Poco-NOto ‘Car of’

Jun 5, 2007 7:45 AM

This week’s race is at Pocono Raceway. It’s Race 14 this season and the first of two held at the Pennsylvania site.

The second event will be held the first weekend of August, a week after the Brickyard 400. Both of the races at Pocono this season will be run with the Old Car, The Car of Yesterday, The Days are Numbered Car" or whatever you want to call the traditional automobile they used to run, but still do.

The name game of this car is so silly. By setting a precedent and calling The Car by a special name, does that mean NASCAR will always have a Car of Tomorrow? Perhaps they will live in the past by using the car that was deemed Tomorrow and do it yesterday or Forever." Then again, they may strive to never see tomorrow by keep telling us there is a Car of Tomorrow.

They should call it the Car of Infinity, but Toyota might have some gripes about that since they spent a chunk of cash on sponsorship/entry fee into NASCAR. This cycle goes on and on. I think only George Carlin or Stephen Wright can make sense of it and what it truly means in the end, if it ever does end.

The race schedule for 2008 won’t be announced until August. Bad news: It is very unlikely that Las Vegas will get a second race date. The problem is that NASCAR isn’t adding any extra dates to the schedule. The only way Vegas could get another race is if SMI bought Pocono (which isn’t for sale) or move one of the SMI tracks’ current dates to Vegas.

And, SMI has already said this will not happen.

I honestly thought Vegas would get the date, believing SMI President Bruton Smith would do all he could in his power to bring that date here. I believed it, even if it meant Smith giving up one of the Atlanta dates. He spent so much money on the new track at Vegas, revolutionizing how all will make tracks now.

A facility like Atlanta that never sells out would be the perfect swap for SMI only because they’ll make much more money in ticket sales and concession sales.

Pocono is the track that should have one of its races removed if there wasn’t so much red tape involved. The unique track configuration would definitely be missed because of how all the others are cloned after one another. However, on a financial level you have to wonder how the sponsors (NASCAR and TV Networks) allow for this track to have two races making less than every other facility.

Furthermore, how do they justify having one race there, let alone two? The races don’t sell out, they have no sponsorship, and the races are the last ones picked by the networks. This week’s race is the first being televised by TNT this season. These races used to be on the Nashville Network delayed, right after Hee-Haw re-runs.

If I were a country song writer in Nashville, my song on the matter would be, "Goodbye Pocono”¦and Hello Vegas!"

Pocono breakdown

In last year’s Pocono races, Denny Hamlin dominated and swept the season. It was the second time in three years that there was a season sweep. Jimmie Johnson did it in 2004.

The favorites this week come from the Gibbs stable led by Hamlin and Tony Stewart. Just behind them are the Hendrick drivers followed by the Penske duo of Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.

The track is about pure horsepower, so don’t look for many upsets this week. It’s all about meat and potatoes.

ROBERTS TOP 5 at POCONO

 

EVENTS

WINS

TOP 10s

18

10

50 of 90

1.

#2

Kurt Busch

(7/1)

2.

#20

Tony Stewart

(7/1)

3.

#48

Jimmie Johnson

(8/1)

4.

#11

Denny Hamlin

(6/1)

5.

#24

Jeff Gordon

(10/1)

 

EVENTS

WINS

TOP 10s

18

10

50 of 90