Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday April 27, 2006
If only I had total control of NASCAR for one week! That’s about how long it would take for me to solve at least two of NASCAR’s problems…the ones that are grabbing the most headlines lately, anyway. As I’ve said many times before, it ain’t rocket science, ya know!
Problem #1: Buschwhackers
This issue has a simple solution. If you are considered a full time Cup Series participant, you, as a driver, are allowed to race in 11 Busch Series events. You pick which ones.
No Busch Series driver points will be awarded to a full time Cup participant. In other words, pick a series and race for that championship! Race purses will not be affected. You finish first, you get the money, but not the points.
No more than 15 full-time Cup Series drivers may be in any one Busch Series event. If more than 15 are attempting to qualify for any single event, they must time in amongst themselves. In other words, if you don’t beat the 15th fastest Cup driver’s time, go back to the garage and wait till Sunday. Failing to qualify in this manner will NOT count against the 11 total races per season permitted.
If, during the season, a driver is no longer considered the primary driver of an entry for a Cup team, said driver is then eligible to participate in any Busch event, receiving full Series points, even if the Busch event limit had been reached as a primary driver for a Cup team. (Sheesh! I’m even starting to sound like them now"¦)
I realize that NASCAR’s goal in life is to make as much quarterly profit as Exxon and that big name Cup drivers racing in Busch events help bolster the attendance of said events. However, with this system in place, there would be enough Cup drivers to go around at any given time during the season that the appeal would still be there for the fan. Of course, the above mentioned numbers could be played with a bit to find the perfect scenario. As head of NASCAR for a week, I can designate someone to take care of the minute details. That’s what power is all about!
Problem #2: Excessive/Forcible bump drafting
For this one, we use technology. Forget weaker front ends. Even the drivers themselves, after seeing the so called “weaker” bumpers for this weekend’s race, have said there is no real difference.
Somewhere in the front bumper, behind, inside, wherever, (again, this is where I delegate authority) install pressure sensitive devices that will be tripped when X number of pounds of force is applied to the bumper. These devices would work just as the scoring transponders work in each car.
If you hit someone hard enough to trip your pressure switch, you get penalized. These devices, if used in conjunction with video, would remove most, if not all, “judgment” calls.
Front end damage caused by “legitimate” wrecks would not be a factor (i.e. switch not working because of previous damage) because in races where these devices would be used, if your front end is that bad, you aren’t going to be in a position to do any bumpdrafting anyway!
Don’t give me that crap about cost. Cost is no object to NASCAR when they want something. NASCAR provides the restrictor plates…they can provide the appropriate pressure switches too.
Don’t be fooled. NASCAR could address and solve these issues with just a bit of common sense IF THEY WANTED TO! They just don’t want to. Remember, it took the death of a legend (who would have turned 55 this weekend) to come up the high tech solution of steel tubing and foam.
I would advise all fans of this column not to hold your breath waiting for NASCAR. Critics may go ahead and try!
Stay off the wall,
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