NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body 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.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
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 will begin 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.
Jeff Gordon said in his memoir that in 2003 NASCAR was drastically different than it was when he came up in 1993, and that in 2013 it would look nothing like it did in 2003. Even three years out from his prediction it’s safe to say he was right, but it’s doubtful that this is what he meant.
As NASCAR comes home to Charlotte nearly halfway through 2010, it’s difficult to remember so many empty seats at NASCAR events. Bristol Motor Speedway’s 28-year sellout streak has ended—and not by a small margin. Tracks everywhere else are offering astoundingly cheap tickets in an effort to put butts in seats. Entire sections have been covered by ads at many tracks, even at Dover, one of the sport’s most exciting venues—and a place surely close enough to major markets and gainfully employed people with disposable income. Whatever the economy’s role, it’s rare that a recession alone has this much of an impact.
The sport’s standing in people’s homes is even worse. The television audience has been steadily shrinking for nearly half a decade now. Efforts to create more exciting finishes and a new attitude of virtually zero punishment for putting another driver on his roof have done little to spark ratings. More and more, broadcast teams in the booth seem eager to sell the on-track product with phrases like “shootout-style,” in the apparent belief that the racing needs talking up. Rumblings from insiders strongly suggest that networks are not happy with the cost of broadcasting the sport, as it becomes less and less profitable.
Since the last time Gordon took home a championship trophy, a superstar driver has won four straight titles, a feat heretofore unmatched and extremely rare in any sport. Yet rather than heralding him as one of the greatest drivers of his or any generation, fans yawn at the uncontroversial, well-behaved champion. He simply doesn’t generate anti-fans like his teammate and mentor once did. Nor has he attracted a whole new crop of fans to root for a proven and devastatingly efficient winner.
Meanwhile, the most beloved competitor on the track continues to struggle mightily, out of excuses and sometimes, it seems, out of desire. Instead of stories documenting an occasional win for the son of a legend or his standing in a championship battle, the news about the sport’s favorite son rehashes an endless parade of questions, accusations, and theories regarding two and a half years of performances that have been unremarkable at best and unworthy of a Cup driver at worst. And so a chunk of fans grow weary and tune out, as with any underperforming team in any sport. It’s not wrong or right, it’s just what is.
Well-funded companies like DeWalt, Jack Daniel’s, Kellogg’s, Old Spice, and perhaps soon even DuPont no longer see the benefit of paying millions to put their logos on a racecar. New teams fighting to get footing in the sport and existing teams fighting to stay alive start races each week only to run a few laps before bringing the car into the garage, unable to afford new tires.
Articles relating to the state of the sport are heavily commented on by disgruntled fans, who often list a litany of reasons why they no longer watch, even as they care enough to still read about and comment on it. It’s as if a part of them still wants the hard-nosed racing they loved to return, and is willing to forgive all if it does.
A sanctioning body that once laid down the law with an iron fist, disallowed criticism from press who wanted to keep their credentials, muzzled their drivers and dismissed objections from fans are now seeking out the same folks to whom they once dictated the terms without regard or reservation. Drivers are summoned for town hall meetings. Writers with little more on their resumes than an Internet connection are welcomed into a Citizens’ Journalist Corps. A Fan Council is formed to offer suggestions. After refusing to hear what anyone wanted for decades, now NASCAR doesn’t even seem to know.
As if all that weren’t enough to contend with, the two most exciting events of 2010 were pushed to Mondays, and much smaller audiences, by Mother Nature.
Just a few years removed from seriously challenging the NFL as the nation’s pastime, a perfect storm of unpopular leadership decisions, lesser performances from popular drivers and a national recession have combined to put a sport on the ropes, desperately trying to stop its free fall.
How did we get here? How did NASCAR go from being the fastest growing sport to arguably the fastest shrinking sport in the nation?
