After the race on Saturday night at Kentucky, I did not write a summary, article, or whatever you want to call it. I was so displeased with two things about the race, I knew that I could not put together an article of what happened during the race. There actually was not a whole lot to say about the race itself. Kyle Busch won the race and basically dominated most of the night. We saw some good side by side racing back in the pack when the broadcast on TNT decided to show it to us.
So what two things had me upset that I simply closed the laptop and did not put together a summary of the race? The first item was the overall coverage of the race. Normally I do not bag on the broadcast and how many commercials they show during the race, but it was just unbelievable the number of times TNT showed roughly five to seven laps, and then cut to commercial break. I recall green flag stops having already started when they returned from commercial. I also was not impressed with the enhanced audio they threw us as well.
When I am watching a race on TV, I want to see the action on the track. I want to see the race presented in segments that are easy to follow. Each segment between commercials has its own little story to tell. It could be that pit stops have just ended, pit stops are coming up, a lead change has occurred, or tough racing is going on in the back of the pack. The possibilities are actually endless of what could happen at any segment of a race.
There was no consistency to what TNT was putting on the screen on Saturday night. It seemed that the director in the truck was trying to cover his or her first race ever. With all the stoppages we saw in the coverage to be sold sandwiches, motor oil, and car insurance, I even commented on Twitter that TNT was making up commercial breaks from the wide open coverage they presented us with at the Daytona race the week before. I am sure I am not the only one to say that I will be happy to see TNT’s coverage of the Sprint Cup Series end after this week at New Hampshire.
The next problem I had with the race had to do with the traffic. We have all heard the nightmare stories at this point of race fans sitting in traffic to get into the parking lots for five or six hours. Twitter was on fire with fans still sitting in traffic miles away from the track as the green flag fell to start the event. I realize this is the first time that Kentucky had a completely full house with the new grandstands that were built. I would reason that every fan attending the event would expect to sit in some traffic with the amount of people who were going to the race.
The amount of traffic was inexcusable though. The race track, local police, the Kentucky State Police, NASCAR, and the hired help to direct traffic are all at fault for this debacle. Kentucky is an SMI track that features many race tracks that seat well over 100,000 fans for a race. How did this company not pool its resources to come up with the best traffic and parking plan possible is beyond me. I live within a distance of Kentucky that I could make a day trip to the race track for the race. After seeing the stories about Kentucky, I have no plans to attend an event at that track any time soon.
It was also a joke that during the race the track released a statement that did not contain an apology to the fans about the traffic. Keep in mind as well that not everyone who sat in traffic on Saturday was attending the race. Travelers using the interstate were also caught up in the traffic, as well as truckers working hard to make a living. It was not until well after the event was over that an apology was given to the fans.
Once the apology was given, fans that had tickets they were not able to use for the event, SMI has offered those fans the opportunity to use their ticket at any other SMI track this season or for the Kentucky race next year. I noticed that there was no option given to the fans to receive a refund for their unused ticket. Big company with all the speedways and Bruton Smith’s company cannot give up any of that capital that has already been raked into the coffers.
My one final point on this disgrace of traffic direction and lack of planning for a huge crowd attending an event goes to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A couple of years ago the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR, and Goodyear could have cared less about the fans when the tire shredding incident called for a competition caution to be thrown ever 10 to 12 laps. A joke of a race was conducted with the event being called a success because the fans saw the cars go the distance.
With the Kentucky traffic incident, Indianapolis is now offering incentives to those who could not use their Kentucky ticket to come to the Brickyard 400 this year. This pisses me off more than anything. I understand you have to market the race, but Indianapolis has decided that it is okay to offer an incentive on someone else’s mistake, but no incentive to those loyal fans that use to make the Brickyard 400 the grand event it once was when they had problems.
Enough of the negative I guess, so I am moving on to this week and my fantasy racing pick of the week. I am going to take Jeff Burton this week. New Hampshire feels like a Burton track and I think he is going to have strong run this week.
The wreck of the week is Robert Richardson Jr. wrecking during the Nationwide Series race: