NASCAR Announces Modifications To NASCAR Hall Of Fame Eligibility And Selection Process
posted by Mike Neff
Thursday December 5, 2013
The Sanctioning Body Also Creates New Award For Outstanding Contributions
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2013) – NASCAR today announced a number of changes to the selection process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame (NHOF), including a modification to driver eligibility parameters and the creation of a new award to honor significant contributions to the growth and success of the sport.
In all, six changes and updates will be made starting with the selection of the Class of 2015 – all designed to improve upon an already strong process that has led to the selection of 25 deserving inductees.
“We’re very proud of how the NASCAR Hall of Fame has evolved and believe the first five classes reflect the strength of the nominating and voting procedures, with voices from every corner of our industry included in the selection process,” said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer. “Based on feedback from voters, industry leaders, media who cover our sport and the fans, we believe the changes announced today are a strong recognition of the uniqueness of our sport and will make the overall selection process even stronger in how we honor those who have driven NASCAR to great success on and off the track.”
Following is a summary of changes:
Currently, drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for three years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. That will not change.
Moving forward, however, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF. Also, any competitor who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.
Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.
Nominating Committee Will Select Five Fewer Nominees for Enshrinement
Throughout its history, the NHOF Nominating Committee has selected 25 nominees each year to be discussed and voted on for NHOF enshrinement. That number will be reduced to 20 starting with the selection process for the 2015 class.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR
Beginning with the 2015 class, a new award – Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR – will be initiated to honor significant contributions to the growth and esteem of NASCAR.
Potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners will remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.
Five nominees will be selected by the NHOF Nominating Committee and then be voted on by the Voting Panel. To win the award, an individual must appear on at least 60 percent of the ballots and no more than one award will be presented annually. Voting for this award will occur immediately following the voting for the NHOF class and be monitored by the same independent accounting firm that oversees NHOF voting.
Nominating Committee to Meet, Vote on 20 NHOF Nominees / Five Landmark Award Nominees
For the first time, the Nominating Committee will meet in person to discuss, debate and vote to create two ballots – the NHOF ballot and the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR ballot. Previously, the committee submitted nominees via mail to an independent accounting firm that tallies the nominations in order to create the final NHOF ballot.
The Nominating Committee will meet during Speedweeks at Daytona on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, and the nominees for both ballots will be announced later that day.
Nominees To Be Recused From the Nominating / Voting Process
Any member of the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel who appeared on the previous year’s ballot or current year’s ballot will now be recused from participating in the nominating and / or voting process for as long as he / she appears on the ballot. If an individual who is currently on the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel is inducted, or is no longer included on a final ballot, he or she is immediately reinstated to active participation on the panel(s).
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Added To Voting Panel
As was already announced on Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the annual NASCAR Championship Contenders Press Conference, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be added to the following year’s voting panel.
That means Jimmie Johnson, who captured his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, will be included in the selection meeting and can cast a vote for the NHOF Class of 2015 on Voting Day, Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
NASCAR Purchases Iowa Speedway
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday November 27, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 27, 2013) – In a strategic move designed to expand its commitment to enhancing event experiences and fan engagement, as well as solidify the future of one of the premier racing and entertainment facilities in the Midwest, NASCAR announced today that it has purchased Iowa Speedway. The agreement, finalized today under a wholly-owned subsidiary, Iowa Speedway, LLC, is effective immediately.
“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development. “The facility has the support of the region, it’s positioned well in the heart of the Midwest, and year in and year out it provides great short-track racing action for motorsports fans.
“NASCAR ownership will allow us to draw on the entire resources of our company. It also provides us with the opportunity to execute first-hand a number of entertainment ideas and engagement opportunities with fans – much of which we have outlined repeatedly as the core of our Industry Action Plan.”
The facility, located 30 miles east of Des Moines in Newton, features a fast, .875-mile asphalt paved tri-oval designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. The Speedway released its 2014 schedule earlier this month, encompassing three weekends, one each in May, July and August. The schedule will include two NASCAR Nationwide Series races, a combination NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and IndyCar Series weekend, plus two additional NASCAR K&N Pro Series support races. NASCAR has no plans for Iowa Speedway to host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next year or in the immediate future.
NASCAR will host a special event in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 12, to outline additional details on the purchase and plans for the future. Information on this event will be announced soon.
