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In Other News

FIA, Bristol, and Helping Kyle Petty!
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By Carol Einarsson | 03/19/2009
Category: In Other News
 



Formula One:
The FIA has changed the rules in Formula One beginning this year, placing premium value on wins over anything else. The Champion will be crowned based not on the points accumulated or the consistency of podium finishes, but on wins alone. If this system had been in place last year, Felipe Massa would be World Champion and Louis Hamilton would be just a mere second-place finisher for the second year in a row.

What might this mean in F1 racing? For starters, it might mean better racing. If winning is all that matters, maybe we'll see a little more aggression in passing (or at least aggressively attempting to get close enough to pass), and a little less willingness for teammates to help each other.

Or maybe the whole thing will blow up in their faces, figuratively speaking, and we'll see an all-time high of teammates gifting wins away. No more will gifting a podium finish to a teammate suffice if doing so will only help him in the event of a points tie at the season's end. I wonder if we might now be likely to see the leader of the race pull over with some imagined engine trouble as his teammate is allowed past to notch one more win on the competition.

bristol motor speedway Pictures, Images and Photos

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT!:
What're you doing Saturday night? No, it's not August, but it's likely to be one of the best Bristol night races we've seen in a long while. Stay tuned to ESPN2 after the Nationwide race and you'll see the likes of Cale Yarborough, Harry Gant, and even a goggled Junior Johnson in a Legends race at the famed short-track. It's likely to shape up as one of the season's highlights and race fans are already hoping this becomes a time-honored annual tradition. But wait, as they say, there's more!

The memories of our old favorites won't just be relived on the track, but in the booth! Gentleman Ned Jarrett will be alongside his Champion son, Dale, and race fans will be treated to hearing this revered father/son duo calling the race together.

Victory Junction Gang Camp Pictures, Images and Photos
Help Kyle Help Kids:
Got some extra cash? Yeah, I know, me neither. But maybe you can scrape together a little? Maybe just $5 that you can easily send via PayPal? There's a fund-raiser happening right now, from March 16th till the 26th called Smackdown for Charity. There are many celebrity teams raising money for their charities with the hopes that people will give either because it's also their favorite charity, or just because maybe it's their favorite celebrity. This is especially pertinent to race fans because Kyle Petty has a team, and he's currently in second place. He'll need some big support to win (and of course it's really the kids at camp that win), so visit Kyle's page and donate today. C'mon, it's five bucks.

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Comments:
giluvracing
03/19/2009 4:47 am (1)
Carol...

I read with interest the new F1 missive, and I must say I share your consternation. I, too, am curious as to how team orders and other considerations will play into this. It would be too easy for a driver to pull over and let a teammate win. Or, how about intentionally impeding (or wrecking) a competitor, in order to give his teammate an advantage?

But, waitaminnit...if no chance to win means no chance for points, what does that say for the perennial backmarker teams? Why compete for the full race distance, if you're not realizing any points from the thing? Could we see the "start and park" phenomenon transported from NASCAR-land to the rest of the world? And, what if a top F1 team finds themselves behind the 8-ball on setup or whatever. What would stop them from parking the thing, rather than contending for whatever points they can salvage?

Points systems serve two purposes: The obvious one is that they help determine who's on first -- not always the easiest thing to determine at the end of a long season. But the other purpose is to build loyalty and consistency of performance among the various teams. The new rules might give the top-tier teams more of an opportunity to compete...but it'll rob the lesser teams of any means of differentiating themselves from each other. Even Force India and Toro Rossi want someone to beat--if only each other!

But...unless F1 does more to encourage overtaking, particularly late in races, this plan will ultimately fail. This year, instead of the race winner being decided on qualifying day, the World Driving Championship will be decided on qualifying day.

I think the Legends race will be fun, and will be watching it with considerable interest. Wouldn't it be great if we could do something like this at every track? What would it take to set up a five-or-six-race series, rotated to a different set of tracks each year, with a "championship" to be determined at the end of it? Heck, the old IROC series got a lot of mileage out of a lot less!

Am I still #1?

--Mike.
Bill B
03/19/2009 6:11 am (2)
I agree that this new F1 system may look better on paper than in reality. Since the economic downturn is a global issue it could easily affect teams late in the season. If you are already out of contention and money gets tight why not skip a few races to save a few bucks. It will be pretty boring if there are only ten cars running. I will be interested to see how it works out for them.

