As previously reported, Janet and I were scheduled to represent the Chicagoland Speedway/Route 66 Raceway at the World of Wheels show in Rosemont on Friday, 2/28/14. We ended up working not only Friday, but Saturday also. We had a great time interacting with all the fans and hopefully we recruited some new ones. Janet primarily worked the Kids Club booth while I worked the Team Demo corner. Right across from where I was standing, I noticed a white Chevy II SS. I thought the car looked familiar. Then I saw the name on the passenger door window, Hollis Jones and I realized that I had photographed Hollis' crash back in 2012. I later talked to Hollis and he stated that it took 14 months to complete all the repairs! Please click here to see all our images from the World of Wheels.
And the car now!
On the NASCAR front, they were at the Phoenix International Raceway. Because we were working, I was not able to watch the new qualifying format. With certain codicils, it received positive reviews. The teams want the ability to cool down the engines on pit road to allow them to run tape on the grills allowing for faster qualifying speeds. From what was reported the teams would remove the tape and then drive slowly around the track to cool the engine. Then, they would re-tape the grill and try to run a fast lap. I have no insight as to what NASCAR's response will be. The most obvious move is not to tape the grill and run it in race mode. However, I'm sure NASCAR will be doing some tweaking of the rules. In the delayed, rain shortened NASCAR Nationwide race, it was another Kyle Busch dominating race. There was an immediate uproar and call to reduce the participation of the Cup drivers/teams in the Nationwide Series. I think I heard the best response and that was that we don't need to stop the Cup drivers from participating, only ban Kyle Busch! This is a very sticky situation in that NASCAR, traditionally, has taken the stance if you can construct a car, show up and qualify, you can race. Back a few years ago, there wasn't much hue and cry when Mark Martin in the #60 Winn-Dixie car showed up and consistently won. Who's record for most wins in the Nationwide (Busch) Series did Kyle Busch break? Mark Martin's!! Everyone should remember that this is professional stock car racing which equates to entertainment dollars. Racetracks want to put people in the grandstand, not only for the ticket dollar, but also for the concession dollars. Who is going to draw more spectators, an unknown, underfunded team or a Cup driver? The flipside is what do you do when a dominating driver such as Kyle Busch enters a bunch of races and normally wins? NASCAR is in a very difficult position because we have fans who have voiced their displeasure and the racetracks who want as many Cup drivers in the race for the draw (which by the way also involves track sponsorship dollars). It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does.
On the Cup side, Kevin Harvick had a dominating race car. PIR is one of Kevin's favorite tracks and he has won there more than any track he has won at. The back story that I was looking at, was not the dominating win, but were the cars stable, could they run side-by-side and pass. Knowing that this was only a one mile track and the full effect of the new aerodynamic changes won't be fully realized until they hit this week's high-banked Las Vegas Motor Speedway, I was encouraged by what I saw. The drivers were willing to stick there nose in there in the corners. That equates to the cars being stable. Of course, I realize that there were some loose and tight racecars, but I'm talking about those that have a handle on the new package and make the cars work. I'm very anxious to see next week's Las Vegas racing.
Due to the fact that we had to work at the World of Wheels show, I was unable to attend this past weekend's GLX Snocross event, The Dan Jacksons - Amsoil Raceday. I am looking forward to the last race of GLX' season Saturday with the JBT Enterprises - Championships. The Awards Banquet will be the following day. The following weekend will be the National Event in Lake Geneva, Wi. Due to the restrictions of covering the event, I probably will not be attending. So, this weekend will be my last snocross event until next year. Its been a good season that I have enjoyed immensely. I met some really good people and this has helped in my recovery from knee surgery. I am already looking forward to next season. Fortunately, we will be racing cars very soon.
To see all our images from the past events, please click here. Any image can be purchased by clicking on the Ordering tab above.