The 2014 Iowa Speedway season opens May 17-18, with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West Challenge on Saturday night. The stars and cars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series then will battle on Sunday in a 250-lap, high-speed contest. The race marks the only Sunday afternoon event of the season at Iowa Speedway.
The new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series / IndyCar Series race weekend at Iowa Speedway is slated for July 11-12. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race Friday night and feature short-track racing action that has become synonymous with the series in the American Ethanol 200. The first-ever Iowa Corn Indy 300 will follow on Saturday night.
On Friday, Aug. 1, a second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West challenge race will be held followed by a second NASCAR Nationwide Series 250-lap event on Saturday under the lights.
Season ticket holders may renew their tickets for the 2014 season, and will have an exclusive right to secure their current seats until Dec. 14. All other seats are available for purchase immediately, with season ticket prices starting at $95. All season tickets will include a guaranteed seat location, complimentary Casey’s Fan Walk pass and an opportunity to participate in pre-race ceremonies. Season tickets, parking passes and onsite camping options are available online at www.iowaspeedway.com, or by calling the toll-free ticketing hotline, 866-RUSTY-GO (787-8946).
Iowa Speedway’s ticketing office, located at 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive in Newton, also will be open to assist customers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, holidays excepted.
2014 IOWA SPEEDWAY EVENT SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 17 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Friday, July 11 – American Ethanol 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Friday, August 1 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Stewart-Haas Racing announces reorganization of their Competition Department
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 19, 2013
Stewart-Haas Racing is expanding to four teams in the Sprint Cup series for 2014. As a result, the organization is realigning some personnel into new roles within their competition department. The new assignments for 2014 include:
1) Greg Zipadelli has been named Vice President of Competition and will oversee all four Sprint Cup teams. The crew chiefs of the teams will report directly to Zipadelli.
2) Matt Borland has been named Vice President of Engineering. The role will involve Borland overseeing the organization’s technical initiatives and a myriad of research and development projects. As Borland moves into his new role he will become a mentor for the crew chief of the No. 41 Haas Automation team of Kurt Busch.
3) Race Engineer Daniel Knost is being promote to the position of Crew Chief for Busch’s No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet. Knost is an engineer with a Master of Science and PHD in Mechanical Engineering from VPI and Virginia Tech. Knost’s previous roles at SHR included running the team’s seven-post shaker rig, at-track race simulation support and race engineer for both the No. 10 and No. 39 teams.
4) Chad Johnston is going to take over the Crew Chief position for Tony Stewart’s No. 14. Johnston has spent the last three years as Martin Truex Jr.‘s Crew Chief at Michael Waltrip Racing. Johnston brings Hoosier roots to the organization like Stewart. He is a graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
5) The Crew Chief for Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 ride in 2014 will be Rodney Childers. Childers moved to SHR in October of 2013 from MWR where he was a Crew Chief for the No. 00 David Reutimann and then the No. 55 for multiple drivers. Childers Crew Chief resume extends back to 2005 when he was the head wrench for MB2/MBV Motorsports with Scott Riggs.
6) Tony Gibson will remain on top of the pit box for Danica Patrick in the No. 10 car for 2014.
Steve Addington is leaving SHR for other opportunities. The word is he will be the Crew Chief for the No. 51, working with his good friend Kevin ‘Bono’ Manion.
2011 Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 12, 2013
Daytona 500 winner and Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) driver Trevor Bayne has announced today that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bayne – 22 years old – has undergone extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic and has been cleared by doctors and NASCAR to compete behind the wheel.
“I’ve never been more driven to compete,” said Bayne. “My goals are the same as they’ve been since I started racing. I want to compete at the highest level and I want to win races and championships. I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I feel good,” added Bayne. “There are currently no symptoms and I’m committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible. I will continue to trust in God daily and know that His plan for me is what is best.”
In 2011, Bayne became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the famed Daytona 500. He is currently sixth in the NNS standings, having accumulated one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 2013. He will compete again full-time for the NNS championship in 2014, driving the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang.
In 117 career Nationwide Series races Bayne has two wins, 18 top 5s and 50 top 10s with six poles. Bayne also has 45 career Sprint Cup series starts. In those starts he has the one win in the 2011 Daytona 500, one top 5 and three top 10s.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and, in extreme cases, paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, and each person diagnosed with MS experiences the disease in a unique way.
