Hey race fans! Sorry about the hiatus once again. I’ve already had a couple of these this year. Sometimes life takes over and things like NASCAR take a backseat, but all is well.
I would like to introduce to you the newest member of the Stock Car Spin family, Dustin Rossell. Dustin is a Michigan native who appreciates some of the old-school drivers(he’s a Jeff Gordon fan). Mr. Rossell was kind enough to have a discussion with me about pretty much all things NASCAR. Consider this his introduction to our family, and give him a nice, warm welcome:
Dustin Rossell: I love NASCAR.
Ben Montedonico: I bet you’ve really loved it this year with Jeff winning twice.
DR: Yeah, that’s been nice. Haven’t seen that in awhile.
BM: I know, right? Last time he won multiple races in a year was 2007, and we know how that went for him.
DR: He had about 30 top tens that year I believe.
BM: Something like that. All he did was dominate. He had like 6 wins I believe and ended up second in points. Could have won it had it not been for the Chase. and Jimmie’s 5 straight wins in the Chase.
DR: That’s where that chase format can screw over drivers.
BM: It does. Personally, I don’t like it. It hasn’t added the excitement factor it was supposed to, even though last year’s finish was good. And the most deserving driver often doesn’t win.Basically, you have to be good for 10 races and decent for 26, when you really should be good for all 36
DR: And what you do in the regular season doesn’t account for anything. Except for wins. You can have a 200 point lead with 1 win but since another driver has 2 wins, you will no longer have that big lead going into the chase. Consistency means nothing anymore.
BM: Exactly. I think NASCAR overreacted when Kenseth won his title in ’03. That’s what got them wanting to change the format. But you’re right; what it did was result in an almost-worthless first 26 races.
DR: That is why I’d love to see Jeff win a championship in this Chase format since he’s already won in everything else. Different cars, different points system, different drivers. Just a different era. He’s pretty much won in everything throughout his career.
BM: That’s true. And that’s where I have to give Tony Stewart some credit as well. Say what you will about the guy, but he’s the only driver to win under both the previous format and this one.
DR: I don’t mind Tony Stewart, he’s a very good racer. Good racer on dirt, too.
BM: Oh, absolutely incredible. A lot of guys these days are good dirt racers. Bowyer, Kahne, Newman. There’s a whole bunch.
DR: Thing that amazes me about 48 is that his car can be completely terrible at the beginning of the race, then towards the end he’s battling for the win. Chad Knaus is just a genius.
BM: That team is all Chad Knaus in my opinion. The guy is good, and he’s been really good at getting NASCAR on his side. I’ve seen him point to a spot on the race track to an official when Jimmie’s in a bad spot and NASCAR almost immediately throws the caution. I saw it happen at Talladega in ’08. Te guy must have a way about him.
DR: Just like he knows where Jimmie can speed on pit road & get away with it.
BM: Oh my gosh, I know. Apparently everybody has access to that information, so it baffles me that Jimmie and Chad are the only ones that seem to use it.
DR: I was at the Michigan race
BM: How was it?
DR: Wasn’t too bad, typical Michigan race.
BM: How was the crowd?
DR: I had to get the worst guy sitting behind me in the entire section. Was a Jimmie Johnson fan booing Jeff Gordon during driver intros. Not sure if he was doing it on purpose cause I had my Gordon gear on or what. I didn’t like it though.
BM: That sounds unpleasant. How was it otherwise? Like was it a decent size or were there a lot of empty seats?
DR: I noticed a lot of empty seats. Had to be at least 100,000 though.
BM: 100,000 was the attendance?
DR: I think I heard them announce 108,000.
BM: That’s not too bad, especially for that venue.
DR: Of course I went and Jeff struggled all day.
BM: Figures. That happens sometimes. At least you had a good time though, right?
DR: Yeah, it wasn’t too bad. Would prefer going to a different track from now on though.
BM: Can’t say I blame you there. Any preferences?
DR: Kentucky would probably be fun. Or Indianapolis.
BM: I’ve been to Charlotte twice and I went to Atlanta once for a Nationwide race. I love promoting Atlanta because it’s my home track, but Charlotte to me is the better venue with the better action.
DR: That’d be quite the trip for me to get to Charlotte.
BM: Is Michigan your home track?
DR: Yeah, it is.
BM: Yeah that’s quite a trip then. Kentucky may be the best bet for you then. All the tracks in the midwest pretty much look the same.
DR: I see more on TV then I do being there anyways.
BM: True. That is where I have to give credit to Charlotte though. At least from the Turn 4 grandstands, you can see everything. I’m hoping to go back in October so I can see the new Jumbo-tron.
DR: I could see around the entire track at Michigan sitting 30 rows up but the racing there just isn’t that good. Big track, multiple grooves but they get so spread out and there’s barely any cautions the entire race.
BM: Yeah, Carl Edwards said something about downforce being a huge problem at these tracks nowadays. Maybe if they went back to the old car it wouldn’t be a problem.
DR: Well, in 2013 they will have new cars so hopefully it will be fixed, I heard that too. You get stuck in dirty air and you can’t go anywhere.
BM: Exactly. Hopefully the problem will be fixed. Something has to be done, although I am afraid to say that because everytime something gets “done” it just makes things worse.
DR: Usually run into new problems.
BM: Exactly. If they just went back to the way things were in 2004, ’05, or ’06 I would be satisfied. Heck, even ’03, except minus the safety concerns. But the same points system and cars.
DR: Jeff liked the older cars a lot more, that much I do know.
BM: Trust me, he’s not the only one.
DR: I’d believe it.
BM: You got that right. Well bud, I think I’m gonna go ahead and wrap this up. Great talking to you and welcome to the blog!
DR: Alright, thanks. Good talking to you as well. Talk to ya later.
Be sure to welcome Dustin to the family and tell him what you think of his opinions!