Some Random Thoughts On A Saturday

AVONDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 14: A general view of the track during the NASCAR Cup Series Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 14, 2021 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
AVONDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 14: A general view of the track during the NASCAR Cup Series Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 14, 2021 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

It’s Saturday in sunny Phoenix, Arizona and for the first time since the Olympics started NASCAR and IndyCar will be racing. I’ve covered NASCAR for years and IndyCar once as a credentialed reporter at Phoenix International Raceway. I realize it is now “Phoenix Raceway” but I’m stuck in the past in a lot facets of my life, hence the Oasis obsession, and the name of my local track is part of that.

I love NASCAR but the amount of ovals used in the schedule is a bit of a drag to me. The racing is redundant, lacks flair and is like being in a subdivision in Phoenix: where houses are a shade of beige and you only get three different styles to choose from. Yes, PIR is a tri-oval but it’s a mile and has an unconventional dogleg which makes it unique.

For the boring ovals I’m referring to Chicago, Michigan, Texas and the like as cookie cutter tracks with minimal flavor. That’s why tomorrow’s race at Watkins Glen is always one of my favorite on the annual NASCAR schedule; you get a unique set of turns to challenge the drivers, passing is tougher, and the skills of the driver are more important than during a race at a high-speed oval.

I like seeing my NASCAR drivers showing the world that they can turn both left and right at a tough track like The Glen. There’s a stigma that NASCAR drivers are less talented than other racing drivers in different series because of the amount of ovals they race on, but that’s not necessarily so. For evidence I site the lack of major success by former F1 drivers in NASCAR.

Kimi Raikkonen bombed in NASCAR (In one Xfinity race he finished 27th and in one NASCAR truck race he finished 15th) and Juan Pablo Montoya has the most wins of a former F1 driver in NASCAR with two. It’s not easy to go from open-wheel racing to NASCAR and motorsports fans that don’t dig stock car racing at least need to give it some respect.

We have NASCAR at Watkins Glen and IndyCar heads to Nashville for the Music City Grand Prix. A lot of street circuits are fairly lame, looking at you Las Vegas during your F1 days, but Nashville has upped the ante by including a long stretch over the narrow Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge.

I’m looking forward to the Music City Grand Prix because it’s a different venue for IndyCar and the use of a bridge is a pretty dope concept. I wonder how my favorite driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, would do on that street circuit in Tennessee?

But this weekend is not all auto racing and watching “Grand Tour” reruns. No, I’m a family man and as such we went to our local AMC and took in “Snake Eyes” on Saturday afternoon.

I’m a solid G.I. Joe fan, raised on the cartoon series and in a fit of poor judgement in my early 30s I decided to get an Arashikage Clan tattoo on my right arm and emulated Storm Shadow. The tattoo wasn’t necessarily a bad choice but then again only three people have recognized it and they all gave me props.

I recommend the movie but that’s no the point for this article, what was interesting was the use of electric vehicles in the flick. During various chase scenes Snake Eyes rides an EV motorcycle and there is a bit of Hyundai product placement with emphasis on their new Sonata N Line.

What made this product placement a bit curious is that the Hyundais sounded like electric vehicles with their distinct high pitch during acceleration and lack of a revving engine. As a fan of EVs it was pretty dope to see (or hear) but there isn’t an electric Sonata N Line available.

I enjoyed the movie a lot but I was disappointed to find out that Kung Fu Joe from “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” wasn’t Snake Eyes before took a vow of silence and joined G.I. Joe. I always assumed he was, especially after he survived an ambush from 57 cops, and quite frankly Kung Fu Joe is a bad dude that G.I. Joe could have used on their side in the ongoing squabbles with Cobra.

Well that’s enough rambling for me. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and lets be careful out there.

Next. Review: “The Grand Tour Presents: Lochdown”. dark