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
Tuesday March 4, 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!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt McLaughlin · Thursday October 28, 2010
Recently, there has been considerable consternation and hand-wringing in the plush corner offices of NASCAR’s Daytona Beach headquarters and ABC/ESPN’s corporate towers. Something has gone badly amiss. There are massive tracts of empty seats at even those race tracks that once had waiting lists of would-be ticket buyers. TV ratings, even for those in the All-Singing, All-Dancing, Gonna Pack My Ma and I’m Going to Pack my AMP Chase are not only down, but down significantly. Stock car racing, NASCAR has been telling us for years, is the second most popular sport in America. (Maybe the fine print read, “Second to everything else.”) What on earth is going on? NASCAR likes to tell everyone ticket sales are negatively impacted by the economy and I can buy that as part of the problem, but not the entire problem. ESPN execs fret that the earlier starting times for races are hurting ratings for those events. Balderdash! The fans I know have been asking for and prefer those 1 PM start times.
So what’s wrong? Brothers pull up a chair, throw another sack of pellets in the stove and fetch a round. This one’s going to take awhile. Even as pissed off as I am at NASCAR and the networks for screwing up a sport I love, I feel it’s worth saving so I’m going to clue ya’ll in on how to do it. As always, when the Answer Man rides to the rescue, I don’t expect NASCAR’s thanks. Large sacks of cash, a Shelby Mustang convertible, a tanker truck worth of Corona, and a new Ultraglide will do nicely, thanks.
Step One: Shorten the season
The Cup season is just too damned long. We need to be holding our season finale at Darlington on Labor Day weekend and exiting stage left as the NFL regular season rumbles to life and the Boys of Summer start their Fall Classic. I figure somewhere in the range of 25 races would be a workable solution. The two road course races are gone. The three short tracks left on the schedule would retain two dates apiece, simply because they typically provide the best racing of the season and we need a better ratio of short tracks to cookie cutters to rekindle longtime fans’ interest. Every other track on the schedule, and yes that includes Daytona and Talladega gets just one race date. A single race a year at those tracks rather than two ought to sell a lot more tickets, particularly during a shorter season which makes each race more significant.
If I’m doing the math correctly (which is highly doubtful) we have 23 races on the schedule. Sorry, make that 22. The Brickyard 400 has outlived its usefulness, but we’ll move that race to Iowa to keep the Flyover State fans happy and engaged. We’ll then add Rockingham and North Wilkesboro back to the schedule to round out our slate of races.
Step Two: Shorten the Races
It’s become painfully apparent that most competitors don’t race hard until the final twenty laps, anyway, so there’s no sense having fans in the stands sitting around for four hours to see twenty minutes of action, and fans at home drifting off for naps or channel surfing away from the race. With the exception of the Daytona 500, the World 600 (that’s the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte, Otis) and the Southern 500 season finale, all race lengths will be cut in half. To add some spice to the earlier portions of the event, there will be 25-point bonuses paid to the leader at the one-quarter, halfway and three-quarter marks of the race. Let me clarify that. Those 25 points will be awarded to the leader of the race at those intervals if the race is under green flag conditions. If the race is under caution, the 25-point bonus goes to the driver who leads the second lap of the race after competition resumes.
Step Three: Dump the Chase
There could be no clearer indication from NASCAR officialdom that they are listening to the fans and value their opinions than dumping the Chase. It was a imbecilic idea on paper and in practice, it’s been a disaster. Somewhere between 75 percent and 88 percent of the fans hate it, according to which polls you read. We’re not going to tweak the Chase, pray that familiarity lessens contempt or add any more stupid gimmicks. We’re going to eliminate the Chase.
In fact, to symbolically do away with the Chase we’re going to stage a mock funeral prior to the Daytona 500. A neon sign reading, “The Chase” will be unplugged and placed in a coffin for a ride in a hearse to the infield. The casket will be lowered into the earth, and Brian France will toss the first shovel’s worth of dirt into the hole on top of it. Once the hole is filled and smoothed over, an outhouse will be put in place over the grave to allow fans to piss on it all day.
