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.
Connect with Phil!
Find tons of cheap tickets to 2013 speedway races like Talladega NASCAR schedule, Brickyard 400 at Indy Motor Speedway, Michigan Speedway Racing plus the full 2013 Monster Jam schedule
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
|Subscribe to The Frontstretch Newsletter|
Matt McLaughlin · Thursday June 3, 2010
I must admit, as a guy who has called Pennsylvania home for going on four decades now I feel a great deal of affection for the Pocono track. I won’t claim it’s the best one on the circuit (that honor belongs to either Darlington or Richmond) or that it provides the sort of constant side-by-side excitement that once was Bristol. But I have witnessed some outstanding races at Pocono. I remember in particular Bobby Labonte and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s last lap, land-rush finish in 2001, Jeremy Mayfield knocking Dale Earnhardt the original aside on the last lap in 2000, and Tim Richmond’s emotional comeback win in 1987. (Unfortunately, I’ve also seen some terrible crashes there, too, including wrecks that almost killed Bobby and Davey Allison, Harry Gant, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon.)
Naturally, my recollections and reflections of Pocono are colored by the fact I attended a lot of race weekends there with my friends, as chronicled in the infamous 1313 Turkey Court column a few years back. By and large, I believe the statue of limitations is up on those shenanigans, so I’ll admit those were some of the best weekends of my life. It was male bonding at its best and beeriest, irresponsible operation of various types of off-road vehicles in pursuit of no trophy or points but mere bragging rights, campfires, raw in the center burgers, tall tales, outright lies, and that now taboo taste of a first beer at breakfast. Growing older is a wonder after all those weekends. Growing up sucks. Yeah, Pocono race weekends and those memories still make me grin.
But based on my email and comments from readers on my columns, Pocono is not universally beloved. (Let me state one basic truism; any race you attend live is better than the same race watched on TV). There are constant complaints from various members of the media that the 500-mile race distances are way too long and they need to be shortened to 400, or even 300 miles. A lot of Pocono races start off well and end well, but do tend to drag in the center as teams and drivers battle attrition rather than each other. Others argue that Pocono should lose one or both race dates.
Pocono is just about equidistant from two of the largest and most coveted TV markets in the country: New York City and Philadelphia. Other attempts to break into the NYC market, most recently the ISC’s proposed Staten Island track, have failed miserably. Perhaps NASCAR ought to just steal a page from Joliet and rename Pocono “New York-Land Speedway,” thus being able to boast they have a track in the market. I’m told by people paid to understand and care about such things that the Pocono track has the largest potential pool of race attendees within 300 miles of any NASCAR track other than Fontana. And let’s face it: Fontana well and truly sucks. That track is always going to suck until they level the place to the ground, turn over every last teaspoon of earth, and start over with an oversized Richmond layout.
I think any reasonable person would also agree that Pocono is not the only Cup track where the action tends to die down during the middle stages of the event. In fact, that phenomenon has become almost universal in Cup racing everywhere, from Martinsville to Talladega. Most weekends, it seems all but a handful of drivers are on cruise control until the final fifty miles of the race before they finally get down to getting after it. As I’ve said before, it’s difficult for the MTV generation to devote three-and-a-half hours to a sporting event that really only sizzles in the final twenty minutes. I don’t know how to fix that, though no less an authority than Humpy Wheeler proposes a points system that awards points for each and every pass of another driver. (I have my doubts as to how that would work, with teammates letting each other pass and repass, but I’m willing to study any written proposal the inestimable Mr. Wheeler might put forth.)
So no, I don’t have a definite answer on how to fix the product. But I do know this much: if the end of the race is the best part of the race, two ends to the race beats one.
So how about this? We take the two 500-mile Pocono races and split them into four 250-mile races. (Or, OK, maybe two 200-mile races). I’m open to awarding either full points or half points for each event. After the first race, the teams get a half-hour break during which they can change springs, shocks, or any other such work that can be accomplished in a half-hour period. After that, the field lines up in the reverse order of how they finished in the first race, with the exception of those drivers and teams who failed to finish the first race. They’d line up in the rear of the field in their backup cars. Then, everyone would have back at it again.
Think about it. If your favorite driver failed to win the first race, maybe he’d fare better in the second. We’d have twice as many beginnings and ends to races — the best part — and half of the middle-stages, the parts that tend to drag. Casual fans might choose to watch only the first or second race, not both, but that’s still going to help TV ratings if they watch one or another. A special points or cash bonus could also be reserved for the driver with the best overall finish in both races, giving the fastest drivers with the fastest cars extra incentive to get to the front and stay there. The system works very well in motocross, and I think it would work just fine in Cup racing. As an added benefit, the TV networks could offload a lot of their advertising breaks during the half-hour of downtime, leaving them more time to cover racing action live.
