by Diecast Dude, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and CharlieFebruary 18, 2010 2:00 am UTC 1 Comment
It’s oft lamented by the self-appointed NASCAR purists that Auto Club Speedway, a/k/a The Track Formerly Known As California Speedway, hosts two Sprint Cup events each season. Actually, many lament the track having so much as one event. They’ll live, although a good portion of said life is centered on making the lives of everyone else as miserable as their own sulking self-centered blubbering. But enough about John Daly.
Cookie cutter tracks, i.e. ones a mile and a half or longer with banking on the minuscule side of things, have never been and never will be conducive to high energy stock car action. When you have a plethora of lines to choose from, each allowing the luxury of neither bothering nor being bothered by competitors, it’s all too easy to turn laps while taking naps as fans do the same. Races at such locations far more often than not becoming scenes where one or maybe two teams hit the note in getting their car set up for maximum performance while everyone else flails about adds to the problem. Once in a while things get interesting, but for the most part one is left hoping the announcers have some good stories to tell as a means of passing time since that’s about the only passing you’re going to get.
Auto Club bears even more scorn because, to put it simply, a large portion of the NASCAR Nation views California in much the same light as medieval cartographers confronting unknown locations, these being indicated with the inscription Here Lies Dragons. As a California native, it falls on me to work toward alleviating some of the unfortunate stereotypes that have permeated the mindset of far too many when considering auto racing SoCal style:
- No, there is no need for designated surfboard zones in the track’s parking lot.
- Should a red flag condition be announced, the crowd does not immediately start stargazing under the belief it’s a red carpet condition.
- The pace car is not a stretch limo with a pool in the back.
- Yes, it does rain in California. In fact, there’s a chance of some Saturday morning.
And finally… NASCAR’s here this weekend. You’ll make it. Honest.