Penalties Issued Following Sledgehammer Throw
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 31, 2013
Last Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway will likely be best known for Darrell Wallace, Jr.‘s historic victory. However, late in the race, a crash involving Ty Dillon and Kevin Harvick, along with the pit road actions afterward, also made headlines.
Dillon got in the back of Harvick in Turn 2, spinning the Sprint Cup regular out, who then ran into the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet. Dillon then responded with a number of unsuccessful attempts to spin out Harvick. When both drivers got to pit road, Harvick blocked Dillon’s stall and threw down his window net, prompting a scrum where a sledgehammer was thrown by a member of Dillon’s team at Harvick’s truck.
On Friday morning, NASCAR responded with penalties stemming from the pit road altercation. Marcus Richmond, crew chief of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, has been fined $10,000 for failing to maintain control of his crew. Meanwhile, crewmember Adam Brown was judged by NASCAR to be the person who three the sledgehammer at Harvick and was suspended indefinitely.
In their press release, NASCAR cited violations of multiple sections of the 2013 Camping World Truck Series Rule Book. The sections cited were 12-1 (Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing) and 9-4A (Crew chief resumes responsibility for the actions of his driver, team owner, and team members in addition to himself).
There is no word as of yet from Richard Childress Racing as to whether they plan to appeal the penalties.
Marcos Ambrose to have new sponsor for Dover Cup race in September
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday October 29, 2013
The current economic environment has seen sponsors cutting back and even leaving the sport. Richard Petty Motorsports announced on Tuesday evening that they will have a new sponsor on the hood for the Dover Cup race and an associate sponsor for half of the season. Stanley and their associated brands Mac and Dewalt will also be back for 2014 on the No. 9 Ford for Marcos Ambrose.
Brian Moffitt, the CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports noted that the company is willing to run an alcohol sponsor on the No. 9 but will never do it on the No. 43. “Richard promised his parents that he’d never run an alcohol or tobacco sponsor on his car and that will hold true as long as we’re an organization.” When he was asked about how this came about he said, “This just kind of happened. There are relationships out there in the marketplace that are always talking with each other. We ended up going to Boston and having a discussion with the company and the next thing you know we are partners.”
Twisted Tea is a division of Boston Beer Company, most famous for the Samuel Adams beer brand. Jon London, the Boston Beer Director of Brand Development was on hand and loves the marriage between Twisted Tea’s customers and NASCAR. “We look at NASCAR and think that they, along with Marcos Ambrose, are just a great fit for the brand. Our drinkers love NASCAR and Marcos is a little bit different, our drinkers are a little different and Marcos is a lot of fun so he’s a great person to represent our brand.”
Moffitt also confirms that, while there are a few openings left on the 2014 calendar for RPM, both Ambrose and Aric Almirola will be back in 2014 and should have all of their races covered by the start of the season.
Darrell Wallace Jr. Scores Significant Victory at Martinsville
posted by Mike Neff
Saturday October 26, 2013
Darrell Wallace, Jr. etched his name in the NASCAR history book under two different columns on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace took the checkered flag first to become the second African-American driver in the history of NASCAR to win a National touring series race, and the first to win a Truck Series race. He is also the second graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity to win a national touring race, following Kyle Larson’s victory at Rockingham Speedway earlier this season.
Wallace led a race-high 96 laps en route to his win. He led three times including the final 50 laps. Wallace outran Brendan Gaughan, Jeb Burton, Ben Kennedy and Ryan Blaney to secure his win. The average age of the top 5 at Martinsville was 23.8 with four of the five drivers being under 22 years of age. Wallace is the second non-Cup driver to win in a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck following Brian Scott’s win at Phoenix last season.
Hamlin Picks Up a Pair of Poles in Martinsville
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
Denny Hamlin will start on the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway after setting a new track record with a lap time of 19.013 seconds, good for a speed of 99.595 MPH. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch ran identical second-place times of 190.61 seconds. Johnson will start on the front row after winning the tie-breaker, car owner points, where Johnson currently sits first. Busch will start third, and Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick complete the top 10.
The pole is Hamlin’s 17th in 288 races. It’s also his fifth of 2013, a career-best for Hamlin, whose season was interrupted by a back injury earlier in the year.
In all, 18 drivers broke the previous track record, set in the spring race this year by Johnson. Bowyer broke the 100 MPH mark in practice, but no driver was able to duplicate that in time trials. The Sprint Cup drivers will have a pair of practice sessions on Saturday before Sunday’s 500-lap event.
