I have not watched a NASCAR race as a serious fan in over a decade.I used to reserve a place on the couch and control of the remote on race day.I suppose priorities and interests changed.Rules had changed, the championship format had as well and I had other things to do.That was until Sunday afternoon at about 3:30.

Suddenly, NASCAR was important again.It wasn’t because it was the only live sporting event going on in the world, though it could have been.No, it’s because NASCAR and the FOX television and their sponsors and contractors found a way to do it, do it first and do it very well.Had this been a boxing match, a basketball, baseball or hockey game, it would have been the same with the same kind of interest.It was FIRST- the first to come back for its fans (and the rest of us).

And while I still don’t like the new segmented racing format where there are 3 or 4 winners per race, this race was good.Ten weeks off caused the challenges you may have expected.No practice time to tweak the cars and tires or allow for pit crews to work on skills and timing also contributed to the intrigue.The crashes were early, but not unusually often, a tribute to the skills of these talented drivers.Ryan Newman was back behind the wheel after a crash that could have killed him in Daytona during the 500.

While there were select broadcast team members and crew in Darlington for the race, the main crew was not.They worked from studios in a couple of locations as they watched the same video the rest of us would see.It was extremely well done.FOX needs to take a bow.

It was live sports, it was NASCAR and it was very well done.

Leave it to a sport created by hillbillies running moonshine to lead America back to a place where maybe we should have never left.Said another way…

Hold my beer.Watch this…

And if you’re interested in doing just that, they’re back it for multiple weekly events in the next few weeks.

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