Friday, May 29, 2015

It Gets Better: Five Questions for Dover

(Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Life isn’t—and never will be—fair. Throughout time, various instances supported this fact. The nice guy doesn’t get the girl. Superheroes can’t save the city. Bad news overpowers the good. This is life.

Happy endings happen in fiction because, sometimes, that’s the only time they happen.

Everyone experiences periods of despair, in which they feel like everything is crumbling around them. Bad things keep happening, and there’s nothing they can do to prevent the next obstacle.

First, I want everyone to know that it gets better. I don’t care what you’re going through; it gets better. There is always a silver lining, light at the end of the tunnel, shore to swim toward. The only thing that hinders one from seeing the positives is themselves. An open mind opens doors. Throw away your preconceived notions and try. It gets better.

Now that I got that out of the way, I can talk about the phrase “life isn’t fair.”

If life was meant to be a walk in the park, then it would be the most boring thing in the world. This is your allotted time on earth. You should cherish wherever this journey takes you—through the peaks of mountains and the darkest valleys. Making the most of your situation is the difference between living and simply existing.

Life will continue to be unfair no matter what, so you might as well try to enjoy it while you can.

NASCAR gets happy endings every now and then, but it’s time for a new one—one that will make everyone happy. Let’s discuss that and more in this week’s Five Questions.

Is the downfall of night racing upon us? Okay, this is a bit dramatic, but it’s still a valid question. Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 and the previous week's All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway disappointed in their own ways. The racing and the sun died at the same time, and the ratings weren’t good with regard to the 600. The All-Star Race’s format killed the whole event. There is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed—the downfall of night racing. It used to be a rare treat, like the Klondike bar Grandma sneaked you when she babysat. Now, every track wants to or does hold a night race. Here’s the kicker: Not every track is meant to have one. It isn’t a basic track right. Some venues don’t produce good racing, and having the less-than-thrilling ones in the mix ruins the magic. Night racing is meant to be sacred. Sadly, it isn’t that way anymore. That needs to change.

What can you say about TV ratings? As I mentioned before, the ratings for the Coca-Cola 600 weren't stellar. The numbers definitely pale in comparison to what the Indianapolis 500 captured—just like the racing. There are two parts to this problem. On one hand, the entire sport of racing is slipping. That’s the cycle it goes through every once in a while. I personally feel like it weeds out the flippant fans. Anyway, the popularity rises and falls. That’s normal. However, the other half is the quality of racing. When choosing between the two, many people would go with the Indy 500 because of the constant action. The 600 was nowhere near that level of competitiveness, and it showed in the viewership. One of the greatest days in motorsports ended on a bad note. It happens sometimes. That’s all there is to it.

Which series will impress the most at the Monster Mile? Once again, NASCAR teams visit a short track. Dover International Speedway is known as the Monster Mile for its intimidating presence. It’s a difficult track to conquer, that’s for sure. All three series are looking to defeat the menace, but which one will produce the best show? My bet is on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series because of its consistency in the action. Those youngsters know how to put on a show, and it’ll be a wild ride if it’s anything like their race at Charlotte. However, I’ll give a shoutout to the NASCAR XFINITY Series; the Dash4Cash program is in play, and that will ramp everything up. If you can only watch one race this weekend, though, tune into the Trucks race on Friday night.

What does Dover truly offer? This track is a monster—literally. Its nickname reveals its toughness and unpredictability, but the true unpredictable quality is in the race itself. Every stop in Delaware brings a different race; various amounts of cautions and lead changes. Some races are boring (just being blunt here) and others are phenomenal. The element of not knowing what we’ll get is common on the circuit yet elevated at Dover. It offers the unknown, and NASCAR needs a hefty dose of that right now.

Is it finally Truex’s time? Martin Truex Jr. is the beloved underdog of the moment, and I’m using the term underdog loosely. He’s in contention every weekend, but circumstance is a mean mistress. Sunday night was a prime example. It’s unfair to see him come close numerous times. This weekend is a chance for things to finally go his way. Dover is a great track for the driver of the No. 78—he has a win here—and is also close to home. After a trying year full of watching Sherry Pollex, his girlfriend, battle cancer, Truex didn’t give up. He kept pressing on, and this impressive year wouldn’t be possible without that perseverance. Anyone who can keep the faith after the trials he's faced deserves some good in his life. It will happen to Truex, and I hope it’s in front of his “hometown” audience. It got better for him and Sherry, and it will (hopefully) get better all over again in Delaware. 

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