Sunday, May 20, 2018

Harvick Keeps Powering In Spirited All-Star Race

NASCAR's 2018 All Star Race became a test bed for the restrictor plate-draft duct package and the test proved worth it in a spirited affair with numerous upset bids.




The Winston Cup Monster Energy All Star Open and Feature






The new package, first run in the Lillys Brickyard 250 last season, was anticipated to where the lone practice session before the race was monitored more intently than most practices. As one might expect the drivers spent lengthy time feeling out the cars, and as they got comfortable they became more spirited, to where late in the session there was a roughly 20-car sidedraft.   


Takeaways from the most anticipated All Star Race in years -


Scoring showed 38 lead changes, nineteen official and nineteen additional between the Open and the Feature.   Even with that passing the leader proved harder than hoped, but clearly this was not caused by this package, given the drivers now have a genuine drafting effect to work with.  Handling proved more important than perhaps anticipated, especially fresh tires - all of which teams will address down the road.   Historically the draft has mattered at Charlotte and Atlanta but not to quite the effect as at Daytona and Talladega; it nonetheless has been an aid to passing.

For several lengthy periods the leader was free because his pursuers spent too much time racing for second.   Kevin Harvick had posted the strongest trap speeds down the backstretch in Friday's qualifying session and it showed in the race at the end the way he was eating his chasers up entering Three.    It showed anew how much stronger Harvick is compared to everyone else.

In the Open Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez grabbed the first two segments and thus transferred to the Feature but it was AJ Allmendinger who stormed to win the race and then followed that up by flying through the Feature field.  His very promising night ended when he whacked the wall pretty hard, thus denying the All Star Race a darkhorse winner even though he salvaged a respectable eighth at the end.

Allmendinger was one of several wildcards whose promising night didn't end as well as hoped.  In the Open Bubba Wallace led seven laps and was clawing for the win; the last-lap three-wide near-shunt wound up killing his night down to a disappointing 11th.

It was once again a showdown between Harvick and the Toyotas and the Toyotas wound up either shooting themselves via a big melee involving Martin Truex and Kyle Busch or couldn't quite get past Harvick, as was the case for Daniel Suarez en route to a frustrating second.

It was yet another lousy night for the Roush Fords - Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse swept the front row then were never heard from again after Stenhouse led the opening five laps.   The Ford fleet outside of Harvick curiously was also uneven - Joey Logano ran stout but crashed with Kyle Larson late and still finished third; Brad Keselowski was quiet all night and eliminated in the big wreck with Kurt Busch - his second crash of the night - and Clint Bowyer, who self-servingly whined the racing was like an Xfinity race.   Ryan Blaney also had a rough night.

Though not in contention, the Chevrolets overall showed for the first time since Daytona some actual fight, especially Jimmie Johnson.   Though it was the tail-end of the top ten, five Chevys nonetheless finished in the top ten - far and away better than what the Chevrolets have run pretty much all season.

But the big story was and is the restrictor plate-draft duct package and its effectiveness, to where Harvick on PRN seemed to offer an endorsement of it.  "How do we merge this package and the superspeedway package to be the same, because I think we can." Certainly the bottom line is this package is far and away better than what the sport has had for many years.   Difficulty passing the leader is no longer something the teams can't solve, and this race also showed while Harvick is well above everyone else it's no longer the canyon of a gap it had been earlier this season.


So the sport now has genuine reason to anticipate better racing and also that a number of teams will eventually ascend to challenge Harvick and others.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Continuing Lie That Is Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter movement is a vengeful fit of bigotry pretending to be about justice - shown in the group's dishonesty about crime and its antisemitism.

The Real Point Of The Investigation Of Trump

The FBI's investigation of Trump is not a criminal investigation - because no crime was ever committed.   It is a counterintelligence investigation at the behest of then-President Obama.   Basically the rules were changed to try and deny the defendant right to defend himself, even though literally no evidence exists that Trump or his people in any way aided Soviet espionage.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Fraud Of "Me Too"

First this post from January 18:


The entertainment industry's non-reform after the exposure of rapist Harvey Weinstein continued with the idiotic Golden Globe ass-kissing. The fraud continues as the "Me Too" movement pushes not accountability but feminist entitlement in a hookup culture. It also extends to Public Radio as it enabled sexual molester Garrison Keillor while Harvey Weinstein's moral relativism gets examined.


Now the fraud of "Me Too" continues as Eric Schneiderman exposes yet further the fraudulence of leftism in general and the Democratic Party and its cultural control in particular.

The Savages Of Gaza

Hamas launched a "protest" attack in Gaza looking to sacrifice lives to score propaganda points against Israel. And as usual some are falling for it.

The Case for Holding Students Accountable

Students work harder and better when they're held accountable and have a direct stake in succeeding - something they don't necessarily have now.

