Nascar Vs. Formula One

Nascar & Formula One. Which is better? Which is badder? Which is more controversial?

Yesterday each racing series showcased their best talents for the world to see. Nascar was at the Brickyard in Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400 and Formula One was in Germany or the German Grand Prix.

The Nascar race at the Brickyard is always one of the “Big” races in the season for the series. Reason being, well it’s at the most famous and hallowed track in America; The track that has made the running of the Indianapolis 500 the marquee event. The Indy 500 runs with Indy cars more styled like the F1 vehicles and not the big, bad and bulky Nascar automobiles, for those not familiar with the races.

Nascar’s race saw a former Indy 500 winner, and F1 race winner Juan Pablo Montoya take the pole with a most dominating Target car #42, Chip Ganassi owned machine. Ganassi had already won the Daytona 500, Nascar’s premiere event in February with his other Nascar driver Jamie McMurray and the Indy 500 with Dario Franchitti so a victory at the Brickyard 400 would have been another feather in his cap.

And Juan Pablo Montoya looked all day that he would be doing just that. Driving the wheels off of his car leading most of the laps, with 86 on this day, Montoya was absolutely cruising to victory until a caution with 18 laps to go for good ole debris on the racetrack. Sometimes you got to wonder if Nascar calls these debris cautions on purpose to set up the wild finish. By calling a caution, the cars get bunched up again as they restart and Nascar always loves a close finish.

At this point, all the cars on the lead lap will come into the pits to get some new rubber, or tires for the layman. The question is how many? Right sides only or all 4.

I was sitting on my couch saying to myself, Montoya’s in a bad spot here. If he takes only 2 and the other cars take 4 he will have guys with fresh tires right behind him and they could make the past on 4 brand new stickers. If he takes 4 then the other guys will take 2, they will take the lead the because their pit times will be faster and he will drop back behind them and will have to then pass a bunch of cars to retake the lead with probably only a dozen or so laps left.

This decision always puts the crew chief in the proverbial hot seat. The old catch-22.

Montoya took 4, the others 2 and he lands up restarting 6th. Bad news for him. As the green flag waves, Montoya tries to get back the lost positions, but ends up overdriving his car and goes right into the wall. Game, set & match for Montoya and another disappointment for him.

Meanwhile Jamie McMurray the other Ganassi driver takes the lead from the #29 car driven by Kevin Harvick (he replaced Dale Earnhardt and the #3) and drives to victory for Ganassi, and Chip takes the “Triple Crown”.
A great race with lots of racing and rubbing with a nice win for McMurray.

Looking at the F1 race, well we see a totally different story. Felipe Massa, the Ferrari driver who was almost killed one year earlier on this date during qualifying for the Hungarian GP, was leading the way in front of his teammate Fernando Alonso until he was given team orders to move aside and let Alonso take the lead in order for him to take the maximum points and stay in the title hunt.

On lap 49 Alonso finally passes Massa here is some of the radio conversation when Alonso had been trying to overtake Massa for a few laps, “This is ridiculous.”, said Alonso.
When Alonso overtakes Massa, the following is being told to Massa by Ferrari over the radio: “Fernando is faster than you, did you understand that message?”
Having dropped into second, Massa was then told: “OK, good lad. Just stick with him now.”
Uh, is this fair sportsmanship or what?

How utterly pathetic and sad. Instead of 2 Ferraris duking it out to the end we see one give up position.

How would you feel if you were either at this race or just wasted 2 hours of your time watching this race?

Pretty bad.

I think the case is clear. Nascar is #1. F1 can say they are global, with the best cars in the world, blah, blah, blah, but you know what? I know that Nascar is going to give me an honest and entertaining time and for my dollar that is where I will be.

Thoughts from the Pulpit

1) Just one thought today coming from the Indy Racing League. Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves won the Edmonton Grand Prix yesterday. Or did he? Scott Dixon actually got the win with Helio crossing the finish line first. How you ask? Well, the officials at IRL deemed that Helio performed an illegal block of his teammate with 2 laps to go. Now I have watched the replay a number of times, and I have yet to understand how they called it an illegal block. Dixon by the way is a Ganassi driver too.

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