NASCAR, in a way, became too big for itself. It’s difficult to imagine how a sport could become decidedly less popular by going mainstream, but NASCAR is a case study in just that. Television contracts totaling billions of dollars resulted in race broadcasts far too frequently disrupted for obscene profit breaks, in the one sport where commercial timeouts are not feasible. A top series title sponsor shelling out hundreds of millions was rewarded with a playoff that has been decidedly not well received. The sport has moved out of the Southeast, where it was regarded with slightly more devotion than God, and into markets where it has encountered an audience that has proven to be much more fickle.
Rather than continuing to let fans come to them, which had been working very well, NASCAR disrupted a core fan base in search of a casual one. Both have been slowly disappearing. Granted, some recent changes were necessary, like safety measures in the new car, and some were understandable without the benefit of hindsight, like accepting billions in broadcasting and title sponsorship revenue without thinking of the implications. But the weight of that combined with some radical and unnecessary alterations to the competition collapsed on a foundation already weakened by disgust over disregard for the most devoted of fans.
It’s hard to say what NASCAR’s future will look like, but at the moment it isn’t bright. With a playoff that strongly encourages points racing still firmly in place and the prospect of even less variety in the schedule on the horizon, it’s hard to expect that the racing will become more exciting, no matter how many green-white-wreckers attempts there are in a race.
One shudders at what will become of the sport when Dale Earnhardt Jr. hangs up his gloves. As well below expectations as Junior has run, the loudest cheers in the stands by far still ring out when the 88 car takes the lead. The last link to the sport’s tobacco-chewing roots isn’t going to be around forever. Joey Logano’s a great kid, but he isn’t going to replace a fan base that large.
Certainly, networks will still take on the task of broadcasting NASCAR, but the sport isn’t going to be able to command the price it once did. Will they be smart enough to arrange contracts that make for better broadcasts, even if it means taking less money? It’s doubtful that the sport can swallow such a bitter pill. They weren’t willing to accept less money for title sponsorship of the Nationwide Series until they had to. But it may be necessary. The last thing NASCAR needs now is to alienate remaining fans.
Reversing the damage done is going to be difficult and costly. It’s going to take more than double-file restarts to bring back fans. NASCAR needs to be willing to accept some short-term pain for long-term gain. It’s also going to take the discipline of knowing when to leave something alone.
It’s not an easy thing. But nor is watching the current state of the sport.
©2000 - 2008 Kurt Smith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
It all boils down to the stupid money Fox paid for the broadcast rights, and the installation of the Child King Brian Z. France.
Greed has ruined NASCAR and it’s a bell that cannot be “un-rung”. We’ve gone so far down this crappy road that we won’t ever get our good racing back. NASCAR/ISC/Casa de France has too much greed and pride, along with too little class and integrity, to ever overhaul the system and make it right.
Well said! The NASCAR Party is so over. Pretty soon, the stands may be completely empty…..
Yea money ruins everything, drivers have agents, Nascar on the up swing in the 90’s over marketed the sport, hell they even had Hip Hop commericals, the chase, the 35 point rule, Nascar cared about the new fans and forgot about the core based fan, so ticket prices went up, not as fan friendly as it was when there where show cars coming to town and drivers meet with fans, and the announcers to talk to fans as if we are stupid and they act ridiculious, Nascar was a mature sport and they dumbed it down, trying to be like stick and ball sports, anything for a buck!
Jeff Gordon should have been champion in 2007. But at least the finish to the season was exciting…not.
Well said Kurt. Your article mirrors what I said earlier in the week (almost).
The good ole boys were the ones that put NASCAR on the map in the past years ticket sales have gone in way to favor corporate buying tickets in hte blocks of grandstands well that forced the good old boys to stay home. Now corporate America can’t buy the blocks of ticket and the good old boy have said Hell no I ain’t comming back. Even on TV you cannot watch over 20 laps unless you have 10 laps of commericals, So everyone gets ticked off and changes the channel, when they change the cahnnel they soon loose interest in the sport, and the cars are not like anything we drive on the street, More like late model at your local tracks, with out decals all would look the same, So wake up NASCAR before ice skating takes over your glory in the sport
Wow Noel. We agree.