Yeah, I know this idea is controversial. Some of you are going to despise it altogether, and are already salivating at letting me have it in the comments section below. I admit this is a break from the norm for me, a normally hidebound traditionalist. I’ll happily sit through a 500-mile race at Pocono; the problem is, I fear there’s not enough other hidebound traditionalists left to sit elbow-to-elbow with me in the two tiers of grandstand seating and the massive infield of the track. The way I see it, any type of racing at Pocono beats none at all …
In baseball, double-header tickets are among the most coveted by the fans. Maybe it holds true for stock car racing as well; and if the idea works at Pocono, there are some other tracks that could look at Daily Doubles to reinvigorate interest in their events.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Matt: I’ve only ever been to one Pocono race. An IndyCar event long before Tony George decided to murder open wheel racing in cold blood. Those cars went so fast that I couldnt even tell which color the blur was before it was at turn 1. That actually made me never want to go to a NASCAR race there. Pocono is my second closest track (Watkins Glen being the closest), but I used to drive to Dover so I can see more of the event.
I agree whole heartedly with your assessment that any race is better live than on tv. Except the road courses. To stand around for 3 hours to watch the car drive along a 200 meter section of track 90 times is as much fun as a root canal. The weekend of drunken debauchery makes it survivable.
Your plan could be adopted at every track not just Pocono. I am usually completely against major deviations from the historic traditions of the sport. But after spending the last few years in a coma most of Sunday afternoon, I’m ready for a change.
Let me make a suggestion on the points:
- Do away with the top 35 rule. The fastest 43 cars that pass inspection start the race.
- Award 10 points for the pole.
- End the 5 points for leading a lap. Instead award 15 points for leading the most laps.
- Only award points and money for completing 75% race distance.
- Award 200 points for the win, 150 points for second, 125 points for third, 112 points for fourth, then decrease each position by 1 point throughout the field. Fifth place gets 111, 6th gets 110…
It would create a podium style points award where there is a huge bonus to win. If someone has a DNF, they don’t lose so many points, but can make up ground easily with a top 3 finish.
It would also end the start and park phenomenon as no money and no points defeats the purpose of parking the car. There would also be no more buying/selling/trading of car numbers to guarantee a start.
As an answer to your question about Humpy’s idea, just don’t award points to passes made on teammates.
I live 30 minutes from Fontana, and I’ve said for years now that Fontana shouldn’t have 2 races. But I’ve been saying that about Pocono before Fontana was opened.
The first several races at Fontana were actually pretty good, 4 wide racing, basically something that had never been seen before. But the track weathered in poorly over the years and needs to be tore down and rebuilt. Texas and Homestead have done it, the other 2 newest Cup tracks.
One other thought about Fontana is to make one of the races a Roval. I saw a Grand Am race there and the roval course was actually pretty good.
When it comes to Pocono though, about the only thing that used to be consistently exciting was the guys that set up their cars to shift during the back straight, compared to those who didn’t. With the rear-end rule now, that is no longer an option.
The racing there is just downright boring for 95% of the race (which can be said for most races these days). I really wish that they would take at least one race away from it and give it to a more deserving track.
The one track I always suggest that should have 2 dates is Vegas. The HUGE difference with a race weekend in Las Vegas is that the NASCAR experience doesn’t stop when you leave the track. Go to any casino and you will see the 100,000+ fans (and probably family that didn’t buy tickets) “flying” their favorite driver’s colors. So just sitting down at a bar can lead to meeting NASCAR fans. It sounds like the closest thing to camping at a track, which I’ve yet to do, as it gets. Plus Vegas has gone out of its way to help fans get to and from the track, clearing up the 4 hour 10 mile drive, each way, they had when the track first opened. They even route you across the Airforce base now.
BTW, I don’t know how Pocono’s fan experience has been over the years, but Fontana seems to go out of its way to make it worse and worse… to the point I refuse to go see a race there any more, not because the track is boring, but because of the way they literally harass their paying customers. (I could go on for a few hours about this if you want to hear it.)
The ideas about changing the point system or splitting the races up all have valid points. But I don’t think many of them would make NASCAR excel above the rest.
