My younger sister's birthday was this weekend, giving our family a reason to dine together for the first time in months.
My father, an ex-NASCAR enthusiast, drove us to the restaurant, allowing me the opportunity to talk a little racing with him.
It's incredibly disheartening to see how far he's fallen from the sport he once loved.
Understand that this is the man who first made me a fan. Our family has raced on dirt in Alabama for over 40 years and it must have taken a lot of damage for one man to get this bitter.
But the truth is that it took only one; The death of Dale Earnhardt.
Earnhardt's death was the icing on the cake but his career was the old guard's last connection to a sport evolving past its roots. Earnhardt was all they had left and Dale Jr's dying career hasn't helped. So what else does the dying breed have against the current product?
Find out after the jump!
The old guard absolutely detest the Car of Tomorrow citing NASCAR as a 43-car spec series. They applaud mechanics like Chad Knaus and engine builders like Ernie Elliott who have successfully outsmarted the system. They believe that NASCAR shouldn't try and level the playing field. They are convinced that if one man can build a faster car and win all 36 races, then he should be commended.
Any effort to create competition and parity are against the spirit of motorsports.
The flaw in that line of thinking is that they also detest Jimmie Johnson and the no. 48 winning five consecutive championships. You can't have it both ways.
The next outlandish thing came via my uncle's mouth. He justified that the restrictor plate has ruined NASCAR superspeedways. He and his type believe that motorsports are an assumed risk and that driving 220 mph at Daytona and Talladega is the only way to race at these two monster speedways. They argue that both speed and intestinal fortitude are the foundations of NASCAR.
Risking life and limb to win a race is what the sport was built on.
So am I to believe that closed-quarter racing at 195 mph for three hours is not daring enough? Meanwhile, that argument is even more silly in the face of NASCAR's television ratings. They essentially show that both Daytona and Talladega are among the most watched and popular events on the circuit.
Lastly, it was stated that Hendrick Motorsports would go the way of the dodo in the next three seasons. It was explained to yours truly that there are too many cooks in the HMS kitchen and that the team will not survive the departure of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
This purely reeks of jealously and discontent for their favorite teams.
However, there is some solidarity. Both my family and I could agree that NASCAR needs an infusion of short tracks. The cookie-cutter superspeedways are a definite detriment. We also applaud the 'Have At It Boys' attitude as having breathed new life into the series.
But beyond that, NASCAR has apparently crossed the generation gap, abandoning their southern base.
Is this the consensus anywhere else in NASCAR Nation or am I truly the black sheep of the Weaver family? Comment below!