Archive for October, 2010
Sunday, October 17th, 2010
I didn’t get the response I waas looking for with the “Should Michael Schumacher be fired for his showing since coming back from retirement” question.
Fine and dandy.
Then let’s try this one as we reach the half-way mark of the NASCAR Sprint Cup “Chase for the Championship”.
WILL JIMMIE JOHNSON WIN A 5TH STRAIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP, AND IF NOT, WHO WILL WIN IT INSTEAD?
I’ll use them on the air if that’s cool, but let me know what you think. Johnson’s performance at Charlotte was so typical of the # 48 squad. A dog of a car, stay patient, fix it, adjust it, and the next thing you know, he’s finishing in the top 5, and ahead of Denny Hamlin.
Cudo’s to Denny, as we seem to be looking at this chase from a Johnson-streak point of view. Hamlin has been amazingly good and consistent.
He would be the natural pick to stop Johnson from winning 5.
I won’t abandon by prediction as the NASCAR season started: Johnson will make it 5 in a row.
What do YOU think? That’s a LOT more important!
Friday, October 15th, 2010
How do I approach the Canadian Motor Speedway story?
I find I’m walking a tight rope strung between journalist and fan.
The Canadian Motor Speedway project has had exclusive coverage on the Raceline Radio Network, since that first meeting at Fort Erie City Hall with Chief Developer Azhar Mohammad and partner Aqeel Anwar, for good reason. CMS will give the sport in Canada something is has severely lacked. A high banked one mile oval capable of hosting major NASCAR touring and IndyCar shows.
The road course is also state of the art, but we already have a seat at that table when you remember how long Mosport has been around. It’s that progressive-banked oval that finally brings the sport in Canada to the absolute top of the rankings.
The computer generated renderings from Chief Architect Paxton Waters, make your mouth water… sorry Paxton. This is going to be a state-of-the-art show place, especially at night.
I cover auto racing and CMS will be one of the biggest things that’s ever happened to the sport.
No brain-breaker there. As a journalist, I cover the story with a measured amount of natural cynicism. ”Ok, show me you can actually build this thing, because I have seen so many false alarms about a track in the Fort Erie area, it’s almost like crying wolf.” Doubting Tomas if you will.
You try and stay arms length, and let the principles put the story out there for those of us in the motorsport media to cover and critique like we do with everything else. Attending marathon Town Council meetings, listening to citizen after citizen support or oppose the project, biting the tongue when it’s clear many of the objectors have no idea what the sport is all about.
You cannot believe that the citizens who have filed the five objections with the Ontario Municipal Board, who has to give the final all-clear for construction to begin, have not bothered to walk through the door the developers have always held open to get the straight goods on what the track will actually do to the Fort Erie neighbourhood and their properties.
Some of the objectors live so far away from the site, they wouldn’t hear the racing if they were blasting off nitro dragsters!
You wonder how the Town of Fort Erie could be so anxious to approve the bylaw changes to get CMS started, understanding what a boost it would be to their economy, while Azhar and the developers tell you they’ve spent millions all ready to plow through the endless layers of government bureaucracy just to get it all to this point.
But as a FAN, this is incredibly exciting, and you want the thing built YESTERDAY!
Forget the cynicism, you are cheering this thing along as loud as you can!
For those race fans in my age bracket, close to 60, Canadian Motor Speedway is something we’ve been dreaming about since we knew what a race car was! We marvel that the financial backing is finally there with the patience to see this thing through. We want to see bulldozers moving dirt, we want to see a ground breaking… we desperately want to see NASCAR, IndyCar and the big stuff in an arena finally large enough to hold it all.
I remember a conversation many years ago with the late Dizzy Dean Murray, one of the first promoters who understood flamboyance. When discussing a NASCAR Sprint Cup ( them Winston Cup ) date for Canada, Dizzy told me it was, “Over the Rainbow” because we didn’t have a track big enough to stage it. If I walk this journalist/fan tight rope carefully… we just make it to the end of the rainbow.
Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
No surprise… The Childress penalty was upheld by NASCAR.
They don’t waiver, and even if you don’t like the rule, NASCAR’s enforcement has been unflagging.
They docked Childress driver Clint Bowyer 150 points because his rear quarter panel at one end on his # 33 used to win the Chase opener at New Hampshire was the thickness of a quarter too high.
Childress pleaded his case, and even had a towing expert testify it was entirely possible the ramp truck used to bring Bowyer’s car back to victory lane actually bent the metal up.
But NASCAR has been crystal clear. We don’t care how or why something’s illegal, if the car doesn’t hit the sticks, you’re headed for penalties.
The towing expert was stunned NASCAR ignored his testimony.
It doesn’t matter. It’s done.
Now, curb your enthusiasm, because I can barely contain mine!
Canadian Motor Speedway brass let me have a look at some 3D renderings of the complex from architect Paxton Waters.
Computer generations are so good, these look like photographs, and I can tell you they are SPECTACULAR!
The renderings give us perspective on what is forming up with respect to what pending government approvals will allow builders to do.
They will have the renderings up on the CMS website soon.
You are going to LOVE ‘em! Closer gearheads…. closer!