Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2017

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What do Bristol and a Costco hot dog have in common?

I'm addicted to Costco hot dogs. Every Saturday, I start the day craving that $1.50 bargain, smothered in mustard with an endless supply of diet Coke refills.

I find myself inventing reasons to visit Costco on the weekends just to get my hot dog fix. "Are you sure you don't need another five-gallon drum of shampoo from Costco," I’ll ask my wife. And when my wife says no, I resort to calling up friends until I find someone who's in the mood for a dog.

This is how I used to feel about the racing at Bristol. In years past, I craved watching the two Cup races at Thunder Valley with the same enthusiasm of Pavlov’s dog. But no longer.

Now Bristol is just another race. The fender-rubbing, bumper-bashing, feud-starting action that I became addicted to is gone, only to be replaced with racing that isn't what you would expect from a short track. In a world where there are so many things competing for the attention of the viewing public, a product has to provide something unusual to stand out. The old Bristol promised just that: wild action, guaranteed hot tempers and aggressive driving. Now the track provides action that isn't that much different from what we would see at a larger, flatter track.

Some drivers didn't care for the old track configuration that forced drivers to race single file around the bottom where they had to use the bumper to pass. The track was reconfigured to provide two racing grooves with the hope that passing would be easier and the action better. But we still hear drivers complaining that it's difficult to pass at the track. So, after the reconfiguration, the same problem regarding passing exists, but the racing is less exciting.

Short of ripping up the track surface and returning it to the old configuration, I don't know what will return the famous track to its former self. And I have no illusion that the track will be changed anytime soon.

Recently, Costco changed the brand of hot dogs it sells. Like Bristol, they aren't as good as the original. But I'll continue to eat at Costco and watch the racing at Bristol. I still enjoy both. But I don't enjoy each with the gusto that I used to.

Change is the one constant in life. But often there's no point of creating change where change isn't necessary.

When Brad Keselowski joined the ranks of the Sprint Cup drivers, I commented in cartoons and on this blog that he would create more drama than the cast of Jersey Shore. I speculated that is cocky attitude would result in a lot of fireworks on and off the track. But I wasn't entirely right. Keselowski has created drama, but not for the reasons I thought he would. The drama he has created has centered on his performance on the track with three wins this season.

When my schedule permits, I'm going to begin posting the weekend results from the Bullring and The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Let me know if this is information that you find useful or interesting. Here are the results provided by Las Vegas Motor Speedway from this past weekend:

•New Zealand’s Rhys Millen won the Formula Drift Round 6 on Saturday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Here are the top three finishers from that event:

1. Millen, Rhys Red Bull / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe

2. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Saturn Sky

3. Powers, Matt Need for Speed / Nitto Nissan S14

Other results this weekend’s action at The Strip:

•Tony Franco’s Jet Car won the 1/8-mile race against the famous Bigfoot Monster Truck driven by Dan Runte.

•Las Vegas’ Brain Chamberlain won in the Super Pro division.

•Ed Thornton of Chino Hills, Calif, won the PSCA Pro Street final.

•Rick Snaveley of Los Angeles won the PSCA Outlaw Street final.

•Todd Ishibashi of Las Vegas won the Pro title.

•Kahea Woods, also of Las Vegas, won the final round of the Motorcycle finals.

•John Irving of Boulder City won the Sportsman category.

•Curt Miller of Las Vegas won the final round of the Las Vegas Corvette Association eliminations.

This week's StockcarToon

Purchase your copy of "Nuts for Racing"

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