A Scientific Fraud Becomes Enshrined In EU Regulatory Law

A pesticide is banned in the EU based on a lie

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Perversion That Is The Democratic Party

Racial and sexual perversion has overwhelmingly been a Democratic Party failing from Harvey Weinstein to Joe Biden et al to Eric Schneiderman of late. This piece looks at reasons why, yet oddly seems to ignore the roles that entitlement and moral relativism play in left-wing hate - liberals want to bully and boss around people and mold people into doing what they're told, and they dress it up as "it's good for you."

NASCAR's State Of Confusion

NASCAR enters Charlotte's two weeks of racing with yet more confusion as to where the sanctioning body is going. First came a Reuters story that the France family was looking to sell its ownership stake, or at least part of it, to an outside buyer - the story got a sharper angle when a name of a potential buyer was mentioned in Comcast, the entertainment giant - in keeping with Liberty Media's purchase of the F1 sanctioning body. Another angle comes with word that team owners are increasingly unhappy with NASCAR even as the sanctioning body and team owners have striven to work together more in recent years. Such news comes amid ratings for the sanctioning body continuing to labor.



"A budget cap is one aspect of the wider topic of the competitive framework of the sport, which has been an imoretant topic of late in Team Owner Council meetings and RTA discussions."

Andrew Murstein of Richard Petty Motorsports in the Sports Business Daily piece advocates going to more night races and going to some mid-week races, ignoring the failure of night racing in Winston Cup and the fact that late start times for Sunday races have helped drive fans away.  


This comes as the 2018 season has seen some genuine improvement in the racing, with a wild and compelling Daytona 500, a strikingly spirited Phoenix 300, and a wild finish at Kansas.





Kansas had several spirited bouts up front.

 





It also had a huge melee late in the race.







Kevin Harvick had to run down Martin Truex to win the race.


Word of a possible sale of at least partial ownership to an outside entity has brought out the usual bitterness from some long-time fans with the usual nonsensical calls for "bring back stock bodies" etc. - never mind stock bodies proved unusable long ago.   Solutions are well known and should not need belaboring and the bitterness by some fans continues to reek of spurned lover syndrome.


As for the on-track competition, with the coming All-Star Race the restrictor plate-draft duct package will get its first race on an intermediate oval after last year's successful Lillys Xfinity 250 at Indianapolis.   Given that the draft historically has mattered a great deal on intermediates like Charlotte and Atlanta one can feel this package will open up passing.   The likely winners will be Fords, whose program is simply that much better than everyone else's, especially the Stewart-Haas Fords, though Penske's bunch is still good.

JGR and Truex are still stout, but it's obvious Truex's team misses the #77 car, as their muscle simply isn't there now.

Chevrolet has become irrelevant, period.   More and more the prospect that Chevrolet will not be in any contention the rest of the season is becoming real, and shows how the favoritism of Chevy to Hendrick's team is now costing them - having done nothing to bolster their other teams, Chevrolet is now not just also-rans but junk as such.   Chevy needs to reassign some of their engineers to other teams and get all of their teams working directly together a la the Pontiacs two decades past.

A humorous byproduct is the failure of the young gun drivers, who have simply been out of contention from the start of the season.   True, Chase Elliott has led laps and fought for top fives but nowhere has shown the maturity or intelligence that indicates he's learning how to win.   His young Hendrick teammates right now look lost at the Cup level; they look like actual rookies, and weak ones at that.   The old NASCAR saw that it will take five years to see if the kids actually can become competent racers seems to have come back to the sport - talk about throwback.

Elliott's idiotic tantrum at Ricky Stenhouse after the race shows what's wrong with the young guns - Stenhouse swerved Elliott high in Four and afterward Elliott drilled him, then complained about Stenhouse racing him too hard, a contemptible opinion for which Elliott was deservedly ripped by Larry McReynolds.   Stenhouse for his part does deserve criticism for chopping off Elliott instead of holding his line better.

The flameout of the young guns has now cost one of them his race team as Trevor Bayne is now going down as the first spectacular drafting bust of NASCAR in recent memory.   One struggles to see him ever getting another Cup chance.


******


An unexpected angle came with the Supreme Court's overruling of government bans on sports betting, opening up the potential that sports bodies will see direct gambling by fans on contests, players, etc.  Concern about competition integrity is legitimate, but as pointed out on Sirius XM radiocasts it is bookies themselves who expose cheating scandals and thus ensure competitions are legitimate.   The potential revenue sanctioning bodies may achieve has been the big temptation involved, and NASCAR may be the sport best suited to legalized gambling.

For the sport to benefit most, teams and tracks need to see genuine benefit.  Betting should also shy away from NASCAR's misbegotten playoff idea - instead betting should be about winning races, laps led, and hard charger awards - performance, in short, not contrived title formats.

So we thus await the All-Star affair and whether NASCAR can begin getting things in better order for going forward.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

2018 Maine Mammoths vs Massachusetts Pirates





Arena football is as exciting and competitive as anything and the first-year Massachusetts Pirates squared off in Week 6 with the Maine Mammoths in a wild affair where two-score leads were twice erased, a unique scoring rule was utilized to pivotal effect by the Mammoths, and the game went to a wild overtime.