It's a funny thing to have grown up around racing (NASCAR especially) and after years of it having an important role daily in life, it suddenly fades away. Life has been interfering with my ability to watch NASCAR this summer and with my back to working weekends, I doubt I'll be seeing much of the Chase. What's really amazing is, I don't really miss it.
My life revolved around the three-four hours of gasoline and rubber every Sunday (or those wonderful Saturday nights when the metal monsters would run under the lights at one short-tempered short track or another). If I missed a race, I would find it recorded somewhere, or at least view as many race recaps as possible.
But that was back when NASCAR was still really racing, although some argue it lost that authenticity a few decades ago. The heads of the sport had so many plans to make the sport competitive and edgy and fast again. What they delivered were weekly races where one car gets out front and stretches out a three second lead over a field who has little to no chance to catch him.
For the first time in my short life, I remember not who won The All Star Race, but the fact there were no wrecks and no thrills (and no field inversion). Instead of reigniting the fiery passion of the sport, we've been given a bunch of drivers forced into a world of being "PC" and looking pretty (though not all of them can achieve that one).
And the Chase, which was supposed to put an end to runaway championships has left us with one guy who is more than likely going to win the championship and two guys who might have a chance at almost catching him.
Every NASCAR weekend has sort of become a routine soap opera. Sort of "Days of Our Lives" on steroids, if you will. We don't have to tune in every week to know the Kyle's going to win, the other Gibbs' cars will run well, Chevy will fall in second to them, and that the lugnuts will be loose on the Roush cars.
The thrill is gone.
Is it ever coming back?