Slow growth and attract NEW FANS – you must work for NASCAR PR.
I’ve been saying on this website for MONTHS that NASCAR needs to attract new fans and forget about catering to the “old school” fans. They aren’t coming back, they’re stuck in the past, they’re too old and too stubborn to spend their money/fixed incomes on this sport.
NASCAR has been a punching bag for fans who seem to love to hate this sport. Well guess what, NOEL paraphrased NASCAR best:
“Thanks for your money, you keep the memories, we’re going to move on to bigger and better things without you”
This downward spiral all started with the change to the Chase format. Subsequent changes just increase the exodus of long time fans. The lesson here is don’t F with something that isn’t broken.
NASCAR was not broken before BF took over. In fact it was thriving. What is your take on making changes that aren’t necessary? Please explain to me what exactly happened in 2003 that necessitated drastic changes? Are you saying this sport was going to fall apart without them? Did you ever notice how the NFL and other sports make changes slowly and rarely do they make changes that turn the basis of the sport upside down (which is what the chase did).
Sometimes it seems you view this sport from 3 inches away. Back up a little bit, you might get a bigger perspective.
NA$CAR got GREEDY for $$$. They choose who can sponsor your car/team. I know of a situation a few years back a start up team got a Sponsor, went to NA$CAR for approval. NA$CAR said NO, due to a conflict of interest, then turned around and ask the company if they would like to be an “Official NA$CAR sponsor” being on the inside I know that the comp[any said, Sorry NO our money was for the team if they can’t have it we will spend it elsewhere. Which they did. The team had to close. It has become all about how much MONEY NA$CAR can put in their own pockets. I am sure this is not the only time something like this has happened.
I hope everyone realizes how rare it is for a sport to be popular for the masses for an extended period of time – even baseball and football have had their down years. Tradition has helped baseball remain popular; fantasy football has helped football.
NASCAR will not be the first sport to explode in popularity only to shrivel down in size. Horse racing was huge in the 1920’s – where it is now? Boxing – big in 60’s and 80’s – now? Even the US Open Wheel – when was the last time you remember people wanting to know the results of Bump Day. Even Wrestling (sport or entertainment) has seen its glory wane.
All of these are still around and so will NASCAR.
It was interesting to see NASCAR explode in the late 90’s; it might be even more interesting to see how everyone (NASCAR, Fox, ABC, sponsors,and owners) reacct to the decline.
PUT STOCK BACK INTO NASCAR! AS IN (STOCK CARS)GET RID OF LOOK ALIKE (COT) CARS. BETTER FAN CHOICE!
Its simple – Brian France (and all of his stupid ideas) has to go, thats all there is to it. Once he’s gone, it’ll take another decade before Nascar is cool again.
Even Harley got rid of AMF once they found it wasn’t working anymore. And now look…
Hm..you know I really do love his/her/its logic. The sport is spiraling away down the toilet and we hear bleatings about how great things are now and who the hell needs those old fans anyway. Look at all the new ones we have going to the races!!! Um..dont we?
Brian France should watch a different movie.
Greed is NOT good.
It’s bad enough that nas$car has lost a lot of it’s hardcore older fans, but that’s compounded by the way that they went out on a limb to attract the newer “bandwagon” fans. The result is a huge loss of the former and disinterest of the later. Also the sheer amount of commercials and the crappy commentating hasn’t helped. I’ve loved this sport for a long long time and it hurts to see it in it’s present shape. Let’s hope they powers that be wake up before it’s too late.
ESPN Classic is showing the 1988 Checker 500 tonight at 7. Maybe some of the new fans can watch it and get an idea of what it is like back then, if they can get it.
I turned on my TV to see commercials and they kept interrupting every 5 minutes with a follow the leader parade at a race track!
WOW can’t wait to watch the 1988 Checker 500!!! 5 cars finish on the lead lap!
MAN! Those were the days.
Oh, and the TV cameras will STILL only show the leaders.