Seven Chase drivers qualified inside the top 10, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards clocked in in 12th and 14th, respectively. Other Chase drivers include Ryan Newman (17th), Kasey Kahne (25th), and Greg Biffle (33rd).
Hamlin wasn’t done after his Sprint Cup qualifying effort. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers took their time trials after the Cup teams had their shot, and Hamlin duplicated his earlier effort, snagging the pole for the Kroger 250 in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry. Johnny Sauter, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Ty Dillon round out the top 5 for Saturday’s race.
2014 Camping World Truck Series Schedule announced
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
NASCAR announced the 2014 Camping World Truck Series schedule today at Martinsville Speedway. The series will run 22 events in 2014 starting at Daytona on February 21st and concluding at Homestead on November 14th. The schedule includes stops at New Hampshire Motorspeedway and Gateway Motorsports Park next year. The series will once again turn right and left at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park along with slinging mud for the second consecutive year at Eldora Speedway.
2014 Camping World Trucks Series Schedule
Feb 21 Daytona
Tweet Lands Another Driver In Trouble
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 24, 2013
NASCAR announced on Wednesday that Corey LaJoie has been placed on probation after posting an inappropriate tweet on Twitter last week. He will have to attend sensitivity training as prescribed by NASCAR.
In their statement, NASCAR stated that LaJoie is being penalized for “an insensitive and intolerable communication” posted on Twitter on October 15. The tweet, which has since been deleted, suggested that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) should conduct a cavity search on a man wearing a turban.
Wednesday afternoon, LaJoie tweeted out a statement.
“I am very sorry for those offended by my recent remark,” LaJoie tweeted. “It was an immature & insensitive comment. I am upset with myself and how this has affected what has been a very positive year in my career.”
This incident marks the second time this season that NASCAR has penalized a driver for comments on social media. Earlier this season, Nelson Piquet, Jr. was forced to attend sensitivity training after using a homophobic slur in the comments section of an Instagram picture that Parker Kligerman posted.
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Voices From The Cheapseats · Jeff Meyer · Monday November 12, 2012
If you haven’t read Friday’s column written by my esteemed, award-winning colleague Amy Henderson, you should.
In it, Amy eloquently explains, in a much nicer and less crude way than I do, the many points that are making NASCAR just another channel to surf over on a Sunday afternoon. While I agree with Amy on almost every point, a very rare occasion indeed, I do disagree that the way to “fix” NASCAR is not simple but actually quite the opposite. To put it mildly, the fixes are no brainers; they’re just choices NASCAR simply does not have the balls to make.
First and foremost, get rid of Brian France. France may be a “marketing genius” but let’s be honest, he has no business running the whole sanctioning body. There needs to be some sort of coup amidst the France family where Brian is removed as CEO and sent to do what he does best, marketing!
Once Brian is removed, NASCAR must then “undo” almost every crazy gimmick that he implemented. Heck, just the news of his removal would bring back, or at least perk the interest of many once die-hard fans that have since become “very casual” over the last decade. It would signify to millions that NASCAR is at least trying to right a ship that has been floundering.
The next, most effective move the sanctioning body could do is get rid of the Chase and go back to the traditional points system with one simple yet profound little modification… a win scores 50 (maybe 75) points more than second place. This minor adjustment would placate millions more, including those who hate the Chase, those who despise “points racing” and those who have come to feel that the races are “contrived,” just to name a few.
Don’t tell me this can’t be done in one fell swoop! If you remember correctly, the Chase was created in one fell swoop at the end of 2003 when it appeared unfair that Matt Kenseth won the Cup with one single victory compared to Ryan Newman’s eight! As I wrote way back then, if you go back and give Newman 50 extra points for each win, Kenseth still takes the title!
In fact, now that I go back and read that article, I have to chuckle! Instead of writing all this new material, for you now I probably should have just had the editors re-run that one! Funny how the same solutions I proposed back then are still the ones needed today!
One area that I didn’t touch on back then was integrity and that is one thing that NASCAR could use a good dose of. At the very least, even if they are not an integrious bunch (yes, I just made that word up, but you know what I mean!) they need to appear to be!
Be up front with penalties and the reasons for them. Don’t fine the drivers in secret when they say negative things about NASCAR. For goodness’ sake, have some balls and shrug it off! Be up front with drug testing. Fans don’t want all the drama of trying to guess what the latest driver is being suspended for. Here’s a good one… have the common sense to admit that something is wrong, that they (NASCAR) made a mistake.
