It’s time to wrap up another year and what a year it was to be a Sprint Cup fan. We were treated to another championship Chase that went down to the last lap before Kyle Busch claimed the title. The season unfolded more like a soap opera than a professional sport as we said a tearful good-bye to Jeff Gordon, but also got to witness Matt Kenseth settle his feud with Joey Logano on the track.
All of these events and a list of others longer than Pocono’s Long Pond straightaway has led me to personally make a few resolutions for the upcoming year concerning my obsession with Sprint Cup racing. Now I know before I ever write the first one down that if I can keep about half of them it is going to be a heck of a year, so let’s get started with what I feel could be some “game changers” for me.
I resolve to never leave the house on race day when it is raining at the track and not set my DVR to record. I hate to say it, but I missed parts of several races because I just knew that the race was going to be postponed until Monday.
I resolve to never again turn the volume up on the TV so I can hear it loud and clear if someone revs their engine and jumps the restart. There was so much controversy about restarts during the Chase that it became the focal point of the TV coverage. Restarts became a huge headache for the sanctioning body and as usual it spawned another tweaking of the rules so it would be easier to police the lead cars when the green flag waved.
I resolve to pull for Tony Stewart to win a race early in the season so he can punch his ticket into the Chase and then just enjoy his farewell tour at every track. I will also resolve for Tony to win one of the races in the Eliminator Round like Jeff Gordon did this year at Martinsville. A win in that round would put him into the Championship 4 with a chance to run for the title in the final race of the year at Homestead-Miami. Now once he gets in he is on his own as I am saving the rest of my resolutions.
This resolution should be made by more fans than me. I resolve to never again pay that extra five dollars so I can get my lemonade in one of those souvenir cups. I either leave them at the track or once I get home I have to find them a place in a cabinet that already has dozens of other highly “treasured” cups that seem to never be used.
I resolve to never again make my wife walk up the hill at Bristol Motor Speedway to watch qualifying. The long, hard walk lasts longer than the sub-15 second laps that it takes to qualify. By the time you sit down and catch your breath, it’s time to navigate your way back down “heartbreak hill.”
I resolve never again to study a replay until I can lay the blame on a driver after a wreck. Sometimes as the expert says, “It’s just one of those racing deals,” but when it’s done to get a message across to another driver it sure makes for a great race.
I resolve to never again try and get technical when I write about a new rules package that NASCAR has mandated. This past season we had more different packages than what I woke up to on Christmas morning. This season I just plan on saying that the new package will make the drivers’ knuckles a whiter shade of pale and the cars should handle better.
My final resolution, which should be the easiest for me to keep, is to continue bringing you the stories that you like to read about the sport that we will follow for 10 months beginning in February at the “new” Daytona.
It’s going to be another great year as we know just how hard it is for a driver to make it into the Chase and once there to stay in it until the final race but I promise to keep you in it until the final lap in Miami!