Whichever driver accumulates the most points during the season will be crowned champion. No more resets, no more gimmicks.
Here’s the new points system.
The winner of the race gets 500 points. The second-place finisher gets 200. The driver finishing third gets 100 points, the fourth-place driver 50 points, the fifth-place driver 40 points, the sixth-place driver 30 points, the seventh-place driver 25 points, the eighth-place driver 20 points, the ninth-place driver 10 points, and the tenth place driver 5 points. Any driver finishing outside the top 10 will earn zero points for the afternoon. That might sound harsh, but it will keep those patched together rambling wreck repaired cars off the track and out of the way. It means drivers will be able to let it all hang out from time to time, knowing that throughout the season everyone is going to have a few zero point days. It would be worth it to drive all out to try to make it from third to first to garner an additional four hundred points. As noted above, there’d be an additional 25-point bonus for leading three times earlier in the race so the maximum, and not entirely unlikely points swing during a single event would be 575 points. That ought to keep the Championship interesting.
Step Four: Put the “Stock” Back in “Stock Cars”
No, I’m not advocating allowing a guy to run down to the local car agency, paint numbers on the side of a new Mustang and let him race it. Stock cars are still going to need full roll cages, fire suppression systems, racing seats and belts, impact-absorbing foam, fuel cells and the like for safety reasons. Running at high speeds on ovals is still going to require a dry sump oiling system. But when it comes to the body work of the cars, I want to see NASCAR stockers look exactly that, stock, right down to the outside rear view mirrors, front grilles, and bumpers. A blade style rear spoiler would be added to the rear, and proper racing tires and wheels added, but other than that no more funny cars.
Our rules would be written to encourage the use of Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers in the Cup series. Any special editions of these cars to make them more aerodynamic would have to sell at least 5,000 examples of a similar model off dealership floors to be considered eligible. Engines would be restricted to fuel-injected, normally aspirated, 355 cubic inch mills based on a stock production block, heads, crank, and connecting rods capable of running 93 octane unleaded gas. The engine would need to meet all current emission requirements in stock form with an approved camshaft, though naturally the cats would be removed from the cars and tubular headers added to the race cars. We don’t want to mess with that roar of a V8 engine that is part of our American heritage, after all. To be NASCAR approved, a limited edition engine in a street version of the car would have to be available as an option to car purchasers for 3,000 dollars or less and over the counter as a carb to oil pan, harmonic balancer to flywheel crate engine for five grand or less.
Wait a second, Cuz, I can hear some of you saying. An engine like that is going to put out a lot less beans than the current Cup engines. Precise-a-mundo, my old buddy. Keep up here, you’re moving much too slow. Less horsepower, in a less aerodynamic car means lower speeds. Lower speeds mean more side-by-side racing, a return to drafting, more passing, and more exciting races. This is what we’re after. As an added bonus, it saves team owners money. No more wind tunnels, cheaper engines, and fewer shorter races meaning less wear and tear on the equipment. Lowering the cost of racing for a full Cup season means an organization needs less sponsorship dollars necessary to still turn a reasonable profit. Lower sponsorship dollar requirements greatly increases the size of the potential sponsor pool, even while the TV ratings increases brought about by more exciting racing adds some bang to the buck for those sponsorship dollars. If, as an added bonus, car enthusiasts get the equivalent of a new Boss 429 or Hemi Charger 500 to run wild in the streets within, so much the better.
Step 5: A Biased Opinion
Radial tires are just fine on street cars. Cars equipped with radials, and every make and model I can recall currently available outside the Third World is so equipped, handle better in ordinary driving, last longer, and get better mileage. But the decline in the excitement in NASCAR racing began with radial tires replacing the tried and true bias plies.
Now hold on there a guldern minute, Bubba-Louie, I hear some of you screaming. First you’re saying you want some “stock” back in stock cars, but now you’re saying that you want to run tires of the sort that haven’t been fitted to street cars since the ’70s. Damn straight. See, here in the real world, we don’t replace the tires on our street cars every forty miles. We drive our cars in the rain. Street tires have tread on them.
