Friday, July 30, 2010

The Best Event of the Year Race Fans Don’t Know or Forget Exists and Why IT Should Be Our Motorsports All-Star Race

This weekend while F-1 is in Hungary, IndyCar is off, and NASCAR is on week 72 of their 178 week season; probably one of the most fun motorsports events of the year will be going down. It will include an Indy 500 winner, a motorcross champion, a drifting champion, dirt, pavement, and a jump! It’s the Rally X event at the X Games in L.A.

For those unfamiliar, the event consists of 2 side-by side courses that are half dirt and half streetpavement. Each contest/matcup consists of each car doing 1 lap on each course (switching courses at the end of each lap) with the finish lines being next to each other, the contest is a head-to-head single elimination bracket. Last year Kenny Brack came out of driver seat retirement to do this event and won it. Ryan Hunter-Reay was tweeting how much he wanted to do it while watching, and truly with jumps (over each other) and the new Super Rally competition that includes 4 cars on the same course together, you can’t even begin to imagine the amount of fun it is, not only for the drivers, but for fans.

The only problems are as an official X-Games competition, the amount of participants is limited, the location is static and it currently conflicts with many other motorsports calendars. Since IROC and now A1GP are gone, we really have nothing except the 24 Hours of Daytona to serve as a fun competition between the best of all the series; we need a true All-star race.

Right now NASCAR has the crapass abomination called the All-Star Race which is nothing close. Seriously what other All-star sporting event lets all its normal participants compete instead of only the All-Stars? And IROC has been gone for a while now, and even when we had it was too much home court advantage to stock car drivers.

Rally-cross is everything we need for an All-Star event. You won’t find many drivers in NASCAR, IndyCar, ALMS, Grand-Am, Karting, USAC etc. who wouldn’t be willing to do it just for a weekend of fun; and you could easily build courses all over the country so that everyone has a chance to get it each year (whereas X-Games are now stuck in L.A.). Heck you could even make it so only drivers could be the co-pilots so you got Jimmy Johnson in the driver seat and Juan Montoya as co-pilot and then they switch for the next round.

The drivers could even put their normal sponsors on the car, even more rewarding not only those sponsors but better positive relationship for the driver with their sponsor.

This kind of All-star event should NOT be in a static location, the X-Games are evident to why that’s such a bad idea; L.A. has had the X-games every year since 2002 (when Philly had it and the Games normally rotated locations). Last night as Pastrana pulled off the double back flip, and skateboarders went for Big Air, there were maybe a few thousand in the stands, and that’s pretty generous. The same happens with NASCAR’s All-Star race, if you put something that is supposed to be a spectacle/showoff in the same place, it loses its spectacleness and the locals get tired of it. This MUST be a travelling circus (so to speak).

I’m sure someone like Eddie Gossage would be drooling and ecstatic it if it were announced Texas Motor Speedway landed the 2012 Motorsports All-Star Race. He’d put up the money to build the temporary Rally course, could even use part of the oval for it. Heck, take it a step further, since there’s no homerun derby, you could have all the drivers do a Go-Kart race in addition to the Rally fun. And if you kept it from being oval-only like IROC both ovals and road courses could bid to host it, spreading the wealth and truly making it feel like an All-Star event. Heck there could even be a special 3rd event that used sports cars on the original home track to help seed the Rally stuff, just like the baseball All-star games decide Designated Hitters or not depending on whose park it is.

It can’t be too terribly hard to get ALMS, Grand-Am, IndyCar, NASCAR, USAC and such to agree to take the same week off in the year, it’s not like the benefits to doing so are non-existent. The event would only serve to help them all gain new fans when the fans of all the series crisscross. More importantly it would help racers and fans become more respectable and friendly to each other when they meet up.

Someone out there make this happen, shoot I’ll work pro-bono to help work out the logistics to make such an awesome event happen.

And for those who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about; watch Rally X this weekend as Indianapolis 500 winner and X-Games gold medalist Kenny Brack goes to defend his title. Trust me, it’s worth it and that’s why someone needs to make it happen as the official Motorsports All-Star Race.


Mike said...

"Best event of the year"? That's silly.


I'm already looking forward to New Year's Eve!

Pat W said...

Great idea!

There is one thing that does come close and that's the Race of Champions, but they make the error of holding it on an asphalt surface laid inside a stadium - they put fast cars on it but they can only do 40mph with the lack of grip, it looks stupid!

A gravel or mixed superspecial with rally cars would be faster and more spectacular. And I can just see them switching from a gravel course on the infield to a high banked oval while the other car is alongside on the escape lane/pit apron/wherever.

The only time I've seen the X-Games was on Youtube when McRae rolled it and still won! Legend.

NaBUru38 said...

The Race of Champions does have the greatest stars of the world. This year, in addition to the final race in germany, there are qualifying events in Algarve, Portugal among other corners of the world.

I agree with pat W that the RoC stadium courses aren't good. Rally super stages are much better.