Take, for example, the “wing” that replace the rear spoiler for a few years. After several nasty wrecks, NASCAR insisted that the wing was not the reason the cars were going airborne when turned backwards at speed; yet suddenly, just as fast as they appeared, the wings disappeared! To this day, NASCAR will not admit that they were wrong on that one.
On a positive note, and perhaps a start of things to come, NASCAR has done a thing or two right over the last 10 years and another big mistake is being fixed going into next year. I speak of none other than green-white-checkered race finishes, double-file restarts and essentially going back to old school qualifying and doing away with the ridiculous Top 35 rule.
Oddly enough, some people claim that double-file restarts are simply a gimmick but they couldn’t be more wrong. Think about it… it’s called a “re-start.” You start the race in double file so why, for the love of Bob, would you not “re-start” double file as well?
At any rate, these “fixes” ARE simple and could be done as soon as next year but bear in mind that they are not magical. It has taken NASCAR ten years to drive away its “hard core” fan base. It will take years to win them back; but of course, the first step is to show they want them! Unfortunately, I still don’t think they got the lugnuts to do it!
Of course, the above solutions are only the tip of the iceberg. While I feel that they would be the most effective for showing that NASCAR seriously wants to turn things around, they are by no means the only “fixes” that should be considered.
Tune in next week and I will regale you with more of those finely-tuned tweaks! In the meantime…
Stay off the wall,
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
You proposals don’t go far enough. NASCAR should not give more points to the winner, they should go back to giving bonus points for finishing in the top 4, 10, etc. As it is, one point isn’t much of an incentive to fight for 5th place rather than settle for 6th. NASCAR should also figure out some way of awarding points for running position during the race, so that drivers have an incentive to race as hard as they can for every position throughout the race, which would get rid of the sight of drivers letting other drivers pass with ease because it’s still early in the race. Finally, NASCAR should allow drivers to ‘drop’ a race which would allow drivers to more aggressive without fear that coming up short would ruin their season.
Two quick points: how many people really care about the championship regardless of the format? Its simply a way for Nascar to keep the sport in the news.
Also, as a person who has followed Nascar more or less closely for over 40 years, they need to focus on attracting younger, not older fans. Its a fact that we get older, less active, intraspective, etc. At 62 how many years do I have left? But the 18 year old kid could be a fan for decades more.
Fix the product, the fans will come back. Hopefully the 2013 car will go a long way towards making that happen. More dependance on mechanical grip, less dependance on aero. Secondly – Goodyear must be able to come up with a double compound tire. Softer rubber that gives up 3 to 5 seconds over the course of a 50 mile run & wears to a harder compound with less grip, that won’t blow out.
If you have these two things, then you have a car that is capable of passing from the start of the race to the end. This will make the races much more exciting. Exciting racing draws fans to the track & viewers to the TV screen.
Third – I agree somewhat with the points system. I propose the following.
30th – 43rd – 35points each.
Give a 3 point bonus for leading a single lap under green, a 5 point bonus for leading the most laps & 3 points for leading at the 20, 40, 60 & 80% laps complete portion of each race.
This way a driver is rewarded with a higher % of the total points available the closer they get to the front and therefore it is more beneficial to try & get that extra spot instead of settling for a top 10 run & it gives incentive to get to the front & lead throughout the entire race. AND it rewards the winner greater than anyone else on the track.
Also – by awarding equal points for 30th on back, it doesn’t penalize drivers as harshly if they have a bad race & it keeps wrecked cars off the track and out of the way.
These 3 things will fix the product on the track & make it exciting again. Every lap.
You can change the chase, you can change the rules, you can make the cars look more stock. You can change the broadcast personalities, you can change the broadcast philosophies, you can change the tracks themselves. There are hundreds of little things you can change, but they will all have minimal impact on the ratings & the tickets sold.
If you make the product exciting again, fans will come to the track & fans will watch on tv – regardless of all the other changes, liked or disliked.
Maybe there should be points for qualifying, like 5-1 for first through fifth. Make it matter where a driver starts.
Get rid of the current car and give them something that they can really adjust on and “race” with. That includes the 2013 model because it is based on the current car of S#&^.
And maybe they should get more than one driver who really want to “race” during a “race.” There’s a difference between racing hard and racing stupid.
