Not watching anymore out of protest with the current format of two heat races then the main. I'll go to Meridian Speedway for my racing this year. I just find the whole concept bizarre. If JJ is there at the end of the season I'll probably watch, I hope he win another Championship.
I have a number of items, but have not purchased anything for a while now. Used to be a die hard fan, but can take it or leave it as of late. The three stages is just a reason to stop the race for 5 minutes at a time, so they can hit you with almost non stop commercials. With Gordon, Edwards and Smoke gone, and JR leaving at the end of this year, just not the same anymore.
I don't collect, but I watch.
I have a feeling one of the reasons JR is retiring this year (because he is far from being at the end of his driving years) is he doesn't like the stage racing and it's his way to protest it.
I wouldn't be surprised if they remove the stage racing and go back to all out racing, JR would come out of retirement.
Yes, there is a lot of drivers that are leaving lately. But drivers come and go. The race was never the same when RP retired for me. But it didn't stop me from watching.
There is many new, young drivers that are doing very well and coming along very well. New talent always brings excitement to old tracks for me.
They come, they go, the race goes on.
I posted this thread, "How I spent my weekend - Talladega Days", few years ago. Lots of pics from going to Talladega for two races that weekend, seeing most of the races for free while making money (The thread will explain how).
I did that a couple of years, two weekends per year.
Posted some pics, including this one with me in the #18 car (well, A car):
Also posted some info and pics from a drive back from a NARAM where I stopped by at the Charlotte Motor Speedway (that was what it was called when I as a kid, not pimped as "Lowe's" Speedway). Also visited Hendrick Motorsports.
Not really into collecting, but at Hendrick's gift shop they sold used lugnuts used at races (so the signs said) for $1 each (I got some used on Jeff Gordon's car). Just could NOT pass those up at that price (they were painted yellow and were scuffed up). So, I got a few, plus two cheap little checkered flags.
I later made up two mementos, each using a small wood base with a 1/4" hole drilled into it, to hold a checkered flag, with two lug nuts slipped over the dowel of the flag. And added a printed plate onto it to commemorate the race and date when a friend and I both went to our first Talladega race in 2008 (Stewart won it). It also included a photo of us at the race. I gave him one as a Christmas present and kept the other one. So that's my one and only true racing collector's item, other than digital photos.
Oh, also did get some some "Schwag bags" of free stuff given away at the "circus" like vendor area outside the track where various sponsors have displays and promotions, some of which include free goodies (Also vendors selling all kinds of collectors stuff, T-shirts, small car models, etc, but I didn't succumb to that). The freebies were mostly Knick knacks like small posters and key rings and pens with sponsor logos. Though one did have a decent sized poster of Earnhardt JR when his Nationwide team had the National Guard as their primary sponsor. But I didn't display those.
It's all stored away now so I can't get any out to take pics of.
Also have to be careful about grabbing a lot of free junk since you end up lugging it around the rest of the day at the track (I always carried a little cooler with water and my camera so I didn't want to drag along much else). So it ought to be something worthwhile. The electronic photos with a car or such were my favorites anyway (the one above was shot at the Toyota booth using their camera). Filled out a short form with my e-mail address and they later sent me a link for the picture so I could download it (yes, a gimmick for grabbing e-mail addresses, which is why I used my more open Yahoo e-mail and not my more private one.
As for Dale JR, I don't think its the stage racing. It's mostly the concussions, he had to take most of last year off and that does NOT mean he's as good now as he was years before all those hits. He got married December 31st and in late March they confirmed are expecting their first child.... he announced his plans to retire less than a month after that. He's got a real family now. Another big "bell ringer" hit and he could be messed up badly for the rest of his life, like an old punch-drunk boxer (or worse). He'll still make millions of bucks for years due to his popularity.
i was far more surprised when Jeff Gordon announced his retirement, than JR. Was half-surprised JR even came back for 2017.
I collect diecasts in all scales from the era i enjoy the most. 50s-early 70s. All Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth. Petty and, Bobby Issac (mostly). I have quite a collection of the "Winged Warriors". My favorite driver was this guy-
They don't come more tougher than he was... View attachment 319987