A Penny and Her Thoughts by Penny Aicardi
Post-Race Commentary on the NASCAR All-Star Showdown
TRYING TO MAKE THE RAIN GO AWAY
NASCAR really put forth an effort to try and get all the events in scheduled for what they have dubbed the Daytona 500 of short track racing, and frankly, it really is. Rain had a choke hold on them Friday. It would stop raining just long enough for officials to get the track dry before it would start raining again. I hear they went through more than a thousand gallons of jet fuel Friday in their attempts to get some on-track activity going!
But perhaps their effort went a little too far.
Teams arrived at the track Friday morning at 6:45 a.m. and weren't able to leave until midnight. For what? A single practice session that started at 10:40 p.m. and ended somewhere around 11:10 p.m. I didn't hear any of the teams complaining - in fact, they were all really good about it. That single practice session was much needed. However, by the time teams got packed up and left, it was already officially Saturday, and they had to be back for 6:30 a.m. for another long, 18 hour day.
Let's face it, this is racing, and those kinds of days are not unheard of. Usually, however, it's a single instance. One day, you're done, and sleep the next. Not this time. I'm sorry, but less than six hours of sleep when you're working for the biggest show of the year? That's a safety issue. Sometimes you just have to say, okay, we've tried hard enough.
Overall, I have to emphasize, the Showdown was a big success for NASCAR. The date change from November to January really worked out for them as evidenced with the healthy crowd that was on hand. Kudos to the officials for making some of the tough calls (although I think Ron Hornaday should have received a call against him as well). People are talking about racing, and talking about the Camping World Series and its drivers. There's nothing better than that!
Track workers and NASCAR worked hard to make up for a rainy track. Did they try too hard? (NASCAR Photos)
NO SPONSORSHIP = NO RACING
Trevor Bayne completed his last Camping World Series East start this year with his second place finish at the Showdown. It's really too bad because this kid has a lot of talent and a lot of potential. I hate to see it happen.
Unfortunately, the biggest reason why is not news at all. No sponsorship.
Unfortunately, we heard a lot of talk in the garage area about how the economy is hurting these teams. Schrader Racing is another big team that won't be back unless funding miraculously shows up for them to field a driver.
When the showdown began, it was an East versus the West kind of mentality. NASCAR even awarded points and extra prize money for whatever series beat out the other. This year, with the invitations going out to all of NASCAR's touring events, there was none of that, and I kind of missed it. For all you who missed it as well, we had three East drivers and five West Series drivers finish in the top-10. Okay, the other two spots belong to Truck Series drivers so I'm not counting them. The West would have won it.
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The 2009 edition of the Showdown had 13 caution periods. Believe it or not, no records set here. It's just another year to add to a tie. Both 2007 and 2005 showdowns each had 13 cautions as well. This year's event, nevertheless, had the most caution laps at 86.
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Great coverage of the race by SPEED Channel. They really went out of their way to try and accommodate everyone even with the drastic change in the schedule due to rain.