Changes Expected for NASCAR's Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, NASCAR is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule changes are expected to take place beginning this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
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.
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.
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
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