I do like the idea of points being rewarded for the pole though. But then again, getting that first pit position is such an advantage that you are basically being given points already. Even Earnhardt said he owed a couple of his Championships to the days in which the reigning Champ got the first pit stall for the season. Even with JJ’s bad luck these days, how close to think the points races would have been if that was still the case the past 3 seasons?
Pocono used to be better when the gear settings allowed it to be a “roval”. I remember they used to have a camera showing the different foot work between guys who liked to treat it like a road course and the guys who drove it like a normal track. In recent years, I really have not seen a difference.
Visiting a track 2x in a month makes little sense. Been saying this since ’03 but NASCAR REALLY needs to look at their schedule.
It would be like your favorite NFL; baseball; whatever team playing the same teams in the same order year after year due to the NFL; baseball; whatever a) owning half of the stadiums and b) being just too lazy to make improvements.
Until then – sorry – despite where I live I never plan to go to Pocono (heard very bad reports from friends who went there; apparently half of the track is not visible due to the size of the track) nor do I wish to view what has recently been a bigger snooze fest than Fontana.
Matt, the race is basically broken into two 500 lap segments split by 5 weeks. A ridiculous scheduling mistake that was never corrected. I have been to two races at Pocono and will not be back. The only thing worse than not being able to see the entire Pocono track, is road racing where the only part of the track visible is the corner where you sit.
Statute of limitations, not statue. A statue is a structure.
You and Matt both have some good Ideas. The only thing that worries me about more points for the winner is, I remember back in the late 80’s early 90’s when Rusty either won(10+ wins) or DNF and if only the winner got more points he may have still won Championship.
I really like your idea of NO POINT OR MONEY if you do not complete at 75% of the race(this could be fine tuned some, but would fix many more problems then it would create.)
Ann—Five weeks? Try eight weeks between the two races. It used to be that both POCONO and NHIS were about six weeks apart but NASCAR scheduling changes made several years ago kept spreading out the time between races. June 6 and August 1 are not five weeks apart!
Matt-While I like the concept of splitting the race into two 200 contests, how do you handle someone like Davey Allison in 1992 who not only destroys his car in a wreck but is too shaken/injured to return to action that same day? I’ve been to POCONO for at least one race every year since 1992. Once you figure out the shortcuts and the traffic issues, its not really a bad place. Quite frankly, getting home from POCONO at 5:00 on a Sunday afternoon is much easier than getting home from Charlotte/Lowes at 11:30 on a Saturday night.
Hey – if the NHRA can shake things up with 4 wide drag racing, why can’t NASCAR try something innovative? The racing has gotten tepid in the last few years, so maybe its time to try something new. I totally agree with fastest 43 start. Unlike drag racing, NASCAR’s slogan is ‘Go fast as you can, or go to your points…’
I’ve been to a number of Pocono races; but, not in the last 20 years. Like you, I think I remember the “experience” more than the actual race – although I’m pretty sure Bill Elliott (remember him?) won pretty much every time I was there.
Do they still let you buy a pit road pass and stand on pit road during practice and qualifying? That was always $20 well spent! I have video of Rich Vogler practicing his car before flying out to compete in the Sprint Car race at Salem Speedway that night. I was standing next to Bob Dotter’s ARCA pit where he was busy fixing up his car that had fallen off the (open) trailer on the PA turnpike… Rusty Wallace almost ran me down as he was coasting into the garage area when I was crossing – not really paying as much attention as I should have been. Was able to meet Alan Kulwicki and discuss being an owner/driver for a few moments – and got to meet Ned Jarrett, someone who I’ve always admired and appreciated as a connection to the sport’s past.
You’re totally right – being at the track is much better than seeing it on TV.
@ WCFan: I agree the 10 win or DNF scenario could present a problem, but I think that a 50 point difference between 1st and 2nd would make people fight much harder for the win than the current 10 point difference.
I guess that the ultimate point is, that there are no one step quick fixws to the quagmire NASCAR finds itself in.
Not that anyone cares —especially Brian France et al but…
Get rid of both races at California, one at Pocono, one at Michigan, one at Charlotte, Texas, Chicago, Kansas, and one each at New Hampshire and Las Vegas.
Add race back to Rockingham, add one to Iowa, the road course in Birmingham, AL,the short track at Irwindale, CA. Use the balance to shorten the season.
Oh, lose the IROC,err COT, template and put stock front end / decks & make ‘em look like frappin stock cars again.
Run the race on the 3/4 mile track.
