My viewing came about in an unusual way. I saw my friend Steve this afternoon. He is a gearhead and race fan. His Sunday was planned around the 2½ mile Daytona oval.
Pairs? That seemed wrong, but as I looked at the TV the entire field was made up of two car trains! They were close, very close. Often they were a too close! A little misplaced bump could end your day… and often did.
Steve went on to explain how the track and cars conspired to force the drivers to take this tact. Drive alone and you’ll slow down.
Sure enough as he explained I watched cars on the TV change position slightly. All of a sudden a car that had been part of a couplet was left alone. He slowed down!
I continued watching with Helaine when I came home. We watched a few wrecks and marveled at the drivers who managed to escape with their cars and themselves unscathed. It looked like they were dodging bullets.
NASCAR has benefited greatly from advances in TV technology. There is no camera angle uncovered. Beyond that the integration of data into the pictures makes the whole thing look as high tech as it obviously is.
Like the NFL NASCAR now seems better suited to be watched on the tube than from the stands.
Today’s Daytona was won by Trevor Bayne, a 20 year old rookie driver making only his second big time start. Until an hour ago he was an unknown. TrevorBayne.com features an image and the words, “Official Site Coming Soon.” I’ll bet it is. Real soon!
There are parts of NASCAR that do bug me. There’s the total in-your-face commercialism right down to the soft drink being sipped as drivers are interviewed. I’d feel better if they backed off a little there.
Mostly I was impressed with what I saw. I’m not ready to follow Steve and block out a Sunday, but I’ll be back.