Great news! If you’re like me and missed last Sunday’s Cup race while tending to other obligations, NASCAR’S got you covered.
“WATCH THE POCONO 400 IN THREE MINUTES” shouts the headline on NASCAR.com.
OH, I’M IN, BROTHER.
Not to nitpick, but the video technically is 3 minutes and 1 second. That’s actually encouraging, though, in a way. It must mean they couldn’t fit all the heart-pumping action into their 3-minute window. Simply not possible.
Just read the subhead: “From wild restarts to late-race cautions, relive the Pocono 400 in this week’s Race Recap.”
Let’s do this!
Twenty-two seconds in, you realize a problem: The green flag has yet to drop. Maybe that’s OK. Perhaps seeing cars lined up on pit road and drivers flipping their ignition switches is an important part of the narrative.
Over the next 2 minutes and 39 seconds, however, we learn that there was not much of a narrative to tell.
They show Austin Dillon hit the wall.
They show Martin Truex Jr. bow out with engine trouble.
They show Kyle Larson crossing the start/finish line to win Stages 1 and 2.
They show Kevin Harvick’s crew get nailed for an uncontrolled tire. (In what’s the most artistically done segment of the video, we get a slow-motion view of the tire rolling a couple of inches out of the pit box).
And we see Kyle Busch win the race.
Notice what we didn’t see? A bunch of side-by-side jostling. Some white-knuckle passing. A three-hour race is condensed to three minutes, and we don’t really see any actual competition.
It’s pretty obvious why so many fans who watched the whole thing were complaining on social media.
But hey, maybe there were some great postrace quotes! Busch usually has something to say.
“I passed one guy on the outside of Turn 3 and that was the only guy I needed to pass, I guess,” he said.
Oh. OK. Well, maybe he talked about NASCAR’s rules package that helped create this snoozer.
“Stop asking me package questions,” he said. “I'm done answering them. Next.”
Ah, Pocono. Or as one of my buddies always calls it, Poco-yes!
The best news of all of this is that they’re going to hold a Cup doubleheader there next summer. That’s right. Not only can you enjoy all that this track has to offer on a Saturday in June, you can come back the next day and see them run another race.
Or you can carve out six minutes the following week. Let’s hope they can fill ‘em.