Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Sports

February 5, 2013

NASCAR flexes its muscle

VanMeter wins in Florida

Last week I was excited to learn that the Speed Channel was going to televise some short track racing from Florida later this month.

For many decades, New Smyrna Speedway has hosted the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing which attracted drivers from around the country in a number of divisions on the half-mile oval. This year, the track will host eight nights of racing including Modifieds, USAC Midgets, Pro and Super Late Models.

Unfortunately, what Speed is going to televise is racing in three NASCAR divisions on a make-shift track at Daytona International Speedway. A one-quarter mile oval is being configured on the back straight of the famed oval.

It would be like conducting racing on a flat parking lot and calling that a race track.

Anyone who has watched NASCAR racing on television has seen the commercials that I will call “Home Tracks.” The announcer proclaims this is where NASCAR got its start, which is a true statement.

Before the cookie-cutter tracks that NASCAR races on today, the events were staged at local short tracks along the East Coast.

Since NASCAR owns the Speed Channel, it really wasn’t a surprise that instead of featuring racing at New Smyrna and turning the spotlight on the drivers and teams that compete for the love of the sport, NASCAR had to flex its muscle and decide to conduct races that are competing with New Smyrna.

This is disappointing because the racing at Daytona International Speedway on a pancake flat surface with paper clip corners will be boring and loaded with caution flags.

Why didn’t NASCAR forget about laying out a temporary track and allow the Speed Channel crews to televise some of the live racing action at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. It could have shown two nights of Modified racing and the Super Late Model feature.

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