NASCAR Recap: NASCAR Media Tour



So much for going outside this weekend.

A major storm made for a change of plans for many Sprint Cup fans and teams. While millions continue to dig out, here’s a look at winner and losers from the NASCAR Media Tour in this NASCAR recap.

Win: Tony Stewart

I was wrong. Last week I worried about how Stewart’s issues off the track could cause concerns for his 2016 Media Week appearance. It turns out there was no need to stress. Stewart dealt with the Chili Bowl heckler, a situation that looks like it will go away quietly. Stewart looked healthier, said he feels better and seems to be in a much better place to contend in 2016.

NASCAR is better when Tony Stewart is relevant. His last chance to win the Daytona 500 is less than a month away. It would be interesting to see Stewart make one final run at the only title not on his Hall of Fame resume.

Lose: NASCAR Hall of Fame

For the record, the Hall of Fame is an awesome concept, and I have no issue with the people in it, the building or anything for that matter. The HOF just seems cursed sometimes. Attendance has bee far below expectations; the property is losing money. Now added to that list: a giant snowstorm that wrecked the fan’s day and delayed the induction ceremony.

I’ve never heard of an HOF ceremony getting delayed. I’ve also never heard of an HOF with attendance of financial challenges in any of the other major sports. Why this can’t get traction in NASCAR is beyond me. The weekend should have been a celebration on the sport’s rich history. Instead, it was reviewing weather radar. It’s just tough luck.

Draw: Matt Kenseth

Everyone on the planet knew Kenseth would have to talk about his intentional wrecking of Joey Logano, the one that cost Logano a chance at the Sprint Cup and Kenseth two races.

On one hand, Kenseth said, and he’s probably correct, that he received a whirlwind of fan support for his actions. As a driver, Kenseth may never be more popular.

On the other hand, Kenseth said he and Logano haven’t really spoken and that he hopes everyone will put the incident behind them. Drivers can receive media training from PR teams to say the right thing. Actions on the track are a whole other issue. There has to be some payback at some point?

Moreover, Kenseth admits he did nothing wrong. Drivers can have their own code; that’s fine. The integrity of the Sprint Cup declines when drivers intentionally sabotage other drivers. Vontaze Burfict hurt the NFL. Fans don’t like headhunters in baseball. What Kenseth did was worse than either, even if an unwritten rulebook may have justified it. This saga isn’t over. Let’s hope Kenseth’s title chances aren’t over before the 2016 Sprint Cup season even begins.

What is over is the NASCAR Media Tour. Daytona is less than a month away. Be careful out there, and insert a random catchphrase here.