Not sure it would be beneficial to not pay for finishing less than 75% race distance. What happens if there’s a wreck early on, and a car is out? Lots of risk for the car owner, no reward. Employees still need to get paid, and the team has the same travel expenses as the other teams. Plus -what happens to the money? Split among the other teams? Track owner keeps it? (Rich get richer)
At the end of the day, what’s worse – start & park drivers, or 20 car fields? Its a tough call…
I agree there are no quick easy fixes. I believe a big part(not the only problem) is the HUGE AMOUNT of money these drivers(yes it is dangerous) earn for running mid pack(how many of these guys who have ONLY A HANDFUL of wins OWN more then one plane and a helo or two?)
As the story goes Dale raced TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE (not a problem today, when start and parks teams are “stealing” a couple million a year. The start and parks are making more then some champions won in a year and more then a few made in their careers)
While I believe money is a big part of the problem, I also think if nasacr took money away from the championship prize money and gave it to race winners this would help(winners gets extra $100-$150,000 for each win)
Hmmm, the racing is boring over the past few years? Gee, the COT must have something to do with it. Let the nose look like a real car (wait til the Nationawide races have the new nose, people are gonna go nuts). Let em use whatever spring they want (I never understood that rule), and let em use the gear ratio they want. Why do they limit this stuff anyway? It takes the imagination out of the crew chief. Let em use their brains!!!
Start and parks are much worse. I would much rather see teams that intended to race make more money then paying teams just for qualifing.
With start and parks, we still have short fields
I read yesterday (I believe on this site) A Indy car owner or crew chief said the only owners/teams who DID NOT LIKE TESTING were the one already on top.
In nascar the only teams that like the current rules are the ones that have made them work. ie Hendricks (before return of spoiler)if they don’t win the championship and the most races watch Rick start asking for changes.
The guys I know who go to Pocono every year from Phildelphia love it and I really enjoy watching the Pocono races. Where else do you have to be concerned about a fog delay?
At the same time, any races so uniformly disliked by the press (because they are inconvenienced?) will always be a favorite of mine.
Instead of having to finish 75% of the race, the teams should at least be made to prove their car is unable to return to the race before they can pack up and go home with check in hand.
I think the COT and the mandated gear rules pretty much screwed up The racing at Pocono. the races were a lot more exciting when the drivers could shift. It really became something of an endurance test to see who blew out their engines and transmissions and who didn’t. The solution is simple. Get rid of the COT and the mandated gear rules. However, getting the solution implemented isn’t simple because of the simpletons ruining things.
Matt, your are right about Pocono and Fontana having a lot of people within 300 miles but Dover might have more than all of them including 250 miles of ocean to the east. If Pocono and Fontana were better race tracks they might have INDY size crowds at them not a bunch of empty seats like Fontana.
Any track whose early Indy races were sponsored by Schaefer Beer is good in my book. Have never been there – but on short list of places I want to visit.
I would be willing to try anything there, it could not hurt.
I hate the gear rule, let them shift. For Pocono & the road courses, allow 5-speed transmissions & run any gear that you want.
If you over-rev & blow-up, it is your own fault!
I disagree about having a real short field, versus a field with S&P teams. F1 had really short fields a few seasons back, and all it really did was amplify the better funded teams. Same with the IRL. People think that when some team come to the track that its all about the check. I don’t think any owner could justify the expense of doing that for a $10,000 check. They need to be seen to possibly attract sponsors to their team – if they don’t come to the race, I have as good a chance as they do to attract a sponsor – sitting at home. Maybe their budgets only allow them to run a certain number of laps before they’re throwing money away. Plus, if they’re out of the top 35, the odds are already stacked against them even making some of the shows. Finishing money gives at least a little incentive to these owners to show up.
As much as I understand that the concept is somewhat distasteful, I don’t think its as bad for the sport as some people seem to think – as long as they’re not a hinderance on the track. Its not really as blatant as appearance money – but, is probably as important to the teams, tracks, and NASCAR.
While I will admit that I do not know what would happen if nascar had short fields, I’m talking about going back to the 36 car fields not 20 or 25 car fields.
These start and park teams are making MUCH MORE then $10,000 a race. If the same team started every race this year and EARNED THE SMALLEST check he still would have “earned” approx. $1,160,000 for 13 races or an average of $89,000 per race.
While there are teams that are trying to actually get into Cup racing and do have to start and park to make the money to fund their race team. But right now we have owners who are making a career out of this trend.
Dave Blaney and Joe Nemechek both “earned” approx. $2,400,000 last year for 30 “races” or an average of $78,000.
These teams are breaking no rules and nascar has allowed and even encouraged this practice by rewarding these teams.
