Time To Go Racing

The Daytona 500 goes off tomorrow with a different cast of stars from previous years. Nascar has lost several star drivers lately. Those include Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards have been absent from the track for over a year now. This season we will not see Matt Kenseth, Danica Patrick (after the 500) and to the dismay of Junior Nation, there will be no Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to cheer on anymore.

So with all these veteran faces gone, will Nascar have trouble attracting fans? Perhaps, but if it is so, it won’t be because there are no good drivers left. All sports are having attendance issues these days. The reasons for it are as varied as the fans who follow those respective sports. My watching of Nascar’s premier series has changed. I used to follow the fortunes of my favorite driver, Sterling Marlin. Now I follow the race to see how my fantasy drivers are faring.

If I stop participating in the fantasy league that I run, I don’t know what I will do. I may stop watching as intently as I do now.

Nascar is in good hands despite the departure of many top notch drivers. There are young guns set to make their mark on the sport. Now drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick are considered grizzled veterans. The young guns are Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace, Eric Jones, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney. These guys are good as evidenced by Bowman winning the pole for the 500. Blaney and Elliott each won their duel race and will start in row 2.

That leaves the mid age group that is pretty talented too. I would put Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex, Jr. in that category. Truex is coming off an incredible championship season.

The view from my seat suggests that Nascar will do just fine with its current crop of drivers. If people quit on the sport it won’t be for a lack of talented drivers. It’s time to go racing!