Radial tires do offer a higher level of grip than bias ply tires. But once they reach their limits and they lose adhesion, they do so suddenly. Bias ply tires have lower limits of grip but as they break loose, they do so far more predictably. That’s why you used to see stock cars sliding the corners, smoke pouring from the tires, and passing one another all the time even if some ungentlemanly bumping and banging was the norm.
Bias ply tires rock. Don’t think so? Fix me up with a 455-powered ’70 Vista Cruiser and meet me in the Villanova University parking lot. I’ll demonstrate how it’s possible to get a big, stupid hulking station wagon shod with BFG G78-15 Silvertown whitewalls to make a hard, high speed right-hand turn with the steering wheel fully cranked, opposite lock to the left, using the throttle pedal to steer the beast.
If Goodyear is stuck on radials, well there’s always BF Goodrich, Bridgestone, or even Hoosier.
Wow, we’ve already got a lot to do on our agenda, and the fire needs tending. The Answer Man will be back next week, same Matt time, same Matt channel, to finish fixing the mess the Jokers at NASCAR have made of our sport.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Reading this really makes me long for the days of old when they would come drifting out of the corners at Darlington with the smoke rolling of the right rear.
I’m all in for your NOS Nascar, but we need new leadership at the top to make it happen. Too bad we can’t vote them out next Tuesday.
I like a lot of your ideas but I’m not sure about two of them…
Oh, here we go again! Let’s cater to the short attention span crowd and shorten the races and season! I say, “NO WAY!” Ther is nothing wrong with the race lengths, except for maybe Pocono, and even then, i thought the second race there this year was pretty good! As for the season length, for crying out loud, it’s not the season lenght that’s driving everyone to watch football (a sport I hate, by the way), it’s the lousy quality of racing and the hated chase. I hate the chase too, but this year is getting interesting, and I hope either Denny or Kevin (my money is on Kevin) can beat Team Sleeze!
I know I’m showing my age here (nearly 60), but I remember thinking how cool it was to be a fan of a sport that went all year! After all, when the final checkered flag fell on one season, it was only one or two weeks before the green flag fell on the the first race of the next one! Go back and look at the website Racing-reference! The seasons back in the 50’s and 60’s did end at the beginning of Novemnber, but the next season started a week or two later around the middle of November. Heck, the first 500-mile race was a road race run in California in January from 1963 until 1981, weeks before they got to Daytona! I say no to shortening the saeson, and no to shortening any races! What next, demanding that football reduce their games by one-quarter, or drop four innings from baseball games? Screw the short attention span crowd!
It was a good attempt, but sadly it falls short. I can understand a shorter season, but no road courses? That takes a lot of credibility away from the sport. Road courses offer the greastest technical challenge available.
I like your top ten points system except the disparity between 1-5 is too wide. Tighten that up and the cream will still rise to the top. Shorter races work for TV but not in the stands. Maybe there is a good compromise like qualifying on race day for the fan that wants a full day at the track. For the dude that wants a top 35, you can still have a top 35 points system that is based on but separate from the championship points system. Call it sponsor points and allow sponsors to move to a different car if they find themselves sitting at 36th in points with 10 races to go.
I agree with the bias-ply tires, dumping the chase(a 100 points between 1st and 2nd is too many, I remember when Rusty won 10+ races and having 8+ DNF one year that is not a champion), and the shorter season might help, right now their is too much racing at tracks that are not coming close to selling out so those tracks need to lose a race( some of this is due to scheduling if the track get dates when the weather is usually bad fans are not going to buy tickets.
Do not agree with the shorter race, can not drive 5+ hours to see 2 hour race.
How about points for 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 of race for top 5 or top 10 to help encourage racing.
How about getting rid of the Lucky Dog, and the Wave Around.
Your idea’s are great. A shorter season, going back to old favorite tracks like the Rock, doing less “cookie cutter” tracks and only one race per are great ideas. Might need to tweak the points systems, but it works in IRL and F1 so it should work at NASCAR.
