Monday, October 3, 2011

The boos and cheers for Dover

The day at Dover was interesting and quite c-c-c-cold. After going to races for years and trying to figure out ways to stay cool, it was quite different to attend one where you spend time trying to stay warm, and that was with two jackets on.
As for the race, it wasn't the best or worst I have seen at Dover. The crowd was small by NASCAR standards. But when many area sports fans are interested in the Eagles 1 p.m. game and the Phillies 8 p.m. playoff game, that leaves NASCAR on the back burner for those who have marginal NASCAR interest.
This time, as a paying customer, it was nice to boo and cheer, even if the drivers can't hear it. Here are my boos and cheers for the day.
BOO: The weather. It was already chilly, walking around before the race. And once you tried to settle into your seat, you realized there was a not-so-nice breeze. This day called for hot chocolate rather than the cold beverages I had for me and my 8-year-old.
CHEER: The Chase for the Championship is just that. After Dover, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards are tied the lead with Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon all within 19 points of the lead.
BOO: Listening to TV and radio coverage on a race scanner, it was difficult to find out who was one lap down or two laps down, especially in the second half of the race. It was especially important as Chase contenders Stewart, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were having bad days, but might have been able to improve their positions a little if they were able to get back on the lead lap.
CHEER: If you like to watch a lot of passing, then Carl Edwards was the guy. He was penalized for speeding on the exit of pit lane and the drive through penalty on the following lap put him down one lap. He regained that lap, then finished third in what was probably the fastest car of the day.
BOO: The starting times are simply too late for these Chase races. Yes, ESPN is paying big bucks to show the Chase races and is undoubtedly calling the shots here. And ESPN has its NFL preview shows on until 1 p.m. But why can't the green flag drop at 1:10 or 1:15? It's not too bad getting home at about 8:30 if you live two hours from the track, but any longer than that, makes it too late if school and work are involved the following day. It was really the best when the green flag dropped at about 12:40 back in the day, but let's just assume those days are long gone.
CHEER: Ticket prices at Dover are at least respectable now. And, if you have younger children, they can get in for just $10 in one of the family sections there with an adult ticket of $58. In these times, that's not too bad for two tickets to a major sporting event.
CHEER: The next Sprint Cup race at Dover is June 3, 2012. That's back to its traditional date, rather than the mid-May dates of past two years.
Until next time

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