last race.

Run the top 43 from time trials every week. No one is locked in in advance, just like the local Saturday night tracks all over the country. If you want provisionals, fine. Just put them at the back of the 43 cars that earned their spots.

Let them throw a punch without being fined and silenced. Some of those loud- mouthed whiners would learn to shut up after they got knocked on their [butt] a few times. Remember the saying, “Don’t let your mouth overload your [butt].” Most of us learned that the hard way.

Take the spoilers/wings/splitters off. Put the race back in the hand of the drivers. Bring in fuel injection, 100 percent ethanol and offer more points for winning. Make the start-and-park cars prove their excuse for leaving the race or lose the points and money.

Shorten all races by 20 to 25 percent. Anything less than a mile should be run like all other short tracks. Heat races, hooligans and main events. Man, that would sell!

Quit trying to dress it up, it is what it is. Focus on what racing is and less on the fringe elements. Trust me, your audience will soar with real race fans.

Russ Tandy, Columbia, Mo.

Couldn’t Agree More

In response to “Do Away With Toyota” in the Nov. 10 issue, I couldn’t agree more. Toyota should also be kicked out of the USA completely, not just on the track.

Four recalls in the last six months. If you follow U.S. history and the economy Toyota should not even be here. It’s a joke what current generations have forgot about this country. I wonder if Americans would buy a Talibanmobile if it was cheap and decent quality.

Herb Combs, Jr., Lawrence Township, N.J.

The views expressed by NSSN columnists and readers in the opinion or community sections of this website do not necessarily reflect those of the management and staff of National Speed Sport News, Kay Publishing or Media1934 LLC.

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