But by far your best idea is to return to a “stock car”. I am an older NASCAR fan, so I loved it when they ran modified showroom cars in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I know for safety’s sake we can’t really return to those golden days, but your idea is very workable and in the long run will be cheaper for the teams to build and run.
Now, all we need to do is sit on France and make him listen.
“Recently there has been considerable consternation and hand-wringing in the plush corner offices of NASCAR’s Daytona Beach headquarters …”
If only it were true…
The NASCAR Management I see today is too proud (or stupid) to admit that the rating and attendance issues are their doing. Until I see Brian start a press conference with the words “I’m sorry”, I just don’t buy into NASCAR believing that they are fault.
Amen to your points. Sorry Rufus. Either NASCAR attends to the ADD or it will be back to a 3rd tier sport in a few years. (Not saying that is a bad thing.)
SIMPLE RACE WHAT IS MANUFACTURED TO SELL TO THE PUBLIC. LIKE WE DID IN 1963
Don’t worry Randy, I’m sure Jacob isnt awake yet. He’ll have something pointless to say… IN BOLD of course.
Matt, I agree with every thing except, shorter races. Back when the racing was good and the stand were filled nobody complained about the length of the races, it was only untill the Dog of a Car and the Case for the Boredom that things fell apart.
Let them sit on some beach somewhere and send them their checks. Just tell them to keep their damn hands off the sport, bacuse they do not have their Grandfather and Father’s Business Aptitude.
Wow Matt, you have sure given us lots to think about. While some of your readers agree and some don’t, we certainly have a healthy conversation going which is great. Now, if only BZF would listen…..
When I was reading the part about the ‘Chase Sign’ and the hearse, etc, I had an evil thought – I figured you were going to have BZF in the box with the sign and I was already chuckling. However, you apparently have more taste or should I say politically correctness than I do.
I’m looking forward to Part 2.
Some nice thoughts, but most of those proposals would go nowhere. I agree totally with dumping the Chase, and shortening races outside the big events and short tracks. However, there is no way they will shorten the schedule at this point, the new looks of the nationwide/2013 Cup cars are the closest we will get to “stock” cars again. You need road courses on the schedule, they offer a welcome break 2 times a year and test different driving skills. Also, for a selfish reason The Glen is the closest track to where I live. Finally, on the points system I don’t think it needs to be that radical. I say cut the points off at 25th place or 30th and then front load more points (50 point bonus for winning, 50 points between 5th and 6th, 50 points between 11th and 10th). I think a system like that will reward winning more and reward top-10 consistency.
“I don’t expect NASCAR’s thanks. Large sacks of cash, a Shelby Mustang convertible, a tanker truck worth of Corona, and a new Ultraglide will do nicely thanks.”
Matt, you’re getting old. There was a time when you’d have asked that it all be delivered by Heather Locklear. Of course, Heather’s getting old too.
“Gonna Pack My Ma and I’m Going to Pack my Amp”… from Bruce Springsteen’s “Cadillac Ranch” for those that are scratching their heads.
1. Shorten the season
2. Shorten the Races
3. Dump the Chase
4. Put the “Stock” back in “Stock Cars”
5. A biased Opinion
Looking forward to 6-10…
Just my opinion, but NASCAR wouldn’t need to shorten the season if they dumped the Chase. Back when all 36 races counted I never minded the season length. Now it seems like it takes for ever to get to the races that matter more, and then it’s another two and half months before it’s decided!
The points system should be changed but not so much to reward wins as it should punish DNFs less. A DNF is currently too costly.
I’ll compromise with NASCAR…keep the bloody CoT if we can have two races at North Wilkesboro again.
Shorten the season – It could stand to be a bit shorter, like 30-32 races, but I think 25 is too extreme. Even in the years considered the glory days (roughly 1985-1997 or so) there were 28-32 races. That’s a good number. I wouldn’t dump the road courses, but I agree with you that only short tracks should get two dates; I might throw in Phoenix too, I happen to love the racing there even if you don’t. I wouldn’t drop Indy either. I’d drop Talladega first because plate racing is an abomination.
