The Frontstretch: Odds and Ends (Rule Changes a Plenty) by Dennis Michelsen -- Tuesday February 8, 2005

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Odds and Ends (Rule Changes a Plenty)

Dennis Michelsen · Tuesday February 8, 2005


Rules Changes a Plenty- ODDS and ENDS
(Race News for Fans with Short Attention Spans)

Rules Changes a Plenty
No other major sport changes their rules as often as NASCAR. NASCAR also is the only sport that changes the rules in the middle of the season too, so we haven’t seen anything yet! Let’s take a look at the biggest changes and how they might affect the 2005 season.

Spoiler Reduction- Getting rid of downforce to make the cars less aero-dependent is a great idea. Will this spoiler reduction be enough to get the job done? My guess is a big fat NO. Over the years the Nextel Cup and Busch cars have gotten to look less and less like a “Stock” car. This has switched the emphasis from mechanical adjustments to body adjustments, which has led to the dreaded “Aero-tight” condition whenever someone tries to pass.

Softer Tires- Now this change was overdue! Ever since NASCAR switched to the harder compound the race strategy has gotten crazier and crazier. Switching back to a softer compound will do two things. First, it will make teams come in for fresh rubber more often, which will get us away from the fuel mileage races. Second, this should put more emphasis on the driver. After 10-15 laps when the “Goody” is off the new Goodyears a driver’s ability to control an ill handling racecar will take over.

New Provisional Rule- NASCAR has said they have gotten away from all but the “Past Champions” provisional. The reality is a brand new provisional system! Now in Nextel Cup the top 35 teams in points have an automatic entry into the next race. In Busch the top 30 teams have the automatic berth in the race, provided they have attempted to qualify for each race. Why the different rules? NASCAR implemented the original provisional rule at a time when “The King” Richard Petty was struggling. A look at last year’s Owner’s points in Nextel Cup shows Kyle Petty in 35th position. Could this be the “Petty Provisional” all over again? While I have always been a fan of the “Rung What Ya Brung” school of racing, if we have to have a provisional system to appease the big money sponsors then this system might not work too bad. Seven teams every week in Nextel Cup and twelve teams in the Busch series will make the event based solely on speed! This is much better than the IRL or CART where each entry buys their way into the event.

Not Just Talking About the Weather
Planning a trip to the track or just curious if you need to set that tape a lot longer for a rain delay? Well you can head on over to the National Weather Service web site for an extended forecast, or you can head on over to Race! The official weather web site of Jayski and BGN Racing, Race promises to give you the best forecast for your race weekend! Not only does he give you the weather, but Aaron Studwell gives you the entire race weekend schedule at a glance too! This is no amateur twirling his own sling psychrometer either"¦ no sir! This guy is a professional with a Masters Degree in Meteorology from Texas A&M. (Trust me as a professional weather guesser myself that is impressive!) Just how important is weather information to race teams? Ask any driver that is told to pit during a rain induced yellow flag only to have the race end a few short laps later when the sky burst occurs. “The 2003 season with so many races impacted by weather was why I started this site,” said Aaron Studwell. Ahh yes the 2003 season when it even rained in the desert on more than one occasion when NASCAR was in town. The 2003 season that saw Hurricane Isabel visit Dover. I remember it well! So next time you need a detailed, up to the minute forecast for a race weekend stop by Race This guy does more than just talk about the weather, he pin points the forecast for you!

Blogging at 200MPH
Do you have your own “Racing Blog” yet? Blogging seems to be all the rage and that trend is even invading the racing world. The cool thing is that some drivers at various levels have joined the “Blogging Brigade.” Leilani Munter is one such up and coming driver that will keep you up to date every week with her racing blog. Whether it is her recent trip to the Bahamas, or more importantly her efforts to find sponsorship for her ARCA team; you can keep up with the latest Leilani news here.
Want to know what is going on down on the minor league series? Then check out Race Team USA here. If you run into a blog with a racing theme let me know about it and I will feature it here on “Odds and Ends.”

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Dennis Michelsen and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

02/09/2005 12:30 PM
good article.

You are right on track with “the rule changes” in the middle of the year.

Tell it like it is.

Thank You.


Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.