I will definitely be tuning in for that Legends race (or at least recording it for later viewing).



3 Killer Bs
03/19/2009 7:20 am (3)
My question is,

Will this bring the bump and run to F1?
Blknight3
03/19/2009 9:53 am (4)
This new deal with F1 is one that is I hope is destined to fail. In theory under this new rule you could have a team go ut and dominate the first 8 races, and park the rest of the year and still win the championship. or a team could select the courses they do better at, and compete on those only and still win.
A champsionship is something to be determined over a season and the better team wins. Better means consistant. If you consistantly finish in the top 2 or 3 then you are better than a team that wins 6 times, but doesn't finish in the points the other 11 races.

Bernie is essentially doing what Nascar did.. manufacturing the results. Too bad.

So far this year I haven't watched one complete Nascar race outside of the truck series. Now it looks like F1 is going to follow as well.

I guess my Sundays just got more open
Carol
03/19/2009 11:54 am (5)
@Mike,
Yes, you're still #1. :-) As it works, whomever clicks the Add Your Comments first will be posted first, even if it takes you an hour to compost your post and five other people post quick one-liners.

@all that made F1 comments,
FlounderFerg
03/19/2009 1:58 pm (6)
Thanks Carol for the F1 news. I hadn't seen this big change until I read it here, then scrambled to read more about what the FIA did - especially since this hadn't happened as of the Speed report Sunday night.

For those that want to, you can read the official FIA rules change on formula1.com.

Regarding the Champion being the one with the most wins, frankly I am shocked that they made this change. F1 has had a long standing battle with itself to find a way to make the races more interesting and in a Nascarish way, they just swung the pendelum way too far in the other direction. Everyone is correct in their comments that this change is full of negative possibilities for teams to manipulate the race winner outcome. I just can't believe the FIA doesn't realize this. Who knows, maybe the next thing we will see is the Nascar-like phantom debris caution with 5 laps to go.

The FIA announcement did say that the points method is still in place for the non-winning cars. At least that's good because the rest of the teams will still be able to measure against each other and the battles for points in a race should still continue. They also kept the Constructors points race the same as last year so this should also help some.

One major positive change (in my opinion)is F1 will now announce the weight of every car in qualifying after the qualifying is completed. Now we fans will know who was light on fuel in qualifying and might have to stop early or have to stop one more time than others. I think this is great.

@ Bill B - Your comment about 10 cars running is spot on. I had the pleasure of being at the F1 Indy race in 2005 (seat was at the F1 turn 1) and got to see 20 cars make the warm up lap, then 14 peeled off to the pits due to the Michelin tire fiasco, then watched 6 cars line up for the start. My friend and I were just blown away with what we were seeing. The race goes green and 6, yes only 6, cars came screaming down toward turn 1. It was 2 of those red cars (Michael S and Rubens B)and 4 back markers that were already about a second behind when they got to turn 1. We quickly decided we did not want to watch what we thought would be a Ferrari test, so we left and drove the 5 hours back home. We had been there since Friday for all of the events, so you can see how upset we were about this. So I agree that if it ends up with some races at 10 cars or so, I'm not sure I can stick with it. Even got me worked up a little just writing this.

Otherwise, bring on Bristol!!!!


Flounder Ferg
D Jones
03/19/2009 8:42 pm (7)
Didn't NASCAR change the points after Matt Kenseth won the championship? We fans all loved that, didn't we?

@ 3 Killer Bees, Funny.
JRFAN1996
03/19/2009 9:25 pm (8)
It may be only $5.00 but to some people that is not affordable at all. Please consider that when trying to twist arms to donate. There are other ways to donate other than money. Time is what some have rather than money. It makes me mad when people try to break down the money like hey you can afford that. Well thats a commitment some of us cannot live up to and would prefer not to be hounded for money we dont have! Had to ask my parents for money and thats how I know I cant afford it. If you can more power to you!
rdfox
03/19/2009 11:47 pm (9)
For the record, the backmarker teams do not have the option of skipping races in F1 to save money--one of the few parts of the Concorde Agreement (which all teams are required to sign) that's public knowledge is that all teams must bring two cars to every race in a season, or pay a fine of $1 million per car per race skipped. (This is waived in cases where the team ceases operations entirely, as when Super Aguri was shut down by Honda in mid-season, or when teams were coming and going more frequently than I change my underwear in the early 90s.)

