Technological advancements in NASCAR are an ever changing thing. Keselowski has brought up that the Generation 6 Ford designed vehicle is pulling him aero wise on restarts. He states it needs to be overhauled. I have no technical degree to argue this point because I’m not the one driving. Keselowski is. In all our daily experiences in what we do for a living we operate machinery that was designed by the brightest and most educated engineers that money for college can buy. The catch? Those engineers design the product, but do not use it. They test it with people who do. Those people who are the beta testers use the new tech at their disposal will see the new difference that it offers which was better than what they had before. As Keselowski drives the Generation 6 of course which I have to take his word because I don’t drive in NASCAR. I drive to work in a Chevy. My Chevy is a 2014 Silverado that drives very excellent for the year. Before that I drove a 2008 Silverado. What’s the difference between the two? I like the 2014 over the 08 because the 14 has all disk brakes. The 08 has rear drums that build up brake dust that causes an annoying screech. To me driving these pickups I can say there is a noticeable difference on which has a flaw like Keselowski mentions in the Generation 6 car and those who aren’t truck owners. The 08 & 14 Silverado alike are very quality rides, but it doesn’t take an engineering degree to notice something that is out of place on well developed technology. To sum it all up you really have to operate what’s being said. I couldn’t judge a motorcycle rider because I have no idea to operate one. It all boils down to perspective.
Debris cautions are a touchy subject with race fans. They show up at random during a race when we least expect them to or want them to. Why do we have them at inconvenient times when it comes to knowing if there is debris or not? We have them because it's meant to keep competition fair just in case. A lot of it's called "Phantom Debris" by some because if your driver is leading then yeah the word caution isn't something you want to hear with five to go and they a comfortable lead. That's one way to look at it. Officials might see something in a specific turn and report it. Upon which this is what angers fans for late race cautions from which states the "better be safe than sorry". I would rather NASCAR do that for my driver even with a restart. Now this doesn't happen every race. Every way you look at it there is absolutely no way to please the average fan with putting an end to debris cautions and even high up team owners such as Tony Stewart. Just isn't possible. It's auto racing and it's just the way it is. Now let's look at the ironic side of things. Everyone who watches live TV coverage has to admit seeing all the hot dog wrappers, paper, water bottles flying around. Yeah of course a driver flings their bottle out there every now and then, but it's rare. It boggles my mind for the fans that attend the event live and are against the debris cautions don't feel some what responsible for a fraction of these "Phantom Debris" cautions. I like being respectful when I go to stadiums. It's not hard to put your trash in the bin. I can't fathom whining about a caution especially if I possibly influenced the outcome of a race where my favorite driver got snubbed because of well... my hamburger wrapper. Makes no sense.
Back to my point last week on Cup drivers in Xfinity races. Denny Hamlin after winning the race a couple days later had his win encumbered from the splitter structure not being flat. An L1 penalty was given to the 20 team with the loss of 25 owner points for the playoffs and a two race suspension for crew chief Chris Gabehart and a fine of $25,000. What's it's mean for Hamlin? Nothing really. He still gets his win in the Xfinity series record books and the team suffers. At the Iowa speedway it didn't draw as much crowd as a standalone or did the truck race. Which questions does it matter if a Cup regular is there or not. I won't argue the other holes in the barrel of the subject because there are no ends to it for an answer. The one I will say that does give an answer on the subject is William Byron winning the race without the Cup driver influencing the outcome. I agreed with the race without them in it. It was like Byron had a second chance to prove himself to the others in his crowd. Another positive that you don't hear about is Ryan Seig placing second. What is so special about that? You would see it more often without the regulars of Cup. Then people still complained about Byron winning because of his better JR Motorsports equipment. Seig doesn't have those resources but he pulled 2nd overall. It was a race where the xfinity regulars had their own chance. In Cup the same thing happens where dominant teams beat the less funded. Xfinity is the same way, but the Iowa race had the same playing field for "proving themselves".
704 Games is giving us gamers what we have asked for. NASCAR Heat 2. A follow up sequel to the game NASCAR Heat Evolution that received mix reviews. I was satisfied with it, but felt it need more flavor and depth. I liked how 704 Games went out of he box unlike EA when they made up different sponsors to save money. 704 managed to do what was necessary to bring realism for the first ever using all real sponsors and the NASCAR Next program drivers along with drivers from the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series. Which is a good starting focus point. I felt the game lacked depth of a career mode that gives the player an incentive from week to week throughout he career mode's season. Give me something to fix as I collect money. Hopefully Heat 2 will give a little more emphasis on a decent career mode. 704 released three pictures of NASCAR Heat 2 and the one that stands out the most making the game a stand out is Chase Briscoe's 29 truck on Eldora's dirt track which brings us the mid summer mud classic. That is all the expectations I wanted, needed & have been dreaming of to come back to NASCAR gaming since EA sports came up with it in NASCAR Chase For The Cup 2005 which introduced the Whelen Modified Series, Trucks, Xfinity and Cup to where you could work your way up the ranks through all series. You want my idea of what career mode should be? The game's story should start the player off as a 5 year old kid running his or her first go kart race and then forward 10 or so years later where him or her is old old enough to drive a hobby stock at the local dirt track. From there the it could be like a ten race mini season where you manage just enough money to win a championship. Next, you move into a late model series on pavement that would give way to a possible Truck series contract leading so on and so fourth to the Xfinity and Cup series. More like a beefed up 2005 EA game with more flavor. If you played the older EA Games of NASCAR then you definitely know what the bar of what is required to make a stout NASCAR game.
