Score one for Michigan International Speedway.
Actually, score 43.
After 40 years of fans being able to see only the top five drivers listed on the infield scoreboard during NASCAR Sprint Cup races, now they will be able to see where every driver in the 43-car field ranks, thanks to a mammoth, new scoreboard, the likes of which have yet to be seen anywhere else.
MIS unveiled the $2.35 million, 110-foot high, three-sided monster with the latest LED lighting and graphics May 28.
Track president Roger Curtis, explaining some of the graphics that can be accommodated by the new scoreboard, admitted there is no way to even comprehend all of the functions the scoreboard will be able to perform with a total of 10 people involved in its operation at the onset.
“I don’t see it getting old,” Curtis added. “The graphics will always change. It could be the standard for motor sports.”
You wanted to give the almost giddy Curtis a controller so he could play the newest in computer games, such as “Pac-Man.” No, wait, that was the old scoreboard.
The scoreboard’s official flag-waving debut will be on Flag Day, June 13, for the ARCA RE/MAX Series race, starting at 5:15 p.m. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Cool City Customs 200 will be the following day, starting at 3 p.m., followed by the LifeLock 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race June 15, scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
There’s a 60 percent chance a rookie will capture the ARCA RE/MAX Series season championship this year based on the current standings. Six rookies are among the top 10, headed by Ricky Stenhouse, a Roush Fenway Racing Ford developmental driver. If a rookie wins the title, he’ll have to choose between either being hailed as the series champion or Rookie of The Year. How much thought in nanoseconds do you think will go into that ?
Cheap shots for sale
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Gary Roberts delivered one of the most despicable cheap shots ever observed by these elder eyes. With play stopped in Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup playoff game against Detroit’s Red Wings last week, Roberts skated up behind Wings forward Johan Franzen and sucker punched him in the side of the head, Franzen falling to the ice in pain. Franzen, the Wings’ leading scorer, had missed the previous six games suffering from concussion-like symptoms. It could have been a career-ending situation for the 28-year-old Franzen. Meanwhile, Roberts’ career continues unabashed.
And being a casual NBA fan and watching overpaid athletes underachieve too many times, I have yet to distinguish between a foul, a hard foul and assault to commit bodily harm.
In watching a recent Cleveland Cavaliers NBA playoff series game against Boston, a player who appeared open for a layup was grabbed by the throat, twisted around and thrown to the court.
One of the announcers, after watching the television replay, went out on a limb and said, “That could have almost been called an intentional foul.”
Ya think! How about attempted homicide?
Danica exposed … almost
One of my more reliable sources confirmed what was obvious concerning Danica Patrick’s victory last April in Motegi, Japan, when she became the first woman to win an IndyCar race.
Helio Castroneves, who finished second, allowed Patrick to pass him late in the race for the triumph. It was reportedly under team orders.
Castroneves has been leading the Indy Racing League point standings, but there wasn’t much difference, point-wise, between first and second. It was a short field and it was in Japan, out of viewing and listening range for most U.S. open-wheel racing fans.
Evidently, word came down from on high, according to my almost always reliable source, that this was an opportunity for the IRL to score some major publicity points with the not-sold-out Indy 500 just around the corner. Castroneves danced low on the track to allow for the pass and Danica became the darling of motorsports.
But another one of her PR hissy fits, this time when she was knocked out of the Indy 500 in the pits by an over-enthusiastic Ryan Briscoe, has not endeared her with her fellow racing compatriots and many others in the racing community.