Saturday, June 24, 2006

Road Racing Hinders Talent

Sears Point is the first of two road races in Winston Cup, and the usual nonsense gets written about how the road courses bring out the talent of race drivers and so forth. One shakes one's head when someone tries to defend road racing, particularly in NASCAR or IRL.

The talent argument goes along the lines of how drivers have to brake, get off the gas, shift gears, etc. to navigate the course. The problem is that this is not a display of talent.

Talent in racing lies in passing. Racing is not about driving racecars, it is about racing other racecars. Road racing by its very nature impedes ability to pass, so what we get is not a display of racing talent but impediment to such.

We've seen some good racing the previous few weeks at Dover, Pocono, and Michigan. Certainly all three deserve even better than what they saw - Pocono and Michigan in particular used to rival Daytona and Talladega in breaking the 40-lead-change barrier - but they were and always are still enjoyable. There is not that much to enjoy in a road race, because it is all about staying on the track, not racing anyone.

That is not real racing.

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