Nascar could discourage this if the only paid expenses to these teams.(If there was NO PROFIT TO BE MADE there would be less teams doing this, allowing teams that WANT to race (that are underfunded and slow(still need to meet min. speed)the chance.
A bunch of knee-jerk reactions… keep things how they are.
I loye how it is now. That way i do not have to go to the races or watch them on tv
But right now we have owners who are making a career out of this trend.
Yes, but its hard to be able to tell whether a team is purposely doing this, or is simply incapable of making a go of racing. Its frustrating to think that at the pinnacle of oval track racing there is even the whiff of this happening; but, it is going on in ALL professional sports. The Florida Marlins and LA Clippers come to mind pretty quickly – teams that are owned to make money, not necessarily to compete as the average fan might expect they would. As you say, they’re not breaking any rules – so, I’m not really sure what you can do to punish them… They’re just using the sport to line their pockets.
Given that, I’m still not inclined to see NASCAR start to estimate a team’s intent in entering a race.
BTW – I checked on the purses for last place, and I stand corrected – the money doesn’t suck; but, still – I can’t say I wouldn’t like to make that paycheck each race either!
When I first started watching Cup races, I recall watching a guy race who apparently won the lottery, and ‘decided to go Cup racing’ on his winnings. He was just living out a fantasy – is that worse than being a S&P racer?
Have a great weekend!
it’s so crazy it just might work! Then again any solution might be better than status quo.
A simple way to solve many of these racing (or lack thereof) issues is to score points for positions of every lap rather than just the last one.
This way you can’t ride around until the end because you give up too many potential points.
Had never really thought of this happening in other sports, but you are right there are teams out just for the money and not actually trying to win. Good point.
I will also agree it would be a slippery slope trying to do much to punish these teams, because intent is hard to prove. But it is frustrating to watch Prism, Tommy Baldwin and Joe Nemechek Motorsports (To me it would be different if these were “outsiders” men who had never contributed to the sport, but these owners/drivers grew up around the sport). continue to go to the track(at least the second year) with little intent of racing. How many times has Dave Blaney qualified in top 10 only to run a handful of laps. If I was a sponser I would like to see that this car/driver is capable of finishing BEFORE I INVESTED MONEY in them. I read somewhere that Dave Blaney was making $5,000 a week, Not bad for a couple hours work.
It is also hard to watch teams like #26 & 90 go home(yes the are slow, but at times Top 35 cars have been slower) when the have the “intent” to race the whole race
but these owners/drivers grew up around the sport
I suppose that this is the only way that they can continue to be around the sport – hopefully until they can figure out a way to be more competitive.
Sponsors are strange too. As a normal fan, you’d naturally assume that they want to have a successful relationship with a team – but, what is that success? The cornerstone of a national marketing campaign; or, the ability of a small business to get his name on a car and bring current and prospective clients to a national touring series race or three as VIP guests of the team? As Dennis Miller once said, “that alone ought to convey to you the whore-like nature of my existence”. Everyone is using everyone else for their own purposes. Teams, sponsors, track owners, and NASCAR are all trying to do whatever they can to keep the money rolling in.
If the by-product of that is that the racing gets better, then I suppose its worth it. But, if the product is being cheapened, then the fans will (continue?) to leave. I think this is where Matt is coming from when he gets nostalgic in his columns. I tend to agree with the trend he is reporting. IMO, big money was the death knell for what the sport once was. The days of racing for a box of donuts is LONG GONE – unless it carries a sponsorship package for the team and driver!
I agree and enjoyed “talking” to you, see you in another column.
“At the end of the day, what’s worse – start & park drivers, or 20 car fields? Its a tough call…” Not a tough call… I say 20 cars all RACING
With the modern electronic scoring … it would be very well possible to have a Point System that paid points based on the running order of every single lap! Of course, the BIG (POINTS) PAYOFF would still be the finishing order … and do recall NASCAR once had a point system that awarded points for every lap a driver completed in addition to the points at the finish.
Such a system would probably require the points be paid as fractions (i.e. 1.000 point for leading, .975 for second, .950 for third, etc., etc. — and would have to be adjusted per track for the number of laps in the race)… … but, that would place an incentive on passing every lap and throughout the entire field.
Mike and WCFan: I’m sorry I took a day off and missed your great debate. You both make excellent points. I myself hate the idea of start and park teams. I don’t think NASCAR needs 43 teams on track if only 35 show up to race.
In the end it’s a moot point. Brian France and NASCAR don’t listen to the fans that care about the sport. Just the idiots that have watched 3 races and threaten not to come back for a fourth.