Harvick Steals Bud Shootout Win
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. February 7, 2009 (AP) - Kevin Harvick boldly passed Jamie McMurray on the last lap of the exhibition Budweiser Shootout to give a sparse Saturday night crowd at Daytona International Speedway reason to want more.
"There's nobody who can leave today and say they didn't see an exciting race," third-place finisher Tony Stewart said.
NASCAR has taken a beating in the three months since last season's finale, as the economic crisis forced teams to slash budgets, lay off employees and even cease operations. Unemployed crew members are scouring the garage for work, sponsorships are hard to come by and everyone in NASCAR knows 2009 may be its toughest season ever.
"With the economy the way it is and the amount of layoffs — it's almost depressing right now to turn the news on," second-place finisher McMurray said. "I get up at 6 a.m., I turn the news on and the headline is how many people are getting laid off from major corporations. I think it will be a tough year for us to sell tickets."
When the crash-plagued Shootout finally became a shootout, Harvick used a huge push from Denny Hamlin to grab a come-from-nowhere victory that mimicked his Daytona 500 win two years ago.
"That was some wild racing," Harvick said from Victory Lane. "What a race. That was wild as heck there at the end."
"That was a lot of built-up race-car drivers really looking to hang something out on the edge," Harvick said of the record eight cautions and 23 lead changes.
It was Harvick's first victory in 71 races, dating to the non-points All-Star race in May 2007. The only other event he won that year was the season-opening 500, when he nipped Mark Martin in a photo finish.
Does NASCAR = Boring?
aaim1.com Editorial - While watching the Bud Shootout 2009 on the Fox network, my mind kept pondering the same question, "Is there anything different or exciting happening in this race?" Sure it had it wrecks and lead changes and somewhat thrilling finish, but personally, I'm quickly tiring of NASCAR-style racing.
Maybe it's the restrictor plates, maybe it's the inane NASCAR commercials, maybe it's the "boogity", "boogity", boogity", or maybe it's the same ol' drivers doing the same ol' thing. I think it's the famaliarity that's breeding the mediocrity that blossoms it into the boring.
During the race, one of the TV commentators mentioned that "it appears the cream is rising to the top", referring to the same ol' drivers running at the front of the field. But to me, it was the same ol' racing at the same ol' track.
I don't know if NASCAR has peaked when it comes to fan support and popularity, but if the races continually play out the same year after year, then my golf game can only get better.
I've never been a die-hard stock car fan - heck, NASCAR died for me with the death of Earnhardt Sr. - but I've passively followed the sport. I just need something new and exciting from the stock car set. Maybe NASCAR should consider the following:
- Drivers can only run every other race. Choose your races, odd or even.
- Swap drivers: Each driver must swap cars with their teammate for the next event. [No teammate, No race]
- Change the numbers to letters: The winner is revealed in victory lane!!
- No more NASCAR commericials! !
Seriously, NASCAR racing for me has become indistinguishable year after year. If I Tivo'ed the events, I could watch any recent years' Bud Shootout and practically see what I viewed tonight. That's the problem with NASCAR for me, No variety.
So Brian and Mike, here's some new initiatives that I recommend to make NASCAR more Spicy:
- No More Restrictor Plates! !
- Always, Single File Restarts
- Crash damaged cars must restart at the rear
- Let the leader pace the field to the green
- Make the Bud Shootout - The Bottom 20 in Points
- Pit Stops allowed on green flag only
Since change is inevitable in life, Let's speed up the process and make the racing more exciting, or Tiger Woods better watch out!