Four takeaways from the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series at Atlanta

  1. Kyle Busch Finally Breaks Ron Hornaday’s Record – After waiting since victory lane of Pocono last summer, Kyle Busch finally broke the illustrious record of Hornaday’s all-time wins. It took Busch 145 starts to get to win number 52. He’s had a lot of victories and memorable moments, such as winning the Truck Series owners championship two times. Busch catches a lot of flack but he could be one of the greatest drivers to race in today’s generation. Busch is only 33-years-old and he will more than likely have at least 10 to 15 more years in the sport to capture more victories and possibly break more records as well.
  2. Unhappy Fans – Five to 10 years ago, we had Cup Series drivers racing in almost every Xfinity and Truck Series race. However, some fans were outraged by them winning all the time. With that, the fans pushed and pushed in an attempt to ban veteran drivers from racing in lower tier series. Eventually NASCAR put a limit on Cup Series drivers competing in other series. This weekend at Atlanta, there were no Cup Series drivers in the Xfinity race and only one in the Truck race. Low and behold, once Kyle Busch took the checkered flag, many fans were complaining about this issue. However, when I looked in the stands, there was hardly anyone there for either race that day. Sure the weather forecast looked gloomy but that crowd was pathetic. When FOX showed a flashback to Kevin Harvick winning the Xfinity race at Atlanta in 2009, those grandstands were packed. I know times are different and that was 10 years ago. But, I watched a 2001 NASCAR Busch Series race the other night that was held in Colorado at Pikes Peak and the crowd was packed. This particular Busch Series race has only one Cup Series driver in it and that was Harvick, who at the time, was racing in both series. Yet, there was no outrage then. If the fans want to see only Xfinity and Truck Series drivers compete in their respective series, then I need to see more support than what I saw on Saturday.
  3. NASCAR Restarting The Race – I think we all won on this one. Kudos to NASCAR for waiting out the rains and heavy fog instead of calling the race nine laps early. We got to see an entertaining finish and Busch had to work hard for that win. Now if NASCAR can continue this consistency throughout the year, then this would be great.
  4. NASCAR.com Streaming Service – In today’s day and age, you see a lot of streaming services offered like Netflix, MLB Network, NFL Network, Fox Sports Go, NBC Sports App and NBC Sports Gold (a premium package for race fans that is offered). This past Friday, we saw a new era when it comes to streaming in NASCAR. Most practice sessions were steamed on the website before Fox Sports took over at 2 p.m. on live TV. This will take place every Friday when Fox Sports has coverage through June. It’s unknown if NBC will follow suit when they over coverage of the races. Like many of you, I was skeptical about how this would turn out. I have watched some Formula E practices on Facebook and YouTube, and it wasn’t that great. So I was leery. So at 10:30 a.m. I logged on to my phone to stream practice. When I logged on, I had to submit my email to access the stream. Not only that, but I had to agree to subscribe to NASCAR’s newsletter, which is a smart marketing move by NASCAR. However, my excitement was drained when I heard no sounds from the racecars but eventually, sound was added on and all was right in the world. I had to get the quality right a couple of times for the video, as it kept going back to 240p instead of 720p. The radio announcers brought a unique twist and covered almost everyone. Not just the top drivers, which was refreshing. Seeing the whole practice without commercial breaks was also a plus. Now if this could change but it seems that NASCAR is testing the waters to possibly have a streaming service offered somewhere down the road once the TV contract expires in 2024. Already, Fans Choice TV will be broadcasting every regional NASCAR race. Dirtvision has an option to pay for a weekend pass to watch their coverage of the World of Outlaws. NHRA also has their own network where you can watch races live, instead of tape delay on FOX Sports 1. CARS-Short Track Tour also has premium service options as well for their live coverage at the track. It’ll be interesting to see if NASCAR follows suit on this in the coming years. As the old saying goes, “the times, they are a changing.”

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