May 12, 2012
By Jim Fitzgerald
Up In The Marbles…After The Aaron’s 499
MmmHmmm, This IS A Tasty Burger…
We had three wide racing, four wide racing, pack racing and tandem racing.
There was good passing, cautions, restarts, more cautions, and more restarts. We had some mangled up race cars, and we also had a Green-White-Checkered finish which included a pass for the win.
That is just about anything that anyone could ever ask for in a race, and this last race at Talladega had it all. In fact, if you have been listening to race fans and media outlets, Talladega was just what the fans were wanting in a race, based on the aforementioned criteria. Now, everyone should be happy, and the entire world is under a sunny sky.
Not so fast, Alabama Jack.
There is still unrest in the forest and trouble with the trees. So what has drawn the ire of the NASCAR fan now? Well, I quote: “I don’t like the problem NASCAR has created by making the air intake smaller and forcing the drivers to watch their gauges.”
Ok, folks. Really? You didn’t like the tandem racing, so for the most part, it is now gone. You can only pull off the two-car pocket rocket for a few laps before the car overheats, but you can use it to try to improve your position. It’s like a “push to pass” scenario. You get pushed and you make the pass, but you are limited in the amount of time you can perform this task.
The cars will not stand up to that style of racing, because the complaining race fan didn’t like it, and NASCAR made changes. So, now that NASCAR has made changes which do not allow for 188 laps of tandem racing, the complaining fan does not like those rules?
This is probably not the case. The same fan that complained about not liking the tandem racing is probably not the same fan that is complaining about the rules that made it an almost obsolete practice.
I would like you to think of a hamburger. This is no ordinary hamburger, though. This one is plain. In front of me, I have a hamburger with nothing on it. This is not a very appetizing burger, at least not for me. My burger needs substance. Let’s build this burger with things I like, and you build your burger the exact same way. As soon as I put something on my burger that you don’t like, you’re going to walk away from the table.
The first thing my burger needs is cheese. (All the lactose intolerant people just walked away from the burger.) Now I want mayonnaise. (All the healthy eating people just walked away from the burger.) Can we what? Can we put onion on the burger? OH, absolutely not. Not on my burger, anyway. (All the onion lovers just left.)
Now, I’m going to put some crispy bacon on the burger. (People that don’t eat pork just left the table.) And now, to top of my glorious burger, I shall place a fried egg. (People who are afraid to try anything new just walked away.) So, now, in front of me, the burger that I like, and not everyone else will.
Now, imagine that burger is a race, and everything you want to see in it. For my friends in Wisconsin, the cheese is “pack” racing. (Get it? Cheese. Pack. Wisconsin. Green Bay. Pack.
Never mind. Anyway, everyone who likes Tandem racing just walked away from the table.) That mayonnaise I put on that burger, that’s racing. It’s smooth, and it always stays where it is supposed to be. (Those folks that watch for the wrecks just got up and left the table.) And that tasty crispy bacon, well, that my friends is the Bristol debate, consisting of a little bit of meat and a lot of fat. That is side-by-side racing. (Those fans that like the root and gouge, bump and run style at Bristol, well, they are not here anymore.) And that recently fried egg? You didn’t see that one coming did you?
Just like that surprise announcement that there are some cars that can make it on fuel, and some that cannot. (The fans that hate fuel mileage races, we just lost them.)
My burger, my racing. That does not mean, however, that my burger is better than yours. It is as such in my eyes, just as your onion and mustard burger may be the better burger for you. Just as my side by side, fuel mileage, no wrecking, pack racing burger may not appeal to you, your single file, crash ‘em up, caution with 15 laps to go tandem racing burger may not appeal to me.
The challenges are laid out in front of us, like so many burgers. How does Burger King (NASCAR/Tracks) create a burger that everyone likes? This would be a tough order, between pack racing and tandem racing, old Bristol and new Bristol, race fests and wreck fests, and the great fuel mileage issue. The truth is, Burger King (the actual Burger King) has found an answer that NASCAR never could, and never will.
If you don’t like what comes on the Burger King burger, you can tell them to hold the pickles and add a tomato. Burger King let’s you have it your way. NASCAR is not in the position to try to appease every fan at every race, simply because that is impossible. To have the goal to build one product for millions of fans to enjoy, and have every one of those millions enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed is unrealistic.
NASCAR, as the sanctioning body, has the unenviable task of trying to please everyone, and it simply cannot be done, because people want too many different types of hamburger.
So, I know what I like on my burger. It’s a juicy burger with everything on it that I mentioned before. That’s the perfect burger for me. Sometimes though, I don’t get that egg, and sometimes I don’t get that bacon.
Sometimes the roll isn’t toasted, and sometimes the burger is cooked more than rare. I may not get my perfect burger every time, but when I settle down for a burger, I still get the burger. I may not get the greatest race in the history of NASCAR when I sit down to watch it, but odds are, I liked it. I’ll bet there is also someone out there that was more than thrilled with it when it’s all said and done, because the recipe for a great race for them is different than it is for you and me.
“You can please some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can never please the NASCAR fan all of the time.”
That’s how it goes, right?
That is all for me this week. I would like to take this time to wish all the mothers out there a very happy and safe Mother’s Day, especially to a few in particular! I’ll catch up with you all after Darlington!
Remember to follow me on Twitter @Forewasabi I’ll have good things for you in a month or so.
“I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in, and going after your dreams.”
Remember to follow me on Twitter: @forewasabi
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The thoughts and ideas expressed by this writer or any other writer on Insider Racing News, are not necessarily the views of the staff and/or management of IRN.