Shorten the races – Maybe Pocono to 400 but I mostly disagree with this. Shortening the races would force lower ticket prices, which might be a good thing from the fan’s perspective, but probably not from the sport’s.
Dump the chase – Oh, definitely, but the points system you advocate is far too extreme. I agree that the current NASCAR base points system from 1975 is borderline retarded, mainly because everyone scores points. Like Gordon82Wins said, the big problem is that DNFs hurt more than winning helps. I don’t like Jeff Gordon, but I see no reasonable points system that wouldn’t have given him the 1996 title when he had the same number of top fives and top tens as Terry Labonte but eight more wins… However, awarding 500 points for a win would reward lucky winners (Reutimann/Logano/Mears/etc…) style way, way, way too much and put them in contention for top 10/top 15 positions no matter how poorly they run the rest of the season. Consistency still should matter some, but finishing in top positions should matter more than it presently does. I pretty much agree with Craig here. I’d cut points off at 25th, with a points scale of 200-160-130-115-100-90-80-70-60-50-45-40-35-30-25-22-19-16-13-10-8-6-4-2-1. Giving the second place finisher 80% of the winner’s points is more realistic than giving the second place finisher 40%. And I think Rusty deserved the 1993 title, DNFs be damned. He had 4 more wins, 2 more top 5s, the same number of top 10s, and only 3 more DNFs than Earnhardt… Not to mention that Earnhardt punting Rusty at Talladega is ultimately what derailed Rusty’s season and his injuries were probably partially responsible for some of his DNFs immediately afterward.
Put the stock back in stock cars – Steps in this direction should be made but 100% stock except for safety equipment is a bit extreme. Maybe go back to the early ’90s when the cars were at least marginally differentiable and somewhat resembling their street counterparts…
Bias-ply tires – Only if step #4 is done first, since I don’t think they would remotely work on anything resembling today’s cars, but you are talking about getting rid of the COT and stuff, so…
As usual in full agreement Matt, except the road courses—if anything, the Cup series needs 3 or 4 road course races. You can’t be considered “the best drivers in the world” unless you can do both disciplines. Throw Road America and Montreal on the schedule for the Cup series.
And for that matter, add a dirt track or two back in there. I would imagine Eldora would work well with some garage upgrades.
Matt said: “and a new Ultraglide will do nicely, thanks.”
Now what know what brand of lube Matt uses when he’s watching his old Tim Richmond tapes.
And I’m totally shocked he dropped Indy and not Fontana in his schedule. I’ve been saying on here that every major track in America deserves at least one race date so everyone can experience NASCAR local to them.
Shorter races are just fine but you run more than 1 series on race day. Instead of Truck and Cup on Sat and Sun run all practice and qual on Friday and run both shorter races on Sunday. The Networks get 2 races from the same cameras, crews, and announces which saves money, all weekends are now 2 day affairs (no 3 day weekends now) so the teams save money and the fans that arrive also save money from 1 less day away from home to catch all the action. Look at the big event weekends at a typical short track that runs multiple events in a 2-3 day span that include qualifying, heats, and features for a dozen or more divisions. It can be done.
I have to agree about putting the stock car back into the thing called the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.
The big draw in any sporting event is seeing the best of the best doing something fantastic with something ordinary.
We can all run, all throw a ball, swing a bat, and drive a car.
But what makes it a sport is seeing the athletes do it so much better.
NASCAR lost a lot when they took away that thing of people taking the very ordinary cars we all drive and doing something extraordinary with them.
It is what draws us. Nobody would watch baseball if everyone of us could smack a ball out of Yankee Stadium.
The obverse is also true. What challenge is there, what passion, watching these cars that have nothing ordinary about them anymore race.
They are now just expensive advertising gimmicks.
I like most of what you are saying. having said that the first thing you should worry about is King Brian using all his power, legal or other wise, to silence you. Seems like he recently said, this is our product in a take it or leave it manor.
