Last night my son Matt and I traveled 85 miles to a race in Denison, Iowa. Crawford County Speedway is a dirt track, a little smaller than Tony Stewart’s Ohio palace, Eldora Speedway. The track is not NASCAR, and trucks did not race there-on hand were the 1930’s-1960’s coupes and sedans of the Good Old Time Racin’ Association, IMCA Northern Sport Mods, SLMR Late Models, and the Nebraska 360 Sprint Cars.
Many of you reading this have no clue the type of cars I just mentioned. If you enjoyed the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora, go out to a local dirt track. You will see the same two-three-four wide racing you saw on TV on Wednesday.
On the way to the races we listened to Sirius radio NASCAR talk shows. The truck race at Eldora was one of the big topics of the day, as was Tony Stewart’s interview suggesting he would like an Eldora race for one of NASCAR’s other big three series.
One of the talk show hosts made what I thought was an interesting point. The odds of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the track are not very good. Plus, a Sprint Cup show is hugely expensive. Instead of hosting a Sprint Cup race, perhaps the Ohio track could race Nationwide Series cars.
The cars in the two series are not exactly alike, but they are similar. The cost for a Nationwide Series event is smaller than for a Sprint Cup event. BUT, what would make this event even more attractive is that many Sprint Cup drivers would want to participate.
The one downside I see to adding another NASCAR event at Eldora is that it would tend to lessen the interest in the truck race, and the Eldora truck race has become a signature event for that series.
Probably in jest, but owner Tony Stewart and Eldora promoter Roger Slack talked of building a dome over the facility. Stewart said an engineer he knows says it could be done for $25,000,000. Yes, this is pie in the sky thinking, but this track has always been known for accomplishing what other tracks can’t, plus Stewart has raced indoors many times in winter midget car races. Yes, midgets in arenas in January are a far cry from Sprint Cup cars on a dirt track in the winter.
I haven’t mentioned the Brickyard 400 yet. Wait, make that the Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 At The Brickyard. The name is rather audacious for what many see as a “snoozefest” of a race. To me the biggest thing going for the Indianapolis race is that it is not the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono-next week’s NAPCAR race-no typo there.
I am not knocking naming the Indy race for a member of our military. I just wish that minds that can come up with such thinking would come up with something to make racing on the 105 year old track exciting. The track has been called “absolutely the worst possible configuration for a stock car race,” by NASCAR historian Dan Pierce.
Obviously I am not the only person who thinks this race is a good time for a nap. Just seven years ago, attendance at the Brickyard 400 was estimated at 270,000. Last year’s estimate was 100,000. That means 60% of the track’s seats are going to be empty on Sunday. Most of the empty seats will be covered by huge advertising banners, but even creative placing of TV cameras will not be able to hide the fact that there are more empty seats than fans in the stands.
Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart are ranked as the best on the flat Indiana track. Stewart is certainly in need of a win. Only 16 drivers will make the season ending Chase-winners in the top 30 in standings, or non-winners in the top 16 in points. Stewart does not have a win this season, and is currently 19th in Sprint Cup points, 17 behind Roush Fenway driver Greg Biffle.
I don’t want to put a curse on anyone by predicting they will win, but I really would like to see Stewart qualify for the Chase. I am not predicting he will, just saying I wish he would. That would certainly top off a big week, first the highly successful Truck Series race, and then a huge win in his home state.
Thanks for stopping by.