By David G. Firestone
So I spent the entire weekend watching sports, including the Rolex 24, and the NHL All-Star Game. While I watch racing on a regular basis, I don’t always get to watch IMSA, so I’m not as polished with the rules and regulations and nuances of sports car racing as I am NASCAR, and the NHRA. I do enjoy it when I watch it.
I was perplexed when the officials executed what was termed “the nuclear option” on one of the race teams. “The nuclear option” is a five minute stop and hold penalty. This was apparently executed on the #29 Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 because the refueling time was shorter than allowed.
According to Autoweek, IMSA’s stance is as follows: “To measure refueling times, each entrants autonomous fuel tank is fitted with a mandated IMSA fuel level sensor and refueling restrictor, which are inspected and sealed prior to the race. During a standard, in-race data review, IMSA observed a consistent and beneficial variance of the No. 29 car’s refueling times compared to the GTD class average. Based upon IMSA’s current and past event refueling data, this was deemed to be unacceptable. The entrant was informed of IMSA’s position and a penalty was administered.”
It should be noted that while 5 minutes seems like an eternity in many forms of racing, the #29 only lost a lap. Due to the lack of full-course yellows, they never got the lap back, and their day ended with 29 minutes to go, due to a tire issue. Not the best end to a race, but it could have been different.
Then I watched the NHL All-Star Game via DVR. I have to say that because NBC and the NHL royally messed the All-Star Game up. On Sunday afternoon and evening, the Pro Bowl, the Grammys, and the WWE Royal Rumble, in addition to the NHL All-Star Game. The NHL is not going to win that ratings battle. Why wouldn’t you have the All-Star Game on Saturday night? Instead of fighting a battle that you couldn’t win, why not move it back a day, and be the top dog in the ratings? Unwinable fights aren’t worth fighting, so instead, make the move to Saturday night, move the skills competition to Sunday, and everyone wins.
Another thing I noticed about the All-Star game was the jerseys. The NHL has four divisions, Metropolitan, Atlantic, Central, and Pacific. Why was the main crest an NHL logo? Why wouldn’t you have the division logo as the crest, and the NHL logo on the shoulder, as opposed to the other way around? This is not a minor issue, because the game is three 20 minute 3-on-3 games between divisions. Who thought that the NHL logo worked better than the divisions? It just looked odd.
I thought that the games were good, but there are a lot of places for improvement in them. I hope these problems will be fixed.