My Brain On NASCAR: Two camps clash over curves Pitt rode

On the question of road course racing and its place in NASCAR, fans are nearly as divided as they are on the subject of Angelina Jolie vs. Jennifer Anniston.

The anti-Angies would kick road racing to the proverbial curb in a heartbeat. They maintain that it is too predictable; unless a driver manages to qualify at, or near, the front of the field, he or she might just as well pack it up and go home. Limited opportunities to pass can make for a very dull race, just the same six or so “friends” snappily whizzing nose-to-tail at the end of the episode … er, race.

Heck, if you stick with the promotional and marketing plan and actually purchase a ticket and attend the event, you won’t even be able to see all of the action from your seat. Two of these races each season are two too many. It’s best to just stick with something more comfortable, like the sofa, the remote control and a nice familiar shape.

According to the Anti-Angies, road course racing is best left to the Grand Am and Indy Car series. It’s boring and has no place in NASCAR.

Not so, say the Anti-Jenns. If you are going to be content with four equal corners, why not just slap a “My driver is an honor student at NASCAR Oval Academy” on the bumper of your minivan, then head out to Symmetrical Suburban Speedway on any given Sunday and call it a day?

Road courses are edgy. Their houses full of diverse turns – 11 at Watkins Glen International, 12 at Sonoma Speedway – create a lot of unexpected racing moments and add some spice to the racing recipe. A driver from some exotic place like Tasmania or Bogotá actually has a pretty good shot at taking the checkered flag; in other words, Jimmie Johnson might not win the thing every time.

According to the anti-Jenns, drivers at NASCAR’s top level should be able to prove their mettle on any type of track. In fact, they say, a road race should actually be added to the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Live a little!

There’s a pretty strong crowd on both banks of the river, I guess, and for the most part they just stand around and glare at one another across the great divide. But they found some common ground in the Finger Lakes 355 on August 12. In one of the most nail-biting finishes of the season, a last-lap free-for-all on an oil-slicked track resulted in a cranky, spun-out Kyle Busch – who was leading the race headed to the checkered flag – and a victorious Marcos Ambrose.

“It was absolutely chaos at the end,” Ambrose said after the race. “I tried to chase Kyle down, but he wasn’t making any mistakes; he had a fast car. I just burnt my stuff up trying to get to him. I was really thinking, ‘OK, it may be second place here.’

“Then the oil came down. I slipped to third. I thought, ‘That’s not the plan.’ So I just put my head down, and kept trying … It’s a real thrill to be back in Victory Lane. We earned it.”

Bridges sometimes materialize in the unlikeliest of places. One of those crazy “acquired taste” road courses gave all fans something to stand up and cheer for, as Ambrose celebrated his second career win with legendary team owner Richard Petty, sending a perfect combination of international accents to Victory Lane.

Whether you’re a born-and-raised Southerner or a native Australian, happiness sounds just the same.

Back in high school, many of us with a literary bent closed our eyes and hoped for the best when those math tests rolled around. We had to pass them, though, in order to make it to that big stage of graduation success. You know what they say about variety; what a mistake it would be to even consider ousting road racing from the Sprint Cup Series schedule. You can’t make salsa if you only plant tomatoes in your garden.

NASCAR and Brad Pitt may not be generally like-minded, but on the issue of road course racing, here’s hoping they remain in complete agreement … and we all know who Brad chose.

Comments

comments

CCU's Ruiz makes cut, still in hunt for Masters invite

CCU's Ruiz makes cut, still in hunt for Masters inviteLuis Ruiz, a junior on the Coastal Carolina men’s golf [more]

CCU Hoops: Men, women take big road wins at Troy

CCU Hoops: Men, women take big road wins at TroyTrailing by 14 points at halftime, Coastal Carolina went on [more]

Saints light up Landsharks in Lowcountry Showcase

Saints light up Landsharks in Lowcountry ShowcaseThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team won [more]

Strand runners dominate NMB Winter Run 15K/5K

Strand runners dominate NMB Winter Run 15K/5KMore than 200 runners pounded the pavement through the streets [more]

Hoops: CF girls win in OT; MB claims sweep over MC

Hoops: CF girls win in OT; MB claims sweep over MCThe Carolina Forest girls basketball team battled its way to [more]

Coastal's Pierrot picked in second round of MLS draft

Coastal's Pierrot picked in second round of MLS draftAfter a career which saw him named the Sun Belt [more]

NMB boys, girls suffer first region setbacks at Wilson

NMB boys, girls suffer first region setbacks at WilsonThe North Myrtle Beach High boys and girls basketball teams [more]

CF girls blow out Knights; boys lose to WF at buzzer

CF girls blow out Knights; boys lose to WF at buzzerDespite the ice-cold weather outside, the Carolina Forest girls basketball [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants suffer sixth straight loss at USA

CCU Hoops: Chants suffer sixth straight loss at USAThe Coastal Carolina men's basketball team suffered their sixth consecutive [more]

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponed

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponedThe Conway High boys and girls basketball teams swept visiting [more]

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CF

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CFChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach junior Michael Green reached another [more]

Lady Panthers' second-half surge knocks off Socastee

Lady Panthers' second-half surge knocks off SocasteeThe Carolina Forest High girls basketball team broke up a [more]

Coastal adds Michigan OL transfer to recruiting class

Coastal adds Michigan OL transfer to recruiting classCoastal Carolina head football coach Joe Moglia announced Sean Fitzgerald, [more]

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying Panthers

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying PanthersRetired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he is interested [more]

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America Amateur

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America AmateurCoastal Carolina junior golfer Luis Ruiz has been selected to [more]

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger Invitational

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger InvitationalThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) sent 37 swimmers to compete [more]

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA season

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA seasonFor the first time since his high school days at [more]

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3The Carolina Forest High wrestling team captured the bi-county championship [more]

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA falls

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA fallsOn Friday night, a leaky roof forced the Myrtle Beach [more]

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia State

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia StateArtur Labinowicz scored a career, team and game-high 32 points, [more]

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for wins

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for winsNorth Myrtle Beach High's Cooper Chandler picked the right time [more]

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, field

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, fieldThe annual Myrtle Beach Winter Bump Volleyball Classic, hosted by [more]

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year award

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year awardSt. James High junior Smith Knaffle may need to add [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSU

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSUJaylen Shaw moved into 13th place on the Coastal Carolina [more]

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. James

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. JamesThe North Myrtle Beach boys and girls basketball teams swept [more]

CCU's Ruiz makes cut, still in hunt for Masters invite

CCU's Ruiz makes cut, still in hunt for Masters inviteLuis Ruiz, a junior on the Coastal Carolina men’s golf [more]

CCU Hoops: Men, women take big road wins at Troy

CCU Hoops: Men, women take big road wins at TroyTrailing by 14 points at halftime, Coastal Carolina went on [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach