The Frontstretch: FS Columnist Solves NASCAR's Problems by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday April 27, 2006

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FS Columnist Solves NASCAR's Problems

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,

Jeff

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Marc
04/27/2006 03:59 AM
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“Problem #1: bschwhackers.”

Correct and in part it will begin to be solved next year. The introduction of the CoT will negate the advantage. The remainder of the problem can be solved by lifting all Cup testing restrictions. Limiting the number of drivers would never be acceptable. Remember drivers and teams are “free agents.” The Busch and Cup entry lists operate on a free market basis, you pay your entry fee and you race. End of story.

“Problem #2: Excessive/Forcible bump drafting.

It remains to be seen if there is a difference. I’m betting and assuming enough of the extra steel was removed, the first driver that slam drafts and ends his day on pit road will have one hell of a lot of memebers of other crews surrounding the wrecked car.

Quickly followed by a flurry of CC to driver radio transmissions.

M. B. Voelker
04/27/2006 06:14 AM
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On problem #1 Marc leaves me with nothing left to say except my usual reminder that the oldest tradition in racing is that anyone who can field a legal car and find a lisenced driver has the right to attempt to make the field. Anyone who wants to mess with that tradition loses all right to criticize Nascar for abandoning “tradition”.

On problem 2, pressure detectors might stop the slam drafting but there’s little point to doing that if it means a 3-wide, 15-deep moving parking lot all day. Considering that plate engines are specially built for plate racing only anyway I see no good reason not to mandate a far smaller engine with whatever level of horsepower would keep the speeds to a safe level unrestricted.

mike hug
04/27/2006 11:32 PM
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PLEASE stop giving na$car credit for developing steel-foam safer barriers, the credit is due the Indianapolis motor speedway & Dr. Sicking

David
04/28/2006 08:01 AM
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Problem #2 could be easily solved if they went back to racing what the manufacturers produced. Wow, what an idea, real stock cars.

Nikki
04/28/2006 09:59 AM
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Let’s not forget the University of Nebraska and their contribution to the safer barriers!

 

Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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