All-Star race

Jay, Jenna Fryer’s column earlier in the week about The Winston’s, I mean All-Star race, needing tweaking is right. I am of the thinking that NASCAR could get more use out of it if they put it on a Thursday night before the 600 weekend and make it a prime-time event like the NFL Draft or the NFL Thursday night kickoff.
Getting a random night of the week will get more exposure for the whole sport. This would also help shorten the schedule and maybe help us end before November starts (a 30-32 race schedule would help also).
 Also, if we are moving things to Thursday nights, how about the Duel 150s? I can’t be the only one who never watches them as I’m working on Thursday. Maybe the Duels Wednesday and the Shootout Thursday before the 500.

It’s this type of innovative thinking that NASCAR lacks most of the time.

The format does need some help too. Right now the whole night is a four hour marathon. Like any race at cookie-cutter track X, it’s entertaining at the beginning, perfect for a nap in the middle (which I took Sat. night), and halfway exciting at the end. Shorten it up, have less segments that are meaningless in the beginning.

Dean Dziasek
Eagan, Minn.

I love the idea of moving the All-Star race to Thursday night, and I’ve long thought the Duels needed to be in primetime as well for the exact reason that a lot of people can’t watch them because they are at work.

As for the All-Star format, you are again on the money. Saturday night’s race took more than two hours to complete – or more than a minute per lap – and dragged on like one of those college basketball games where it takes 15 minutes to play the final 30 seconds. On top of that, the middle part of the race was about as exciting as watching Martha Stewart glue glitter onto a Styrofoam ball (which doesn’t bode well for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600).

So how to spice it up?

What about really going back to the roots and implementing heat races – maybe three of them with 14 cars each? Instead of guaranteeing spots in the show, only the top five in each heat transfer into the main event.

This idea would certainly need some tweaking, but to me NASCAR’s All-Star race lays flat because, well, every week is an all-star race. The only way to differentiate it is to actually make it different, and right now it’s just a segmented version of the Bud Shootout.

Mr. Hart, Not too bad an All-Star race, but I have to say that the chat was a lot more interesting: At least until KyBusch and Hamlin got into it. That was fun!!!! But it got me to thinking: There were several low-class acts, and a couple of high-class ones, so what do you say we get NASCAR to create some new awards for this year’s banquet:
Carl Edwards won the fan vote to get into the All-Star race.

THE HOW DID HE GET VOTED IN AWARD: Carl Edwards. Nothing against Cousin Carl, in fact I like him, but let’s face it: He ain’t exactly been setting the woods on fire this year. Jeff Burton, on the other hand, has, and wasn’t even close to getting voted in. That’s just a flat-out shame.

THE WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE’S MY TEAMMATE? AWARD: This one’s a tie between Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. They sure didn’t race each other like teammates, but a million bucks will make a guy do strange things.

THE CLASS ACT OF THE NIGHT AWARD: Joe Gibbs. By allowing his five-year old grandson, Taylor, who is in remission from leukemia, to pray the invocation, he showed again just what a class act he is.

Ross Jackson
Longview, Texas

This from my main man Ross Jackson, who’s been bringing the effort.

Funny thing is, Ross, I thought Carl’s reputation would take a hit after taking out Brad Keselowski. Either I was wrong or every insurance agent in the country voted for Cuz.

As for the teammate vs. teammate award, I thought you were going to say it was a tie between … Bush/Hamlin and Jeff Gordon/Jimmie Johnson. Great thing about this is these are the four favorites to race for a championship.

I have a feeling I’m going to be writing about this on Sunday, but can we get to the Chase already?

(Somewhere Brian France is smiling that I just wrote that.)

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