It’s funny how fate works in the gambling world. You’d think that being born and raised in Ireland — the land of Paddy Power and the Irish Potato Famine — that I’d know all the gambling odds there are, but I only know, with certainty, the odds at one place and one place only: Bronstown Speedway. I’m certain of this because I’ve been going there since I was a wee tyke and I’ve been to countless number of race meetings there. When it comes to racing, there are few spots in the world that can rival the atmosphere at an Irish racetrack. This blog post is going to tell you about the current state of affairs regarding tonight’s (March 3) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bronstown Speedway in County Armagh, Ireland.
What Time Does The Race Start?
The 2019 NASCAR season is a crazy one, huh? It seems like it’s never ending. One day you’re tuning into a NASCAR race and the next day you’re wondering if it’s even going to be on the calendar. It was only last week that we were saying goodbye to the 2019 season, but it seems like it was just yesterday that we were watching the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This coming Saturday night is another chaotic, yet fascinating, week of NASCAR racing. Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
The good news is that the last NASCAR race in Ireland will be starting at 7:00 PM local time (4:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM PT). This is a convenient time for those of us in the United States trying to follow the race. It’s the end of a long day and most of us are just wanting to go home, but we can still follow the race. This is important for those of us in the States who might be thinking about traveling abroad for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday next week. It would be wonderful to be able to follow the race from Ireland, but you need to know when it starts and ends so you don’t miss your plane.
What Is The Weather Like At Bronstown?
The good people at weather.com have posted a helpful little blip on the weather conditions at Bronstown in County Armagh. According to weather.com, the temperature at this time of year is typically in the high 40’s to low 50’s. It rarely gets higher than 60 degrees, and it rarely gets lower than 40 degrees. We’re probably going to see a mix of both in the next couple of days. With a bit of luck, the weather will cooperate and we’ll see some glorious sunshine at Bronstown. That’s what you want when you’re talking about motorsport.
Is The Track Surface Dry?
Trackside Weather has posted a helpful little blip regarding the surface condition at Bronstown. The track is, essentially, dry. This is important because when there’s no moisture on the track, there’s no chance of the track becoming slippery. Even when it rains, the track conditions are still going to be good because there’s no moisture on the track. When there’s no moisture on the track, there’s no chance of a spinning wheel, no chance of a driver hydroplaning, and no chance of a catastrophic accident.
How Is The Air Quality At Bronstown?
It’s not going to be great at Bronstown. The air quality is going to be fairly poor. There are always going to be some cars on the track, and they’re going to be polluting. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that these cars are going to be burning fuel and, thus, producing more pollutants. It’s a losing battle, but still, you have to fight the good fight. Keep your nose to the ground while you’re there and make sure you’re not harming the environment in any way.
What Is The Racing Pace Like At Bronstown?
The racing pace at Bronstown is rather quick. Over the last few years, the racing there has gotten progressively faster. In 2018, the race took place over 150 laps before getting stopped for an overtime period. Last year’s race was stopped after just 66 laps due to darkness. The scheduled 2019 race is going to be slightly shorter because the track is now a 6.5-mile oval rather than a 7-mile one. This should make for some exciting racing. Just last year, the pace was so fast that it was literally a fight just to stay at the front of the pack. It would be great to see how things stack up this year. The last race there in 2018 was won by a rather unknown 24-year-old Canadian driver. His name is Martin Platts and he’s the first Canadian to win at Armagh Motor Company. He took the checkered flag after leading a total of 164 laps. This year, you might recognize his name because he placed second in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season standings. This is pretty wild if you think about it. Going from nowhere to second and then winning the championship in his first year of competing in the top-tier NASCAR circuit is an incredible story. Of course, we all knew that he was talented. After all, he’d been winning races and championships at the lower ranks of NASCAR for years, but this is the first time that we all got to see it in person. It’s great for Canadian motorsport, as well. A lot of people might not know that Canada is actually a huge motorsport country. It’s home to some incredible racers and teams. This is why Mr. Platts’ accomplishment is even more special. To everyone’s amusement, he took a dig at his home country during his victory speech. “It’s good to become a role model for my countrymen, especially since I’m the only one in my family who drives,” he said with a smile. This is such good banter and it makes the entire room laugh. It’s pretty awesome when talented people like Martin Platts are able to bring a smile to your face in such a serious moment. We’re not in a laughing mood here though, folks. This is Irish motorsport, and, well, we never get angry in these kinds of situations. We just laugh. It is what it is, and we move on. This is what we do here. You’re either with us or you’re not. Fortunately, he is, in fact, Canadian and therefore he gets to be in this situation a lot more than I do. I’m not sure which is a worse punishment: to be on the other end of the phone when a Canadian calls or to be in a country that doesn’t want you and makes your life difficult. You’d think that the last one would be worse, but, of course, we all know that Canada is full of good people and fair, hard-working governments. Still, it’s a great place to be a role model for the kids. Martin Platts is going to be an inspiration to all the young Canadians that he meets on his travels. He’s been doing a lot of speaking engagements and school visits since his win and he’s been having a lot of fun. One thing is for sure: he’s certainly not taking his life of leisure easy. From what I’ve heard, he’s still going to be heavily involved in racing. It’s great to see someone who’s motivated enough to stay involved in the sport even after becoming a full-time father. It’s also great to see how much this win means to the fans. Even those of us who are following the sport from afar can tell that this is a very proud moment for Irish motorsport.
Will The Track Be Crowded?
Yes, the track will be crowded. It will be a madhouse out there. We’re not just talking about the usual Thursday night crowd here either. This is a special occasion and the entire country is going to be there. It would be awesome to see, live and in person, how many people show up for one of Ireland’s most renowned sporting events. It would be great to get a picture with Michael McDowell, the Northern Irishman who is the president of the Board of Control. They call him the Mick. He was the one who invited NASCAR to bring a race to Ireland back in 2015 and ever since then, he and the rest of the country have been waiting for this day. They finally got what they wanted, and it’s going to be an incredible night. I’m guessing that there will be a lot of people wearing green and orange. It will be hard to miss.