Inside Motorsports

Inside Motorsports: ’13 Cup season was set up to disappoint

October 23, 2013 

  • Next Race

    Goody’s 500

    Where: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway

    When: 1:30 p.m. Sunday

    TV: ESPN

    Radio: Motor Racing Network

    Last year’s winner: Jimmie Johnson

— Given the stories of late, there seems to be a growing trend among many NASCAR media, and fans for that matter, that the 2013 season is turning out to be one giant disappointment.

For one, that always will be true for some because only one driver can win the Sprint Cup Series championship each season, leaving fans of the other 40 or so unhappy.

However, considering how this season started, one must seriously consider whether it has been set up to fail from the get-go.

Let’s review some heralded storylines headed into 2013:

• Danica Patrick will become the first woman to run a full Cup season with a good team and her success could revolutionize the sport. Actual result: She has one top-10 finish and is 28th in the standings.

• NASCAR debuts its Gen-6 model car, which features greater manufacturer identity and designed to improve the racing, which could help revolutionize the sport. Actual result: NASCAR is busy working on aerodynamic improvements to the car for 2014, but the cars do look good.

• Former X-Games star Travis Pastrana will run a full season in the Nationwide Series with a top team and his success could galvanize youth and revolutionize the sport. Actual result: Pastrana is 14th in points, has wrecked out of five races and hasn’t come close to a victory.

• This is the year Dale Earnhardt Jr. will (1) win again, (2) contend again for the title and (3) win his first series championship, all of which will revolutionize the sport. Actual result: Earnhardt has not won, he did qualify for the Chase but quickly fell out of contention.

Those fans who depended upon the outcome of just those four examples likely are to be very disappointed this season. But who is to blame?

Certainly media outlets that trumpeted (predicted) the outcomes before a lap was raced played a role, but so did NASCAR.

There is a disturbing trend in NASCAR to announce what new drivers/rule changes/new cars are going to do before any actually have a chance to do so.

And while all are made with good intentions, in the end, they are doing a disservice to the sport overall.

Notes

RPM to briefly change numbers

Richard Petty Motorsports will make special tribute this weekend to the latest Petty family member to be elected into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The team announced this week that Aric Almirola will race a No.41 Ford this weekend in Martinsville, Va., replacing the traditional No.43. The No.41 will be Petty Blue and feature the likeness of Maurice Petty, who used the number during his driving career.

Maurice was a driver, crew chief and a car owner, but he most is known for being the engine builder for the family's operation.

Goodguys show tour to stop at CMS

The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association’s 30th anniversary season will stop at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals.

Fans will see thousands of show cars glistening with candy colors sprawl out through the infield of CMS on Friday-Sunday. In addition, there will be competition in the Goodguys AutoCross, an electronically timed vehicle speed and agility course.

Adult tickets will be $18 and ages 7-12 will get in for $6. Visit www.good-guys.com to purchase event tickets or to register a show car. Call 925-838-9876 for more information.

Hendrick named winner

Rick Hendrick, philanthropist, creator of an automotive empire and the most successful NASCAR owner of the modern era, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Keith Crain/Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award, presented at The Washington Auto Show.

The award will be presented Jan.22 at the close of the Washington Auto Show Public Policy Preview Day.

Hamlin goes truckin’

Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin will drive Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No.51 Toyota in Saturday’s NASCAR Truck race at Martinsville. Hamlin as won the track’s past two October Truck races.

Crew member reinstated

NASCAR has reinstated former Cup series crew member Eric Maycroft upon his successful completion of the Road to Recovery Program. Maycroft had been indefinitely suspended Aug. 16.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service