Monday, August 30, 2010


If there's a race anywhere on any circuit that routinely provides more plot twists and exciting finishes than the Napa Auto Parts 200, I have yet to hear of it. For the fourth time in as many years, the assembled masses got their money's worth and then some from the NASCAR Nationwide event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where the nearly four hour event ended in a drag race to the checkered flag between winner Boris Said and runner-up Max Papis, with third place finisher Jacques Villeneuve just a fraction of a second behind. And all of that after snakebitten Robby Gordon ran out of gas while leading on the second to last lap...How's this for fan-friendly and promotionally-savvy? Papis was miked up and fielding ESPN viewer e-mail questions on the formation lap. If the Apollo moon missions were organized and promoted by NASCAR instead of NASA, Neil Armstrong's first words when he stepped onto the lunar surface might have been "boogity boogity boogity"...Michael Schumacher's undistinguished comeback season is all the proof anyone should need that success in Formula One racing hinges at least as much on technology as it does on driving skill, but that doesn't detract from what Schumacher accomplished in his heyday or what he still brings to the track in ability and experience. While three of the five championship frontrunners floundered in unpredictable conditions, Schumacher parlayed 21st on the starting grid into a seventh place finish in yesterday's Belgian Grand Prix...International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Faisal is only protecting his turf when he warns the NHL against trying to expand into Europe, but the IIHF threatening the NHL is a little bit like the Brady Bunch talking smack to the Hell's Angels.

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