MONTE DUTTON – THE EMPIRE SCHEDULES BACK
NASCAR shook up its schedule. It doesn’t know what kind of Cup it’s going to be in 2020, but it knows the schedule.
Monster is leaving, but the changes are still going to be monster.
I like most of the changes; what I don’t like is the constant state of change. NASCAR clamps on battery cables more often than Jerry’s Garage and Towing.
As Willie Nelson wrote with no idea his words would ever be considered this way: Phases and stages / Circles and cycles / And scenes that we’ve all seen before / Let me tell you some more …
Indianapolis is getting Independence Weekend. Daytona Beach is surrendering a slot it has fit snugly since 1959 to take the last regular-season date, in late August. Slumping Indy has been given more breaks than a paratrooper whose chute didn’t open.
Yet the paratrooper survives. If this doesn’t work, the onetime Brickyard 400 is going to be run on Christmas Eve with Santa driving the pace car and elves tossing gifts into the stands.
No races will be run for two weeks in the summer so that other races can be run on NBC in the Summer Olympics. No word yet on which events Kyle Busch enters, but
Jimmie Johnson is training for the marathon.
Pocono still has two races … on the same weekend. Be sure to save those ticket stubs, race fans.
Darlington is now in the playoffs. Yay.
The Bristol night race is now in the playoffs. Yay.
The race that sets the finals is now Martinsville. Yay. It’s going to be on November 1.
Layers. Wear layers.
Atlanta gets a better date, March 15. Martinsville’s early race is May 9, providing much more chance of heat and much less of frigidity, even though it will be run on a Saturday night. After the Daytona 500, the teams head straight for Las Vegas, then Fontana, then ISM (Phoenix). Suits me.
The only Saturday night races are first Martinsville, the All-Star Race a week later at Charlotte, Kentucky on July 11, the displaced Firecracker at Daytona on August 29,
Richmond on September 12 and Bristol on September 19.
The final race is in Phoenix. My reaction is none at all.
Homestead moves from season’s end to March 22, between Atlanta and Texas. My guess is that a few people will still go.
On balance, I guess I like the new schedule. I may be growing inured to change. Maybe I’m learning to stop worrying and love the bomb. Peter Sellers plays three roles at NASCAR these days.
It’s a strange love.