NASCAR goes down and dirty

Doing it in the dirt is a term NASCAR should inherit in the Sprint Cup series. Fans and drivers enjoyed their night on the dirt at Eldora Speedway.

It was not a premium list of competitors, but the Camping World Truck series regulars, Cup invaders and dirt track specialists put on a show for the fans. It came down to Austin Dillon taking the checkered flag in the Midsummer in the Mud feature.

This type of racing is needed in the upper series to enhance its media, fan and market ability for the future.

* NASCAR recently polished off its new television contracts worth $8.2 billion running through the 2024 season. This amount of money shows how popular the sport is to television executives, but how does the average fan benefit? Officials, track promoters and fans only see the growing expense of judging, promoting and viewing a sport that has gained in corporate revenue.

Every day Jacks and Jills can hardly afford the growing prices of tickets and driver memorabilia. The France family (owners of the NASCAR brand) need to find a way to drop ticket prices without sacrificing the level of competition.

* Officials and teams have been complaining about the lengthy technical inspection process at the tracks. During the Brickyard 400, half of the field needed to go through inspection 30 minutes before the scheduled television start time. But due to some technical issues with the broadcast, the teams were able to push the last car into starting position only two minutes before the command to start engines. The Gen 6 car is increasing speeds, competition and overall excitement, but the complicated ways of setting up the car is increasing expense for the smaller teams to remain competitive. Executives and officials need to set a standard and live with it.

* One point of interest is the fascination with Danica Patrick. Patrick is driving in her first full-time ride in the Cup series this year for Stewart-Haas Racing. has been her sponsor since moving from IndyCar Series , then into the Nationwide. She showed her ability to qualify on the big tracks by winning the pole for the Daytona 500, but has not finished in the top 10 this year in the Sprint Cup series. She has shown no ability to run for a win, let alone demonstrate her ability to drive a car in the most competitive form of racing in the United States. Patrick should go back down to the Nationwide series to gain more experience and let a valid Cup driver have her seat.

This would be better for the lower division and provide a much-needed seat for a real Sprint Cup driver.

* Looks like the other Busch may be making a run for the IndyCar series. Kurt Busch tested an IndyCar earlier this year. Busch has been entertaining a plan to race in the 2014 Indy 500 for Andretti Motorsports. Busch is planning to compete in the IndyCar finale at Fontana to better judge his abilities to race at Indianapolis.