Do you want to know what I like about racing?
Passing. It’s a great thing when one car can actually drive past another one. It’s even better when that pass is for the race lead.
That being said, my feelings about Sunday’s snoozefest at Charlotte can go unwritten. But I’m getting paid to put words to paper, so they won’t.
I wrote a long time ago, when NASCAR was playing with spoiler heights and air dam kick-outs, that passing took an act of God and two acts of Congress. It appears at Charlotte that God was watching football and Congress was, well, who knows what Congress was doing.
I mean I’ve seen more passing in a Formula 1 race. Hell, I’ve seen more passing when my kid races the dog in the backyard.
The thing that infuriates me most about this is that NASCAR has fixed it. The low-down force package that they used at Kentucky and Darlington was a winner. The racing was awesome. Cars could pass. Cars could pass for the lead. NASCAR didn’t want to play with the rules for the Chase, but here is what they have done: they have ratcheted up the attention and the stakes with the Chase and they have knowingly put out an inferior racing product. Why would you knowingly put on a bad show in your hometown when you know more people are watching because of the Chase stakes?
The race was so boring that Kevin Harvick was happy with a second-place finish.
“We could hang in, but it was extremely hard to pass,” Harvick said. “To come out of here second and be up front all day says a lot about the team. It wasn’t or best day, but it wasn’t bad.
“Obviously you want to win, but with so many guys having trouble you want to capitalize on a top‑5 run, too. It was definitely one of those days that could have been better but could have been a whole lot worse.”
Martin Truex Jr, who bolstered his chances to advance to the third round of the playoffs with a third-place effort, characterized passing as “nearly impossible.”
People don’t come to the racetrack or tune into the race broadcast to watch cars turn laps at 185 miles per hour in a line. Even the most diehard fan will lose interest after a while with that. This is what NASCAR had with the high-drag package at Indianapolis and Michigan. They didn’t run the package at Charlotte and the racing was still atrocious. Again, the fix is there. Use it. Make someone other than Joey Logano, who led 227 of the 334 laps Sunday, happy.
Like the fans that suffered through the deluge on Saturday night only to be subjected to some terrible racing Sunday.
Andy Cagle writes a weekly column about NASCAR. Follow him on Twitter @Andy_Cagle.