The NASCAR Cup Series makes history this weekend, for the first time since 1971 the NASCAR Cup Series will race in a stadium. The race will take place in Los Angeles, California at the historic LA Coliseum. This track is a makeshift 0.25-mile oval that has similar characteristics to all the fairground tracks we see in the southeast part of the country. This will truly be a sight to be seen, and I am looking forward to seeing how this works out.
The format of this race will be much different from what we are accustomed to seeing, as there will be four 25 lap heat races that will decide who advances to the main event. The top four cars in each heat will automatically clinch a spot in the main event. For the cars that don't advance, they will be relegated to one of the last chance qualifying races, where the top three will advance and there will be no live pit stops. With the track being as narrow as it is, there will be a lot of close-quarters action. There isn’t a lot to go off of when it comes to data, except for a tire test that featured Dale Earnhardt Jr and Tony Stewart at the similar Bowman Gray Stadium. This will truly be a landmark race in NASCAR’s history
Another major storyline of this race is the emergence of the new NextGen car and its first race. A lot has gone into developing this car and while an exhibition sprint race might not be the best barometer on how the car will run everywhere else, we are sure to see some torn up equipment. It will be imperative for these drivers to keep the car in one piece, as they are now limited to seven cars for the season.
With the hype centered around this race, stadium races may become a mainstay on the schedule. NASCAR reporter Adam Stern tweeted that “If all goes well, a race could very well be coming to places like New York City, Denver, Seattle. Even international markets like Tokyo or London are on the table.” This would be a huge deal considering NASCAR has not held a race outside of Mexico or Canada since 1998 when they ran in Japan. Many have speculated on Twitter that a race in Wembley Stadium would be a possibility, personally I think this would be one of the best moves NASCAR could ever make. The only thing I would hope for is these types of races will stay exhibitions.
The driver that I have winning this race is Kyle Larson. While there isn’t a lot of statistics to go off, It is worth noting that Larson won a track similar to this in Daytona back in 2013 in a Late Model, so he definitely has experience getting around these type of racetracks. Also, he is the defending champion, which is always a plus. When asked about the new car, Kyle told reporters, “it’s about the same as the old one.” If this is the case, the rest of the field should be on high alert considering how many races he won last season. Look for the #5 Camaro to be the car to beat come Sunday.
When Bryce Young and CJ Stroud were drafted with the first two picks of the NFL Draft, we knew they would be compared to one another for years to come.
And here we are just 11 games into the season and one quarterback has already seen his head coach fired. Panthers owner David Tepper spoke to the media on Wednesday and discussed his decision to fire Frank Reich, and also set the record straight on how they arrived at the decision to draft Young.
In so many words, Tepper basically blamed the Texans for how the top of the draft played out. He mentioned Stroud by name and said the Panthers were ready to draft him at No. 2 overall until the Texans backed out of the three-team trade with the Bears.
Tepper made a point of saying everyone in their building had Bryce Young as the top player on their draft board, despite rumors about Frank Reich preferring Stroud.
CJ Stroud and the Texans have been so much better than Bryce Young and the Panthers that Tepper clearly felt it was necessary to defend himself, and the decisions he's made for the organization.
In the end, the person that gets the worst end of the deal is Bryce Young. Coaching changes can be very difficult on young quarterbacks. And it looks like he'll have to learn a new offense in his second year when the Panthers hire a new coaching staff.
How fortunate we are as Texans fans to have DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud leading the team moving forward.
With all of this in mind, is there a reason Texans fans haven't fully bought in to the new-look Texans? JJ Watt was a guest on The Pat McAfee Show this week and was asked about the team's inability to fill the stadium on Sundays.
As a former player for the Colts, McAfee always thought Houston had the loudest and best fans in the NFL. And while the Texans are 9th in attendance this year according to ESPN, even CJ Stroud has asked for the fans to fill the stadium.
So there is something to it. You can see the empty seats in photos. So why aren't the Texans packing NRG with a shiny new franchise QB?
We believe the recent history of the team is why fans are slowly coming back. McAfee wasn't here for:
Bill O'Brien cussing at fans during games
Trading DeAndre Hopkins away for next to nothing
The Jack Easterby disaster
Deshaun Watson allegedly blaming ownership for why he wanted out
The Deshaun Watson scandal
Firing back-to-back coaches after one season, and the list goes on.
Don't miss the video above for the full conversation!
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