NASCAR proved once again today that nothing can bore 250,000 people quite like a stock car race. In case you missed the "show" here's a quick recap: Goodyear, the sport's sole tire provider, failed to provide a product that was capable of running more than 10 laps. The problem was due to a lack of proper track testing combined with the introduction of the newly engineered Car of Tomorrow to the Brickyard. The tires wore out their tread quickly and then, in several cases, exploded. This forced the drivers to cautiously navigate the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at three-quarters speed. NASCAR responded by enforcing a "competition yellow." Every ten laps the entire field was forced to pit and change their tires.
Stock car racing isn't my idea of fireworks to begin with, but a yellow flag every ten laps made for one of the most boring afternoons of racing I've ever witnessed. It was an embarrassment to the league and Goodyear. At least I was watching from my couch. I am sorry for the paying customers. The Indy 500, almost without exception, leaves me feeling amazed. F1 and NASCAR, each with its own tire-related scandal, have tainted the reputation of the greatest racing facility in the world.
In open-wheel news, Paul Tracy had a great showing in his much-delayed Indycar Series debut yesterday at the airport course in Edmonton. He started 15th and finished 4th for Tony George's Subway car. Not bad for an old guy hopping in off the street. Unfortunately, the race was ended by officials four laps early when ESPN decided that it simply had to show the first five minutes of Sportscenter. I'm not making this up. Not even a little. If you ask me, the worldwide leader picked the wrong race to cut short.
Updated: Bob Kravitz lets out his own frustration about Sunday's event, employing his trademarked brand of righteous indignation.