First up, before anything else. Prayers up to the family of Sylvain Guintoli and wishing Fernando Torres a speedy recovery.
So for Day 3, I’m going to talk about NASCAR. No wait, where are you all going?!
But seriously, I do want to talk about this year’s Daytona 500, because one of my New Year’s Resolution’s was to watch more different Motorsport, and for the simple fact that I happened to be spend a lot of time around my favourite people… who all so happen to be American.
Of course, I failed to remember that this is a 500 mile race and even if there’s a lack of cautions, you’re looking at 4+ hours. Given I’m not a fan of Endurance racing, I kinda knew I’d be in this one for the long haul on this one in terms of enjoyment.
Before I start talking about the race itself, I have to say the company made it 100 times more watchable, so many thanks to Ryan King, RJ O’Connell, Conner Pearson, George Mullen, Chris Cook and Charles Regimbal, who helped me get through this. Below, I’ll live the 4 hour YouTube Livestream if you want to see some of our reactions in real time:
This was a significant NASCAR race for a lot of reasons. It was obvious their blue ribbon race for the season, but it also their debut of the new scoring system. I’ll spare you trying to explain it, but essentially, the race is now split into three stages, and winning said stages get you season points, and potential playoff points. It’s basically a combination of the “points race” in Track Cycling, with the overall system similar to the “Showdown” format seen in British Superbikes. Google is your friend.
To be honest, I didn’t enjoy the race itself very much. Mostly because almost everyone was in the wars at some point. I believe by the time we got to the final 20 laps, 88% of the field had been involved in at least one accident. Kyle Busch had a blowout and creamed Jones, Kenseth, Dale Jr. and Dillon. Heck, three laps into Stage 3, Jamie McMurray in the #1 car bumped Johnson (not Adam), he spins into Trevor Bayne, and then next thing you know, 16 cars get whacked. The stop starts just grated on me by the time we were at two thirds distance, and me being the doofus that I am, was just criticising everything on earth at this point. Seriously, find the stream, by the 3 hour mark I was drinking Rubicon Mango and pretending it was Whiskey.
However, I will openly admit, the final 20 laps were great. They were tense, they were dramatic, and they were fun as hell in the stream. Leading pack of about nine, and the desperation of Joey Logano trying everything to get further up the field, needed that second line that just never came. Was also gutted for Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson who ran out of fuel with a handful of laps to go, as the one thing we all forgot to consider when watching, was the fuel mileage. Congrats to Kurt Busch winning, our stream was not best pleased though, and well, let’s just say he has some history on our show.
Going to be honest here folks, NASCAR just isn’t for me. The cars aren’t appealing to me, and I don’t know whether Daytona is just a bad track as a showcase for the series, but honestly, I was just bored through most of it. The drivers were saying the stage format would add more drama and it just didn’t in this case, and if anything, a lot of them drove like idiots in-between. NASCAR just isn’t a series I want to make an effort to see more of.
Oh, and as one of THOSE folks, the Monster Energy affiliation is an awful look for the series. Monster Energy in a progressive world where women need more respect in the sport, a sport where Tatiana Calderon just got a Sauber development job just days ago, we still got Monster out here flaunting their models like cattle. It’s just tacky and repugnant to me, and it’s no surprise if you’ve ever seen how they’re used in MotoGP with Tech 3. And that’s in a sporting category that has “Paddock Girl” videos on their YouTube like softcore porn. It’s awful, and it’s a major put-off to me. NASCAR already had a bad enough stereotypical image, adding “objectifying women” to that list isn’t going to help.
It’s a shame, because I do want to watch more Motorsport, but not like this. I have tremendous respect for the series as a discipline and in terms of skill. To drive 700 horsepower, heavy cars, two, sometimes three wide at 200mph constantly, within inches of other cars is batshit insane to me. But yeah… not for me. Catch you guys tomorrow, where I talk about some World Superbikes.
PS: Shoutout to 24 Hours of Daytona Champ and decent NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, looking like a used car salesman: