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NASCAR WCUP: Winston Cup Twin 125s: Wake Me Up When It's Over

19 February 2000

By David Treffer
Contributing Editor, The Auto Channel
I went to todayís Winston Cup Twin 125ís and a couple of Formula One races broke out. Can you spell-BORING! These two races were processional exhibitions that only F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone could say was enjoyable. Just think if someone could have found a couple of "furrners" to compete in today's races it would have been old-home week for the self-proclaimed pinnacle of world motorsport. Don't get me wrong, I love the technology in F1 racing but you do not go to an F1 race expecting a tremendous amount of passing. Nope, you lower your threshold of anticipated manuevers for the lead. If lead changes actually happen so much the better.

NASCAR Winston Cup racing is the exact opposite. You know going in their is going to be a zillion passes for the lead and elsewhere in the field. You give up trying to watch the leader tote board of the top ten because the positions keep changing. Not so in these two races my friends. You could have taken a snapshot of lap #1 and pulled it out on lap #50 and found only minute changes. If todayís races are precursors for Sundayís main event the Franceís might consider handing out No-Doze to the fans as they begin their annual trek to the holy land of stock car racing.

Hate to be so hard on what is usually a slam-bang, challenge for the lead on every lap affair but todayís races were so short of excitement that watching grass grow was considered momentarily as an option. Just kidding of course, but I think you get the point that these were two snoozers.

Consider this quick fact. The combined total of lead changes, which in most 125ís is in the double digits, was a whopping total of one. To make matters worse that one lead change occurred on lap #1 in race #1. Maybe I should play the lottery Pick 3 numbers game tonight using a variety of the number one. How original.

Consider this fact. After race one was completed a driver uttered this remark."Bill France, Sr. must be spinning in his grave." The commentator was the godfather of active Winston Cup driverís-Dale Earnhardt. No one else could have gotten away with that remark. In one respect it was refreshing to hear something that was not "sanitized" for public distribution. No doubt about it, these two races were hit by the ugly stick. Maybe Mike Skinner had it right when he commented on Saturday after qualifying "Itís going to be ugly." Skinner was referring to the aerodynamic package comparison between the Ford and the Chevyís but maybe he was warning all of us of what lay ahead for today.

Consider this fact. The total number of pitstops during both races: zero. A couple of well-connected people that I know within the racing community were actually hoping for pitstops just to add some kind of excitement to this one-note Johnny of a race. Hey look on the brightside at least we know the limitations on a full tank of fuel.

So what will happen between now and Sunday. For starters the aerodynamic package is going to be evaluated sooner rather than later. NASCAR will not and cannot risk having their "Superbowl" turn into the "SuperSnore." Entertaining the fans in attendance and on TV, to their credit, is always on the minds of the NASCAR hierarchy. Actions will be taken. Letís just hope that the changes are in the right direction. Happy Hour on Saturday will be watched more so than most last practices before the big dance.

Oh by the way, just for the record. Bill Elliott passed Dale Jarrett on lap #1 and led the entire race. In race two, Ricky Rudd was on pole position and never relinquished the lead. After race number two was over I heard a phone ringing just outside of victory lane, maybe it was Bernie Ecclestone calling to tell everyone what a great race he had just watched.

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