This weekend, I wrapped up my first full season as a NASCAR fan. All three series had their championship races at Phoenix Raceway. I have to admit, of the three championship races, the “big boys” on Sunday had the least exciting race. I don’t know why they picked this track as the championship race other than the location for the weather. You can’t go race in too many places in early November without it getting a bit to more than a bit chilly. Phoenix just doesn’t offer the drama of the other tracks. The Martinsville races on Halloween weekend were full of drama and fireworks in the close confines of “The Paperclip.” The Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night I’ll give the second best race. The Xfinity Series race Saturday night was the best by far in terms of race, drama, finish, and story. I’m a bit disappointed as no driver I wanted to win won, but I didn’t have a pick in Sunday’s race. Both my truck and Xfinity drivers, John Hunter Nemechek and AJ Allmendinger had problems early and they never recovered. All three series crowned a new champion for the 2021 season. I’m surprised NASCAR allowed practice, qualifying, and a packed house for each race. In a few short months, the 2022 campaign begins. February in Daytona. Football will be done, and nothing else matters. I’ll be ready. It’ll be time to get “Rowdy.”
Over the last year and a half, I’ve become a NASCAR fan. As I approach the end of my first full racing season, I thought I’d do a little preview for NASCAR’s championship weekend. Halloween weekend saw the three series head to Martinsville, Virginia. That’s roughly two hours or so away from where I’m at in the Virginia mountains. The Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series raced Saturday, and the “big boys,” the NASCAR Cup Series raced Sunday around “The Paperclip,” Martinsville Speedway. This weekend, NASCAR heads out west to Phoenix Raceway. The Camping World Truck Series is Friday, November 5, at 8:00 PM. On Saturday, November 6, the Xfinity Series races at 8:30 PM. On Sunday, November 7, The NASCAR Cup Series races at 3:00 PM. All those times are Eastern Standard. The cool thing about the NASCAR playoffs is any driver in the race can win the race, but only a few can advance each round, and only one driver can win the championship. The championship driver doesn’t even need to win the championship race. They just have to beat the other three drivers in the “final four.”
It’s Bristol, baby. Well, was, this past weekend. Bristol Motor Speedway hosted all three of NASCAR’s series’ from “the birthplace of country music,” Bristol, Tennessee. Just a quick trip over the state line from where I am in the Virginia mountains. From Thursday to Saturday, the “last great Coliseum” saw fireworks and close finishes. These three races under the lights are special. As I near my first full season as a NASCAR fan, these races were more than just an important race on the schedule. My dad used to switch over during football and watch a few laps just because it was Bristol, and I never thought I’d see Bristol night races without a packed house.
Autumn. Football season. For years and years. Most, well, as long as I can remember of my life. That’s adult or otherwise. Autumn meant the beginning of the football season. Playing and watching. Then, once I was in high school, cross country. Autumn was the time to wake up the echos at Notre Dame Stadium and Lambeau Field in Green Bay. SEC football. Those first two hold true. Now, as much college, and good college football as possible. To win and live, lose or die with those favorite teams and fantasy picks. Well, fuck the fantasy picks. That’s just extra fluff to make it fun. Whip cream on the pie. Over the last year, since the start of the “plandemic,” it’s also time for something else. A new love. No, not Halloween and the lost art of the Halloween special. Of that and those, I’ve always been a fan.
I really don’t have a lot to write for this review. Released on July 10, 2020, NASCAR Heat 5 is a 704Games development published by Motorsport Games. This stands as the last NASCAR game released to date and looks like the last under the NASCAR Heat franchise. Motorsport Games says they’ll rebuild the NASCAR game under a new franchise banner, but no news as of this writing when that game will drop. That’s not a bad thing. NASCAR Heat 5 is actually NASCAR Heat 4.5.
I’ve never been a NASCAR fan, and I’ve never played a NASCAR Heat game. However, a month or so before NASCAR Heat 5 dropped at the beginning of July, Sony added NASCAR Heat 4 to their streaming subscription game library, PlayStation Now. I gave it a try, and while it was somewhat enjoyable and a huge time killer, after 10 seasons of career mode, I’m glad I didn’t buy it, or the newest installment as I’m sure it’ll be on PlayStation Now next summer. I’ll play it then.