With all the rules just like every other race on Saturday the race was from a "Race" standpoint entertaining just as you would want it to be. You want on the edge of your seat on the last couple of laps. William Byron and Denny Hamlin provided that. With top notch teams funded by the best equipment money could buy the last laps of the Irish Hills 250 ended with a result of another Cup win. Denny Hamlin got William Byron loose with air during the last lap to compete for the win just as you would expect a veteran Cup driver to do or upcoming driver. Both have jobs to do which is simple. To win. I was upset not because Hamlin made the move, but simply irritated watching an Xfinity race where Byron almost had his first win. Hamlin earned it fair and square contrary to how I feel. I wouldn't expect Hamlin to to let him by and just get the easy win. My bone to pick with NASCAR on this subject is is that we're not seeing the true potential of the younger stars which deprives the viewer of the entertainment value we should see. The whole field obviously on the average Saturday race isn't all Cup drivers. Most have the same equipment fresh every weekend and others don't have the same luxury. Why would I be so frustrated over Hamlin toward the last lap? It wasn't bad behavior, but if you want the Xfinity Series to have entertainment value, Hamlin Racing Byron isn't wrong, but kills the entertainment factor knowing of what could of been an exciting finish between drivers of the second lower series as a stand alone. If it were an Xfinity regular most wouldn't question the actions of Hamlin at all. The Xfinity Series needs to be seen as its own character. A winning Hamlin driving like it's a much need Cup win looks like there is no point in all seeing what will happen next weekend. We are missing a whole different entertainment value with Cup guys in the mix. They are nothing but hollow victories taking the place of what other greatness of what could be instead of just stamping a name that we will see Sunday. Obviously without Cup drivers it would still spearate good equipment from not so good equipment. I don't care however, I want to see Xfinity drivers in the "Xfinity Series". On a sour note, Elliott Sadler totally got ignore for a post race interview by Fox Sports. He finished third in the race but got snubbed for some unexplained reason was denied an interview. One more reason to dislike the series especially when a points leader isn't granted the spotlight as he is competing for a championship. As for the Michigan Fire Keepers 400 I found it to be a lame duck race. It's not like Auto Club with the worn out surface. Anything above 1.5 mile tracks are what makes the Cup schedule monotonous with these cookie cutter tracks that fill the schedule. Michigan needs to only have one race. Tell me your thoughts.
What makes you cheer for a certain driver? The number or the driver? Certain drivers for a number of years have made numbers famous along with their name. Us fans correlate numbers to past and current drivers determining who we root for. How do you root? 88 for example has been helmed by Buddy Baker, Darrell Waltrip, Ernie Irvan, Kevin Lepage, Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Dale Earnhardt Jr. What do all these names have in common? They all or currently drive the 88. They say time and again that no is bigger than the game. As a fan you have to admit that is true especially for a number. Like the Wood Brothers when it comes to the 21 that won at Pocono with Ryan Blaney and the Coke 600 winner with Austin Dillon did with the 3 car. I say drivers have about 70% being names to me as the what matters when it comes to what is more important. 30% for the car number because the number goes through Legacy periods. Buddy Baker compared to Kevin Lepage throughout its history has more stats with Baker from more accolades. Buddy's career has been a legacy, but his has been associated with number 28. Makes me think of Hardee's. Darrell also drove number 88, but I associate him more with the 17 when he drove for Hendrick. With Darrell it's a half and half thing as he spent a good number of years with both. I wasn't born in the generation so it's hard to judge. As the 88 was passed onto Dale Jarrett, that time signified the 88's glory during his career before being passed to Ricky Rudd for a short while. Then there was that time... a time before driving the 88 Dale Jr was told by owner of former D.E.I Teresa Earnhardt that Dale Jr had to decide if he was going to be an owner or a rockstar. Giving that Jr's fanbase will always see Dale as Rockstar, but also a terrific owner. He drove the famous number 8 Budweiser Chevy before leaving for Hendrick Motorsports to drive the 88. The key moment here is that our brains weren't ready nor tuned to even imagine him in another teams ride with a different number. The number is technically just a number then with its bags packed coming into work as if it was its first day on the job sitting on a bench fiddling with its phone until some employee slaps the papers in its face saying "You will be driven by Dale Jr" the number looks at the employee and replies "wait, hold on what?" Because at this point the whole subject is "what makes you cheer for a certain driver, the number or whatever the driver drives with the number on it". That 88 became more special than it did with the previous history of drivers it had with the long running popular driver and son of the sports most beloved legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. That number in the past nine years has had more attention with Jr's following than any other driver that commandeered it before. I looked at it funny thinking "but I'm used to the 8 number and 88 seems out of place". I got used to it of course as years went by because I like the driver in it. The driver makes the car what it is and not the number.