NASCAR gets ancient throttle body fuel injection to replace ancient carburetors, Formula 1 still isn't coming to America and IndyCar is striving to just stay alive. Let's take a stroll...
NASCAR - The best thing for the sport is that Jimmie Johnson did not win a sixth consecutive championship in 2011, making the sport slightly more interesting. Tony Stewart, another old-timer and former multiple-time champ, won the season, but NASCAR desperately needs most first-timers in the winner's circle and fighting for the championship. Carl Edwards? Yawn. The cars are getting the same basic fuel injection system the 1957 Corvette was equipped with, so don't expect any big changes in NASCAR's usual, boring "parade of cars." Three or four major teams will still win all the races and the same group of five-or-so drivers will win most of the races. NASCAR distinguishes itself by still refusing to honor at all the sport's first black driver, Wendell Scott (played in the movie Greased Lightning by Richard Pryor) in their much- and constantly-ballyhooed Hall of Fame. It puts the lie, once again, to NASCAR's so-called "drive for diversity." They should be ashamed.
FORMULA 1 - The world's greatest traveling racing circus and soap opera continues with seemingly more money in their tanks than ever before in spite of Busch's worldwide depression. Most American fans don't realize that many F1 teams get loads of cash from their respective home governments, and a two-car team these days can cost above $500 million a year. Yes, half a billion. This is one reason there hasn't been an American F1 team or an American F1 race in ages... lack of funding sources. Let"s ask President Obama to pony-up $100 million for a racing team. Actually, it's a great way to promote our products and workers, but he'd be run out of town if his government ever did anything like that. But ask Ferrari where they get their money or ELF and Renault much of their F1 cash. At least F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone will have a nice place to stay when he visits Los Angeles. His daughter bought producer Aaron Spelling's Beverly Hills home in 2011, the largest and most-expensive ever sold in the U.S.
INDYCAR - All-new chassis and engines slated for 2012 would normally generate interest in IndyCar, but these are not normal times. It's all going to be more costly than any of the teams or sponsors expected. NBC has changed the name of their Versus cable network, where IndyCar has been carried, to the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), which might bring in more fans, but it's like selling a Cadillac these days ... first someone has to want one then they have to find the dealership. In other words, IndyCar fans have to care a lot about their sport and proselytize, or the sport could disappear within a few years. IndyCar is up against two giants... NASCAR and the economy. I wish them luck, but it's going to be tough, even with the Indy 500.
NHRA DRAG RACING - What?
Follow Steve Parker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/autojourno