Friday, September 4, 2009

On Iowa Speedway, the ARCA RE/MAX Series on television, and RCR bringing back the No. 3

A few notes and thoughts while watching practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Iowa Speedway...

- It is amazing that no one ever thought to build a track this size before. The length, shape, and banking at Iowa has produced awesome racing for every division that has every competed here. It's a short track that offers superspeedway speeds. But those speeds aren't so high that you can't beat and bang in the corners and trade some paint. Watching the Trucks buzz around as quick as they are, one can only imagine how fast the Indy Cars are when they race here. Kudos to the staff and management for designing and building a wonderful facility. Hopefully when the next round of cookie cutter tracks are built they use this place as the template.

- It's too bad the economics of television don't allow for the ARCA RE/MAX Series short track races to be televised. SPEED covers most of the companion races when ARCA is with Cup or the Truck Series, but the real heart of ARCA lies in short track races at Toledo, Salem, Berlin, and the dirt miles at DuQuoin and Springfield. In a perfect world those races would also be shown year in and year out. Toledo has produced dozens of exciting races over the years and is very television friendly, but for some reason neither Toledo race was televised this year. That's a real shame, considering the fact that last year's season closer there was probably the best ARCA race on television in many years. Some tracks don't have the facilities for a complete broadcast to be produced, but surely there could be something done for those of us hardcore enough to want to watch. For those -- like me -- who care, you can watch streaming video from all non-televised ARCA races by joining the ARCA Nation at

Austin Dillon sits in the No. 3 Bad Boy Mowers Chevrolet during a break in practice at Iowa Speedway
Charles Krall photo

- It's really neat to see the RCR No. 3 truck out on the track here again. Richard Childress Racing fielded the No. 3 in the Truck Series from 1995 through the 1999 season. Sure, there are some writers out there who are saying watching the No. 3 on the track in any NASCAR division is an afront to Dale Earnhardt's memory. But Dale Earnhardt never drove the No. 3 in the Trucks. When he was involved in the series as an owner, he used the No. 16. Childress used the No. 3 on his Cup cars long before Earnhardt joined the team. Much like Earnhardt's fans believed his family's legacy number - the No. 8 - should have gone with his son when he left the family-owned team I believe the No. 3 is Childress's to do with as he pleases. I think he's honored his late friend by not running that number in the Cup Series, but I also think he has every right to use it in the Truck Series where he is a former champion as an owner. And who knows, maybe one day a Childress family member will bring that number back to prominence in the Cup Series, should grandpa so desire.

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