Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just what NASCAR needed

If you were the head of NASCAR, I'd say your best-case scenario Sunday would have been a win by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Daytona 500 on the 10th anniversary of his father's death in the second race.

That didn't happen Sunday -- Dale Jr. finished 24th, although he ran up front most of the day. (He crashed late).

But your second-best scenario would be an unlikely winner -- a "Hoosiers" or "Rocky" sort of story. And that NASCAR got, with a win by 20-year-old Trevor Bayne, who is easily the youngest winner in the 53-year history of NASCAR's biggest race. (Here's my column about him).

Bayne drove with the poise of a veteran to hold off Carl Edwards at the end, and he won a lot of people over with his post-race humility. His victory wasn't that fluky -- he had been running in the front pack in every pre-race event there was.

Still... Trevor Bayne?! He's a 20-year-old kid who mainly runs in the Nationwide Series, where he has never won in 51 attempts. This was his second Sprint Cup race.

As I write in my column for Monday's Charlotte Observer:

Bayne is a God-fearing, apple-cheeked, personable 20-year-old. He likes to play the guitar, wear T-shirts, snowboard and Twitter (although not all at the same time).
In other words, Bayne hits an ideal demographic for NASCAR, whose television ratings and attendance dropped dramatically in 2010. But the sport’s next major star might have been born on Sunday.


Bayne is obviously a lot of fun to write about, because he's an unknown, and an underdog, and apparently a good guy who is still too young to buy alcohol. He missed the turn to Victory Lane Sunday; that's how raw this guy is. But what a talent, and what a place to display it.

9 comments:

New Buffalo MI fishing said...

Does NASCAR have any Blacks, Asian, or Hispanics even attending the events today. I know they would not let one in a race car. I did go to a NASCAR event in Charlotte a long time ago. The only minorities I saw where the ones cleaning up.

HORRIBLE PRODUCT! said...

Yawnnnnnnnn. Another unwatchable race. There is zero reason to watch this until the last 5 laps. These restrictor plate races have zero to do with talent or car preparation. It is all luck. Whoever has someone pushing him at the right time in the last corner wins. This type of racing has killed a once great sport. Too bad those at NASCAR and Fox do not understand this.

Charles said...

Sponsor's aren't so on board with affirmative action, a minority would need to prove the talent to get to Cup just like anyone else.

Unfortunately a 20 year old winning the Daytona 500 won't fix NASCAR, Brian France has done too much damage for little things like this to turn ratings around. Answer: Kill the chase and do more to keep cup guys out of the nationwide series.

Anonymous said...

what NASCAR really needs id Danica sprawled butt nekkid on the hood of her car ---

I'd give that a few laps

scott said...

Great win for the kid !!!

Now kill the Chase before it kills NASCAR !!!!

Anonymous said...

Lying punkass. Nobody stopping anybody. Apply for the job. Call Oprah. Fork out the millions and get it rolling baby. Sounds like a coward. You gonna produce results and risk your ass at 190 plus?

Money talks. BS walks. Keep on walking ...

panthers4life said...

hey, new buffalo MI fishing, Juan Pablo Montoya is defintely not white

Anonymous said...

ALL clean up is done the next day by students making money for their schools at 10 bucks an hr each.

Anonymous said...

"New Buffalo MI fishing said..."

Looking at this dumbass's website in Michigan where all your asians, blacks hispanics in your pics?