Let’s talk about pet peeves and some observations of the Daytona 5oo. First, when you say, Gentlemen, start your engines”, let’s say it with a little of enthusiasm. I’m really tired of listening to celebrities and CEO of various companies saying the most famous words in racing without some umpf. Nearly every race I’m disappointed. Did you hear Nic Cage? Are you kidding me? Aren’t you some type of actor? Aren’t actors supposed to at least be able to pretend, I think that’s called…acting? Seriously, this is a sport that full of emotion. Emotions that can be either make you the hero or make you into someone’s gimpy little sister. The race fans would like that emotion to start off the day as well.
I have thought that it would be really groovy to open a NASCAR themed restaurant. With all sort of memorabilia on the walls, with a mini tower so people could wave the checkered flag, and a spot where if you would like to tell everyone in said eating establishment to start your engines. I think it would be groovy and fun. A place where race fans could get together and discuss what is NASCAR.
Race fans wouldn’t make the mistake celebrities make. Race fans get it. Race fans understand the thrill of the thunder. Race fans understand loyalty to their driver. They understand how money buys speed. Race fans understand America’s love affair with the car. That love is speed. Seriously, every track and whatever corporation sponsors said race should have a contest and let a fan say the most famous words in racing. I bet you would be surprised at the emotion.
There was a story about Denny Hamlin driver of the FedEx car. A race fan and FedEx team member gave him his purple promise pin and asked him to wear it during the race. Denny said he looked down to take the back off the pin and looked up to say thanks. The Fed Ex team member was gone. Interesting.
There are three commercials that were just awesome. Tony Stewart climbing up the shelves of the grocery store is funny. Tony Stewart doing doughnuts with a shopping cart is good stuff. Tire changer try-outs for Dale Jarrett’s big brown truck is a hoot. There is a very big guy, kind of like The Undertaker or Andre the Giant of WWE fame, changing the tire. Followed by a non descript crew chief saying, “Wait till you see his sister”. The Budweiser Mad Max commercial is one of the best. “Just because it Budweiser on the car. Doesn’t mean there is Budweiser in the car.”

I really think that everyone will remember about this year’s race is not the dramatic finish. Years down the road looking back, we won’t remember that Toyota debuted Cup. We will remember Cheatonya. That’s unfortunate. There are plenty of other stories out there. Here are other headlines that could have had the media’s attention: The Red Sox – Rousch business deal ( Does money buy speed?), Robert Yates Racing ( Have they turned the program around?) , Denny Hamlin ( Last year’s rookie of the year and the first rookie to make “The Chase”, will he fall into a sophomore slump?), DEI ( Can’t we all just get- along?), Theresa Earnhardt (Bet you didn’t know that many NASCAR fans read the Wall Street Journal. Note to self), Kelly Clarkson ( NASCAR is paying her how much to promote the sport? Bring back Ricky Bobby.) , James Hylton ( the oldest person to attempt to qualify for the “Great American Race” ), The Chase has been expanded, ( Will it add excitement to The Chase?), More points for winning (Championships are for winners. It’s about time the drivers were rewarded.) There were plenty of other stories. They race in California this week. It should be a good one.