Fans cannot blame Bryan France for being greedy without looking at his dad. He demanded so much money that companies like Union 76, Bush beer and others dropped out because they could not afford it any longer. Bryan is just following dad’s example. If major changes are not made in NASCAR soon it will continue to decline and who knows what next.
when football starts it is going to be bad
@ DansMom You are sooooo sweet! I guess you missed me pointing out how foolish every single statement you make is. But I have to tell you, don’t get your hopes up. I am a happily married man. Besides, it would never work out for us anyway. I need a woman that doesn’t require a helmet and seatbelt to ride the toilet. And of course that coach following you around reminding you to’ “breathe in…breathe out” is a complete turn-off.
As a long time, and still, NASCAR fan I am glad that NASCAR’s management is far superior to that of the newspaper industry.
“WOW can’t wait to watch the 1988 Checker 500!!! 5 cars finish on the lead lap!
Are you watching the same race? Challenges among the top 5, wide angle shots and excellent commentary to name a few pluses from what I see. I am I guess one of the “old school” fans. I watched Nascar (and any auto racing) back when we only got snippets of races on Wide World of Sports. I am 51 years old and have a bunch of of disposable income…The kind of fan that spends money on races etc. Why would Nascar want my money? Hmmmm
a have you been watching the ratings??? Nascar Nbeat the NBA Playoffs big time and that was with the Lakers! Nascar is doing just fine its people like you who want to see this sport die and its not and your not happy so your going to try to stir up something to make it seem so. Yeah attendance but not by much, there still getting 80 90 100,000 people a week and thats saying something in these times! Heck some teams here in Chicago cant even give tickets away and you see maybe 10,000 people in the United Center that holds 60,000. SO Im happy to know and say Nascar is doing just fine and will countinue! Just wait for Danica then you will those stands jammed to the gill! Nascar all the way
Happy Nascar Day everyone
Dans Mom, I hear the Poopsicle truck comin on down the lane. Better get your money out and get you some geniune bonifide modern day Nascar Poopcicles before they are gone. Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm. Brian says they taste so good, and DW agrees.
John from Chicago;
I was around for the implosion of open wheel, and Nascar is in the same death spiral. Just keep clicking the heels of your ruby slippers and tell yourself everything is just fine.
I would honestly like to know why no effort is being made to get rid of him, right now or several years ago. Brian France will be the reason that NASCAR dies in the near future. I can’t believe that people are sitting around and letting his destroy the sport like this.
@wingedcars…. how many cars finished on the lead lap?
Give-me-a “5” Up high?… down low… TOO SLOW!
@ John from Chicago: You, Randy, and DansMom all seem to want to hang NASCAR’s future on Danica. None of you seem to realize that she is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. She doesn’t have the time, talent, or aggression to come up to speed in a stock car. It took her five years to get comfortable in an IndyCar. Those have less power, are lighter weight, have sticky tires, and huge amounts of downforce. She still couldn’t keep the car pointed in the right direction.
DansMom is Brian France folks.
Plain & simple folks..Before Brian & his chase, NASCAR tickets at Bristol..VERY EXPENSIVE…Now..1/2 price & less, some scalpers were selling for 30 cents on the dollar of face value this year & they still couldn’t sell most of them,Jimmy Johnson is probably a great driver but will never know because his whole career has been with the fake championship rules…& yes Dansmom is brian france, just read his comments every week…You can tell hes never acually watched a whole race since he changed it to staged racing …
An example of why stands are empty: Used to go to Michigan, before they sold to ISC. Camp $75 before, immediately up to $100, $125 within a couple years. Ice from 3 for $5 to 3 for$11. Campgrounds was also purchased, all sites redone (smaller of course) Ticket prices went up also. Used to have 38 tickets, and 10 camp sites. Now only a couple people still go. It is the little tyhings that keep adding up!
How ‘bout this …… the very things that go around those tracks …… cars. Nobody really cares about those anymore. Being a licensed driver for well over 40 years I remember a time when people were very passionate about the cars. Then of course what followed …… who was driving their favorite car. There used to be a saying ‘what raced on Sunday, sold on Monday’. Now ? LOL