I find it interesting to note that, even though Bernie claimed that all the drivers loved the idea of the new championship system, the few drivers who've actually publicly weighed in on it (Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher, specifically) were *against* it...
rdfox
03/19/2009 11:52 pm (10)
Oh, and technically, in 2005, the Michelin-shod cars did not skip the race, as they formed up on the grid and took the formation lap; they were officially counted as having withdrawn for safety reasons during the formation lap, and thus not fined for skipping the USGP.
Carol
03/20/2009 12:54 am (11)
@JRFAN1996,
I didn't twist anyone's arm. If I wanted to twist an arm, I'd charge admission to the site and donate that to charity. I merely brought up a charity contest that some might not have known about (and that I wouldn't have known about except
Blknight3
03/20/2009 5:05 am (12)
One million dollars a car to not go to the race. I wonder what the actual cost is for a team to travel to the race. I'm betting that with all the personal and transport costs for the equipment it isn't reallya whole lot different.

So given the budgets, and some of the top teams are well into the 9 figures, it might make sense for the lower bracket teams to budget 15 or 20 million to not go.

Or maybe as some have said now they adopt the famous start and park. Ooops my gazillion dollar electronic transmission has a gremlin and I'm caught in gear 9 3/4
FlounderFerg
03/20/2009 7:06 am (13)
@ rdfox - I had forgotten about the penalty for not showing up for the race, thanks for that tidbit of good info.

@ Carol - My arm didn't feel twisted at all. I read it as someone who cares a lot about certain causes just making me aware of it i
giluvracing
03/20/2009 7:23 am (14)
So...now I'm #14, then? WooHoo!

But, how long, generally, does it take to "compost" a post? Should I be turning it over every few days or something?

blknight3, I think my minivan's tranny was stuck in gear 9-3/4 last night...took me forever to get home from Subway!

For the record, I didn't feel any arm-twistage, re: the blurb at the bottom of Carol's column. This has been a tough year for charities of every stripe. Nothing wrong with giving one or another a little ink (toner? pixels?) from time to time. If you can/want to give, great. If not, then I'm sure you'll find a cause at least as worthy of your dollars/time/used clothing/etc.

Spring is sprung (as of about 45 minutes ago)!! So, let's open up the local dirt tracks already!

--Mike.
Carol
03/20/2009 12:10 pm (15)
@Mike,
LOL! Yes, your comments should be turned over every couple of days. When I read your comment, I knew immediately what I must have done, but thought to myself that I probably posted that comment at 4am, and that would be my excuse. But no, it wa
Newracefan
03/20/2009 5:52 pm (16)
Carol, no arm twisting her but thanks for the reminder that prayer can always be "donated" will definately add to mine, I can always afford that. Not a big F1 fan here, not liking drivers allowing other to finish ahead for the team/ points and I'm not sure this change will make it any better but if it brings on the bump and run I may tune it.
Carol
03/20/2009 8:29 pm (17)
In the news today:
Formula One's ruling body backed down Friday and agreed to put off a new points system for the sport until next season, responding to objections from teams and top drivers.
debster48
03/20/2009 9:43 pm (18)
Carol,
I heard that same news on 'NASCAR Now' earlier today; thanks for letting your readership be aware of that.
Thanks too for the information about the charity contest. It should benefit so many, blessings on them all. I am donating my prayers for sure.

debster48
03/20/2009 9:50 pm (19)
Prayers and condolences to Rev. Hal Marchman's family during this time of their loss. May God be with them.
JRFAN1996
03/20/2009 10:48 pm (20)
C'mon, it's five bucks.


THAT to me is arm twisting not to mention a sad form of begging.
debster48
03/21/2009 1:07 am (21)
@JRFAN,
I took umbrage at your comments about Carol 'begging'.
But this is a wonderful site to express our opinions and yours has been registered....and thankfully this is still a free country and I can with good feeling say to you to Be Merry A
SrRaceFan
03/21/2009 8:50 am (22)

Okay, let me see if I can make some sense of this. I can afford to pay for my monthly internet connection so I can comment on Carol's column. But I can't afford five bucks for some kids whose future is nothing but bleak.

What a sad, sad commentary....

PAYPAL is wonderful!!!! You ought to try it sometime! Unless you're too young to use it, of course.....
debster48
03/21/2009 9:46 pm (23)
@SrRaceFan:
LOL

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