Happy Hour: Sonoma on the mind

Jay Hart
Yahoo! Sports

How can you not like the occasional road race? Just asking.

Let's get to the mail …

Down with points racing

This is precisely why, NASCAR needs to change the points format. Everybody's racing to be consistent, rather than trying to WIN the race as Kyle does each and every race.

The legends of this sport were not out there, saying, geez, I need to finish in top five this week, I need points! This is exactly what is turning fans off about NASCAR today. There is no one out there trying to win a race each and every weekend.

Some may say they are, but they have to many people in their ear … crew chiefs, owners, sponsors.

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Come on NASCAR drivers, lets get back to racing. If you blow the tires off the car because you're going wide-open, so be it! "Pedal to the metal, Lets go racing boys".

Please do not tell me, its the nature of our sport today with all the money and sponsors that are involved. That sponsor is getting just as much exposure with Kyle going wide open 99% of the time and breaking or crashing out as the guy who just won the race, who by the way, only led, what, 6-laps!! Race, Race, and Race! Come on Guys!!

Bob Collins
Rocklin, Calif.

You're preaching to the choir, Bob. What's changed is that the championship has taken precedence over winning, which is why this past weekend Juan Pablo Montoya essentially said he will points race the rest of the regular season to help his chances of making the Chase. That wasn't necessarily the case in NASCAR's growing up years. The problem isn't the drivers; they are, with the notable exception of Kyle Busch, playing according to the rules they're handed. If NASCAR changed the rules, which I think they should, by giving more of a points bonus for wins, we'd see the attitude change real quick.

Mmm, Sonoma

Hey Jay: I didn't watch the race but as I was watching all the replays, the race rewind and the interviews, it seems to me that this race was GREAT.

I don't remember last year's being as good as this one was. Spectator wise, there were a lot of 'accidents' and mishaps that we come to enjoy and the "oooohhh" from the TNT team were to that same level. Wish we had more road courses :)

Don't get me wrong, but if Watkins Glen gets as fun as this one was, perhaps we need to take some 1.5's out and bring in more road courses that do bring excitement.

And wow, what a race for Ambrose. He's not my favorite driver but you can't help but admire what he did, coming from the back. All in all, awesome race.

Alberto Cruz
Carolina, Puerto Rico

I like any race that doesn't blend in with all the others, and road races certainly fit that bill. I think part of the reason we hear complaints about them is that there AREN'T more road races on the schedule. The fact there are only two lends to the idea that they're somehow a gimmick. They're not. As for Ambrose, dude earned my respect before Sonoma.

Kasey's future


Kasey Kahne will be a free agent after the 2010 season. Would he consider a move to join Tony Stewart's Cup team?


OK, file this in your "heard it here first file"… In speaking with Kasey Kahne while he came home last week, I asked him if there was any chance he could be looking at joining good friend Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing next year and he looked up, got a big ol' cheshire grin on his face and said "Maybe".

Kasey expressed his frustration during his Q and A session with fans and said that he wants to make the chase and wants to win. With the ways things are going at RPM, the barn doors are opening and everyone will be looking to escape. Kasey and Budwesier have 1 year left together.

There was some talk of him going to be the 4th car at JGR but Budweiser could not follow him there. Budweiser will follow to SHR and there is a bigger chance at long term deals and sponsorships there. Has the silly season really started already!!??

Brian Williams
Auburn, Wash.

The Silly Season has to get started soon because plans for 2010 must begin to take shape in the Summer of 2009. As for Kasey, I think Sunday's win was a big deal, but is it big enough to keep him at RPM? I just have a feeling that he knows he's better than the numbers he's putting up and will want to test that theory when his contract is up. Personally, I would rather him stay at RPM – it would be nice to spread the wealth around a little rather than all of it gathering in and around the Hendrick garage – but Kasey does seem like a good fit with Smoke.

Danica, Danica, Danica

Ah! Enough with the Danica Patrick circus already. I love NASCAR, but i also love INDY and for me, being a Danica fan, I want to see her remain where she is at. I believe she has a lot more chances in Indy car than in NASCAR. Why? Because INDY is a lot more "sophisticated" than NASCAR for a lady. No offense but while I do see many helping Danica make a name and get results in INDY car racing I see only people making her life hell in NASCAR just to make a point. That is my opinion.

Custo de Sousa
Long Beach, Calif.

I don't disagree with you, Custo. Danica is somewhat insulated over in the IRL. A move to NASCAR would put the spotlight squarely on her where, as you put it, a lot of people would be rooting for her to fail. I don't wish her to fail, but I also don't see her having much success in the Cup Series if she decides to come.

I for one would enjoy seeing Danica in NASCAR. For one, NASCAR seems to be losing popularity a little and her fame could give it the slight boost needed to resurge. But more importantly, I feel that she would be real competition for the good ol' boys that Franchitti and Montoya aren't/weren't. She is also a much better driver than Hornish as well.

It would also be nice to see a female who can give them boys a real challenge since they refuse to promote the woman they do have in the truck series.

Stephen Litsinger

Stephen, what are you smoking? How you can say Danica is better than Sam Hornish Jr. is beyond me when Hornish has three IRL titles to his name, which is two more than Danica has wins. I'm not hatin'; I'm just saying the numbers don't support your claim. Not even close.

Fuel for thought

On Mark Martin: Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. I believe Mark is always prepared.

Jackson, Mich.

Well put.

The great divider

Jay, Are you not sick of everyone whining and complaining about Kyle Busch whining and complaining?

My serious questions is do you thing NASCAR will increase testing next year or leave it as is? Personally, I think it has been great for the sport seeing small team guys running in the top 10 every week.

Dan Keller
Cambridge Springs, Pa.

I actually like Kyle Busch, but he brings a lot of it on himself. That said, he brings a lot of it on himself because he enjoys it. So all you Kyle haters out there, you're just feeding his ego.

As for testing, I'm not sure the ban has had a huge impact. The parity hasn't increased, and in listening to drivers, they're still testing, just not at NASCAR sanctioned tracks.

Last call …

When will everyone stop complaining about the "playoff" system of NASCAR? How many years has it been now?

The complaint is always about the resetting of the top standings. Yet every sports playoff runs the same. Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, all seed their teams based on the regular season performance. They all give anyone that makes the playoffs a shot at winning.

The reality is NASCAR did what every other sport has done, with one exception … In NASCAR those that did not make the playoffs still get to compete and can affect the outcome. With the sponsorship dollars involved I don't see this changing, but NASCAR should minimize this by awarding Chase teams points based on their finish relative to other Chase contenders only, not to all participating in the race.

Santa Clara, Calif.

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