milwaukee mile and thoughts on

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | |

milwaukee mile
I was disappointed that Sunday's Daytona 500 got rained on and they had to call the race before it was over. Even so, I'm super pscyhed that racing season is back, so I thought I'd drag out this 12-shot pano of last year's Camping World Truck Series Camping World RV Sales 200 (no joke, real name) at the Milwaukee Mile. Wish I had somewhere to host the 9572 x 3103 original.

One thing that's always impressed me about Nascar is its website. Instead of functioning as a corporate press release office (like Formula 1's site), is a full-fledged online hub of activity for its competitors, journalists, and fans. It serves up content, with live telemetry, radio communications, and 3d-virtualizations (available through a reasonably-priced paid subscription) during Cup races; free ESPN streams of Nationwide races; and extended race highlights available following the events (and unlike Bernie, Nascar doesn't go around pulling clips from YouTube). It connects their fans and gives them a community, as anyone who signs up for an account at the site is able to write their own blog, hosted at, and join the message boards. And it also functions as online magazine, hosting numerous editorials, commentary, and analyses written by journalists who appear to have near-complete independence to speak their mind. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is how freely these writers are allowed to criticize the organization that hosts their work and pays their bills. Take a look at the featured article splashed across the current homepage:

In case you can't read it, it says "Nascar made a change to its single-file restarts. Now it needs to address double-file restarts, in which lapped cars are allowed to pull alongside the inside of lead cars."

Yes, the front page story at Nascar's own site the day after Nascar's biggest race of the year is actually a journalist arguing that said crown jewel has exposed the fact that Nascar has hurt competition by messing up its own rules. And here's another excerpt from the article, where the writer printed a fan email:

NASCAR blew this call big time. When your top 10 consists of one driver that had led a lap prior to the last green-flag lap of a race with nearly 50 laps remaining--you have a bad finish.

If this is the marquee event of your series, you run it to the finish. Whether you have an hour delay, or two days of delay, you run 500 miles. You don't take away from previous champions by putting a name on that trophy that didn't accomplish the same thing. The same thing should apply to the Indy 500, 24 hours at Daytona or LeMans. Finish the race, it deserves to maintain that dignity.

I don't have anything against Kenseth, but I think NASCAR took the opportunity to finally give Jack Roush a Daytona 500 trophy...

NASCAR needs to realize that this year took away from the prestige of the event, and destroyed the momentum that the previous two 500s had going...-- Jared A. Olschewski

Yes, the front page story at Nascar's own site the day after Nascar's biggest race of the year is actually a ranting fan who argues that not only did Nascar do its fans a disservice by cutting the race short, it hurt the integrity of its own sport, and accuses Nascar of staging a fixed race! At Nascar's own site! It's as if the day after the Monaco Grand Prix, had given their site over to a PF1 comment thread. But it also demonstrates clearly how Nascar has been able to nurture its fan base and establish such a strong foothold in the American sporting consciousness.