My Thoughts On The Rolex 24, The Pro Bowl, and The NHL All-Star Game

By David G. Firestone

So after watching all 24 hours of The Rolex 24 at Daytona, first off, I’m exhausted, second off, it was a great event! The “Star Car” of Chip Ganassi, a Ford EcoBoost powered Daytona prototype with Scott Dixon, Tony Kannan, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle Larson won the overall event, as well as as the Prototype class. The GT Le Mans class was won by Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussenm, Antonio García, and Ryan Briscoe who finished 5th overall. Prototype Challenge was won by PR1/Mathiesen Motorsports with Mike Gausch, Andrew Novichm Andrew Palmer, and Tom Kimber-Smith in an Oreca FLM09 with a Chevy engine. GT Daytona was won by Riley Motorsports in a Dodge Viper with Ben Keating, Dominik Farnbacher,Kuno Wittmer, Cameron Lawrence, and Al Carter at the helm.

I don’t watch the Tudor United SportsCar Championship or Endurance racing that often, I watch Sebring and Le Mans and Daytona, but normally and I watch NASCAR IndyCar, and NHRA so it’s a really odd transition. It gets kind of confusing with 4 classes running on the track at the same time. Also, the pit stops are slow compared to NASCAR or IndyCar, but that is understandable as the race is 24 hours long. But when you haven’t had a sport to follow for 2 1/2 months, it’s a small price to pay.

A couple of design things struck my eye. Since half this race is run at night, spotters need to be able to see their cars at any given moment. As such, many cars are outfitted with custom light designs on the roof. Many teams opt for lighted car numbers as well. What I also noticed, and I don’t know why I didn’t notice this before, the cars have number setups to tell indicate where they are position wise, based on class. Cars that feature all professional drivers have red numbers, cars with professional and amateur drivers have blue lights. This is represented in the car numbers. Red boxes around the numbers are professional, blue boxes are professional and amateur drivers.

One thing I didn’t know about prior to this race was the existence of The Delta Wing. This is a car designed to have lighter size and engine power, but with much less drag than traditional race cars. It looks like something out of a Batman comic. Sadly, transmission problems kept us from seeing how well it could really do.

There have been a lot of odd incidents in racing in the last few years, and this race was no exception. At 5 AM, Andy Lally, while driving the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 hit a possum with his car it went through the radiator, and wound up in the front trunk of the car. Porsche 911 is a rear engine car. It wound up knocking Lally, a dedicated vegan, out of the race.

After a brief nap and some dinner, I tuned into the Pro Bowl, or as I like to call it, the Who Gives a Damn bowl. The NFL has done so much to get fans to watch, and they just don’t care at all. This week, the NFL announced that the goal posts would be narrower, and the point after touchdown lines would be moved back. This led to a challenge for kickers, and a number of missed PAT’s. Rarely if ever do you see that, so it did make for an exciting game. the uniforms were awful, but that is the norm now.

That got me to thinking…was this a testing ground for future goal post changes? The fact that the NFL would use such rules might indicate that. Sports thrive on change, and the goal posts haven’t had major changes for a long time. I think that the NFL might be thinking about changes to the goalposts in the future. This might be the first in a series of experiments in that line.

I also caught the late telecast of the NHL All-Star Game, and I hated the uniforms. I also hate this new system of selecting teams. This also applies to the NFL. I like the idea of conference vs conference. I like the idea of AFC vs. NFC in the NFL and Eastern vs. Western in the NHL. But while I can defend having the captains pick the teams in the NHL, the Pro Bowl draft is unacceptable. If it were up to me, I would redo it so that one of the player captains picks the teams. I have nothing against Michael Irvin and Cris Carter, but why not have Team Luck vs. Team Sanford? That would, in my mind, be a better system. But I’m just me, what can I say?

I’m gonna be going on Vacation on Friday, I’ll run the tracker and paint scheme grades as normal, but I may or may not do a My Thoughts On article next Monday, I haven’t decided yet.

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