I’m going to go out on the proverbial branch and predict an unnatural phenomenon to occur this weekend.
This Sunday, NASCAR will drop the green flag on the 59th running of the legendary Daytona 500. At or near that time, I predict that there will be unnatural warming and a distinct hum heard in three places – one in Mooresville, N.C., and two near Daytona Beach, Fla.
Those three places would be the burial sites of Dale Earnhardt, who is interred in a private plot on the grounds of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in Mooresville, and the burial sites of Bill France Sr. and Bill France, Jr., who are interred at Hillside Cemetery in Ormond Beach and Daytona Memorial Park, respectively.
NASCAR, in the face of dwindling fan interest and ticket sales, has once again changed its rules in the hope of building back fan support. It’s not enough that they’ve taken the tried-and-true “win the most races, win the championship” format and created the “Chase” playoff system, now they are splitting all their races into “stages,” so you’ll have three “races within a race.” This is supposedly designed to attract “Millenials” who apparently suffer from Short Attention Span Syndrome. In addition, there are points awarded in each stage, plus “playoff points.” They’ve also changed the rules to disallow cars going to the garage for repairs and then returning to the race.
To me, it’s like political correctness applied to racing. It’s like the concept of “participation trophies,” where nobody has to go home disappointed. They’ve complicated it so much that it’s almost incomprehensible to try to keep track of what’s happening, and who’s winning what.
Yes, I know I’m old and cranky, but this is just silly. It was so much better when they just lined them up and let them race. Whomever got the most points at the end of the season won the title. Simple.
So, while the fans in the stands at Daytona are trying to figure out Who’s On First this Sunday, scientists will be trying to figure out what those three warm, humming spots in North Carolina and Daytona are. I can tell them: they are the corpses of Dale Earnhardt and the father-and-son Frances spinning in their graves.
Above: The green flag flies on a new season of NASCAR.
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