Letters To The Editor – Dec. 8, 2010


More Races For IndyCar

Another year is almost gone, we just hope the IndyCar Series will extends its schedule and stop deleting some of the races. If the American drivers are given a better chance, we know this will happen.

The fans have to give those car owners some strong advice and prove this what is needed. Those owners are the ones making the seats empty.

Also, keep up the good coverage NSSN. Some of these writers in the Midwest states need to take some lessons from real racing writers. One in particular during the summer tried to compare Danica’s driving to that of Fred Flinstone on his stone wheel.

Where was this poor soul when Danica was a rookie at Indy and where was he this year when she was second at Texas and the final race of the season in Florida, when she drove a hell of a race?

Curt Wright, Lawrence, Kan.

Fighting Isn’t Professional

Another season over for the stock-car racers. With all the empty seats and the other problems that exist, are they going to try again next year? Are they going to try and convince the American public that it’s a professional sport?

What is professional about two drivers with a difference of opinion jumping out of wrecked cars (Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton) and go to fist city or knuckle junction?

What kind of fans in the grandstand would applaud and cheer such an ordeal? Hope sponsors are taking a strong look at this.

William Harmon, Kansas City, Mo.

Fix The Point System

This letter is not about my favorite driver or what announcer sucks up the best. Remember Jackie Stewart and the late Jim McKay, they were the best.

It is not about the intoxicating smell that drifts up through the grandstands by lap two of the main event. It does not call out those who try to rank drivers/owners by a season long point allocating table. You cannot get a true ranking by assigning some contrived point value to a finish table.

Every other sport measures by wins, losses or percentages. Stop measuring with points. NASCAR’s Chase is so embarrassing it is beyond further comment. Show up points are silly.

Maybe the old 1935 German National Authorty System of one point for first, two points for second, three for third, four for those who completed 75 percent of the race, five points for those who completed 50 percent, etc., with the champion having the fewest total points.

USAC’s old championship system was two points for every mile (1,000 points for a 500 miler down to 200 points for a 100 miler) was at least unique because it did give more points to the greater distance at the end of the season.

For more, you still can’t do better than showing up the day of an event, giving the fan practice, qualifying and the race (USAC’s Hoosier Hundred, Century or Classic).

Remember, more laps is not quality. For all you math wizards out there, please understand one plus one is still two, so maybe not so black and white when you factor in 20 or 43 starters, but you can still do it.

Help these sanctioning bodies figure it out.

Duane Folzenlogel, Indianapolis

Not The Best Ever

Let me begin by saying Jimmie Johnson is a very good driver, but I am reading things like greatest driver ever? What adjectives describe him?

Well, does any sports writer realize you can’t compare him to all the drivers prior to the Chase? How many championships would Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt have won if all they to be were the best in 10 races?

Under the old system of scoring Johnson is, at best, a two-time champion. Take this year, what driver gained more than 300 points in one race? Answer, Jimmie Johnson after the 26th race in 2010.

This was Kevin Harvick’s title under the old system. So Johnson is a good driver, definitely. Greatest ever? Not by a long shot.

Charles Bigsby, Weaverville, N.C.

Open-Wheel Suggestions

Having heard the good news about the possibility of more American drivers in IndyCar racing was more than welcome to many fans. I hope it happens, and soon.

Yes, bring back Tony George. We need him and with the help of A.J. Foyt, I think they could select a committee of leaders to organize the different positions. First of all, anyone who wants to qualify at the Indy 500 should have proof of running in at least four Silver Crown or Champ Car races (that would fill the grandstands).

Then there are people out there that need to be involved in this organization. People like Parnelli Jones, the Unsers, Tom Sneva, Gordon Johncock, Poncho Carter, Jim McElreath, Johnny Rutherford and Gary Bettenhausen.

Dee Zelmar, Sunrise Beach, Mo.

Reasons For Decline

A few reasons why NASCAR is in a decline:

1. In the years since the Chase came into being, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon would have two championships each under the old system. Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick would have one each. Some are turned off by Jimmie’s five championships. Traditional points would have given us two new champions.

2. Why should a fan invest energy into rooting for someone only to have his points wiped out after 26 races? Now I hear NASCAR is suggesting to reset points again before the final three races.

Why not just run three races and call it a season? That would also accomplish shortening the season, which also needs to be done not just for the fans, but for the teams.

3. Has anyone else noticed that the decline in NASCAR viewership follows the ascension of Michael Waltrip’s on-air time? I have ceased to watch many NASCAR related shows because of him and Rutledge Wood. I wish I could figure out a way to watch a Truck race and not have to listen to Waltrip.

4. NASCAR’s core audience is stick and ball fans too. From September on it is going up against football, the baseball playoffs and the beginning of basketball.

5. No access to the drivers and crews unless you are one of the limited chosen few.

6. Shoving aside NASCAR’s fans got them there. As a long-time fan, I had great permanent seats to the Daytona 500 and both Fontana races until they decided they needed to put people in the stands by forcing those of us with these kinds of tickets to buy tickets to all the races on a given weekend. I haven’t been to a NASCAR race since.

Bob Hall, Sacramento, Calif.

The Same

This year’s Turkey Derby turned out to be like most of the rest. Jimmy Blewett ran roughshod over the field, doing everything he could in order to keep his competitors out of victory lane.

And with the event promoted by his family, was there any way any other driver would win. I think not!

Gary Grim, Fleetwood, Pa.

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Adam Fenwick
Adam Fenwick is the Associate Editor of SPEEDSPORT.com and SPEED SPORT Magazine. Both a writer and photographer, you can find him at race tracks across the Southeast covering anything from asphalt late models to dirt sprint cars.