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Sunday, July 20, 2003

NASCAR

Today I watched my second NASCAR race, the New England 300. The first I watched was last Sunday, the Tropicana 400 iirc.

Strange. I have watched Formula 1 on and off for the last 10 years or so. And for anyone who 'starts' in F1 I think the strangest thing about American racing are the differences in tracks. All American tracks seem to be variations on a basic oval shape, as opposed to the weird and wonderful courses that populate the F1 racing circuit. On one level this makes the race more boring. After all, how exciting can watching 40-odd cars or so going around an 1-2 mile oval track c.250-300 times be? At least the F1 tracks are more interesting.

That of course misses one of the points, cramming 40-odd cars into such a small track creates plenty of excitement.

Another difference is the number of cautions. In F1 after crashes sometimes the emergency car comes out and everything slows up. Going a race without the car is not remarkable, while having the car out more than a couple of times would be. The comparison with caution flags is obvious, even if the 11 cautions (iirc) today was a little excessive. Again a function of the track, but one that annoyed me. I felt that the 'action' kept getting interrupted.

Otherwise I thought the 'strategy' of the race was interesting, and I imagine this race will become a regular Sunday evening feature of my existence for the next few weeks. Even if most of the time I only have it on in the background.

Oh - I do realise that Nascar and F1 are really analogous, but that was what was on! ;)

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