I think that NASCAR really only has 2 1/2 real problems. Otherwise, they’re doing way better than any other series in the US.
First, they can’t do anything about, is the economy. People like me can’t do those $600 dollar weekends like we used to, and it takes twice as much to fill up RVs nowadays too. No sport (or any other regular event) comes close to a Cup race in terms of people traveling to see it, which now A: Costs more, when I B: Got less money. But, my Buccaneers & Rays can’t sell out either, and we all live here, so it aint just gas prices.
Second, is the fans. That’s right I said it. Brian France (The guy most of you love to hate) tried to open things up to the fans, “What do you want? How can we make things better?” And all the fans have done is turn it into “Let’s all bitch about how the sport isn’t perfect for me” and create this sort of running infomercial of how bad it all is, and then talk about how nobody shows up!
And the other 1/2 is just fate. This sport reached it’s peak on the life & death of Dale Earnhardt. 10 years later, there isn’t anything as compelling to sustain it. To expect that there would be, I think, is disrespectful of how significant (and therefore popular) those times were.
The 2013 car won’t make a bit of difference on the cookie cutters. That’s where the problem lays – the dominance of BORING cookie cutter tracks!
Too many fixes, not enough balls, as pointed out. Jeff, you don’t go far enough.
1. Remove exactly half the races at 1.5 mile cookie cutter crapovals. Replace them with races at real tracks like Rockingham, Darlington, and Iowa.
2. SHORTEN THE RACES!!!! Keep the Daytona, keep the Coke 600, maybe one of the Charlote 500 milers, make those “marquee” endurance events and run SHORTER races everywhere else. Drivers wouldn’t BE “just logging laps” if there were less of them! Watch the Truck Series for proof.
3. Reduce the chances of fuel mileage racing: give everyone a big enough tank to last exactly half the race. How and when they choose to fill it is up to them.
4. Get rid of the Chase, for all the reasons everyone else listed above. I think 50 points extra for a win is a bit ridiculous, but it should be a good amount. Something like 200 for the win, 180 for second, 160 for 3rd, etc etc with another big gap after the top 10.
5. With the same sytem, award 5 points for pole position. Make qualifying MATTER again.
6. Get rid of the top 35 BS. Everyone qualifies on time. It happens in every other sport, champions occasionally missing the field because of a bad qualifying run. DEAL WITH IT. Hell, James Beuscher missed the field in the Trucks last season and still finished second in points!
7. Try as hard as possible to reduce “aero push.” Hopefully the new cars do that, but there’s a good chance they won’t.
8. Racing hard, or accidentally turning another car by racing hard, should not be penalized. Blatantly wrecking someone for revenge should be. Harshly.
9. Prevent Cup drivers from racing in Nationwide or Truck (they’re almost out of Truck, thankfully)… Let these series cultivate NEW and fresh talent, so that the Cup series HAS new and fresh talent to go that have been PROVEN.
10. Bring in more Short tracks, bring in more Road courses. Over the last 10 years no other form of track has been more exciting or interesting to watch.
If the older fans stop going to races, that means they stop bringing their children and or grandchildren. If you lose the old fans, what is going to get the young fans interested? Cars riding around in circles and not racing isnt going to do it!
Brian France and the powers that be have alienated a huge base of older fans, that would have kept the cycle alive. Now they have broken that cycle. It will take many years if ever, to get the fan base back to where it was 10 years ago.
I am a 46 year old male that went to my first race with my Dad in 1980. I have now been a fan for approx 32 years. I have taken my Son to a couple of races. While he enjoys going to the race, he doesn’t waste his Sundays watching boring races. He is barely a fan. If things continue they way they are going, do you think he will be bringing his kid(s) to a NASCAR race in the future? Highly unlikely. That is the NEW cycle.
My Dad, me and my son attend the annual Spring race at Bristol. We still go because we enjoy the weekend together. We sure as hell aren’t still going because the racing is exciting! Exciting racing is what got us STARTED going to races. If I had attended my first live race in the last couple of years, I would have never became a NASCAR fan. That’s the damn sad truth.
My love of this sport is currently on life support. I am still clinging on in the “HOPES” that someone in Daytona Beach wakes up and makes some changes before the sport is lost forever!
Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
BSNews! NASCAR CEO Given "Special" Award Amidst Lavish Fanfare
Fan Coun-ci-What? Just What Is It That NASCAR Wants To Study?
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