I’d still keep the road courses, but I agree with shortening the season by having only one race per track, shortening the races and dumping the chase. the sooner the better. Heck I agree with you about the tires, too. Every time I hear them saying “we’re bringing a new tire to …”, it makes me ill. You know the racing will be awful then. I think there’s too much disparity in your points system though.
Dans Mom — Danica isn’t the answer any more than Jr winning all the races is. It’s about competition — between drivers and manufacturer’s — that was what kept fans interested for years. Gimmicks are not the answer.
There is such a thing as the law of supply and demand and NASCAR exceeded it, plus it offended most of us customers. Funny how it works — make your customers unhappy, what do they do — leave!
A problem with a lot of these changes is that NASCAR, ISC, SMI have built up such an infrastructure/put a lot of money in their new tracks that radical changes to the schedule aren’t possible. It was easier to close place like Rockingham and N. Wilkesboro someone else built them and they were gobbled up for their Cup dates. Look at Fontana, it took consistent record low attendance and that “weeper” disaster in 2008 to make it the sacrifice for Kansas. It might be a good idea to shorten the schedule but ISC and SMI won’t go for it.
Here was my response to an article from Amy Henderson last week about Nascars failing fortunes. It seems to fit the theme of Matts read today.
“The racing is not that great, with so much emphesis on points and the Chase, and the COT is a rolling turd.
Nascar is at the point Open Wheel was at in about 1995, and unless this sucker is blown up and taken back to its roots it will meet the same fate. Brain France failed to take the pulse of the core fans and now is reaping what he has sown. I have not sat down to watch a Nascar race this year, only occasionally catching a glimpse while channel surfing, and I feel like I am missing nothing. I come to Frontstretch to get caught up, and that is all I need now. It used to be I planned my weekends and vacations around Nascar, but thanks to BZF’s ineptitude and the fear of his toadies to point out that “His Emminence” has no cloths we are stuck with this debacle and sham of a racing series.
Get the “Stock” back in Nascar, get rid of the Chase and Top 35 rule, let the teams test all they want and ban the 7 post shakers and computer monitoring during testing and practice. Put the driving back into the hands of the drivers, and make the teams run stock blocks and heads with unlimited modifications. Bring back the rule that states that for a car to be Nascar legal for the track at least 500 copies must be produced and sold to the public. Do this and the fans can go into the showroom on Monday and basically buy what won on Sunday again.
Hell, the cars now are carbon copies of each other, and the engines and drivetrains are not stock but purpose built to a set of specs. (Thanks Toyota) Bring back stock and they will once again be twisting them to their limits, and when a team is 2 laps ahead we can wait with baited breath for the engine to expire into a cloud of blue smoke, and if not the rest of the teams will go back to the shop and tweak theirs just a little more for next week.
As it is now Nascar is just the failed IROC series on steroids, with the cars prepared by the teams instead of the sanctioning body.
R.I.P. Nascar. I’m glad I knew you back in the day when it was raw and real.”
More road courses because they take more skill than an oval. If you don’t agree with that you’re so pathetic that maybe they should all join the NHRA and eliminate corners totally.
Lets put the top ten NASCAR drivers into the Australian V8 Supercar series for a year. I’ll bet they don’t even finish in the top ten. Why? Because the Aussies don’t tolerate the dump-to-pass chickenshit drivers that NASCAR does.
I do not agree with the proposed changes in this article. Here is one easy fix that would more than likely improve TV audience size: Let ONLY one, MAYBE two broadcast networks cover the races. Half the time you can’t even figure out which channel the race is on. And some of these talking heads that NEVER SHUT UP and have NO EXPERIENCE covering motorsports need to go.
Why not go to a heat race format for qualifying? Two heat races of fifteen to twenty laps the day of the race. Then shorten the race distance by the same number of laps.
Can we refer to Danica as “Sliced Broad”?
Why does Paul Menard have more points than Brad Kesolouski?
Best move for NASCAR is get rid of Brainless Brian while there is still money to count.
1) Shorten the season. I can live with 30 races, maybe even 32, but remember there are only so many raceable weekends out there and we want this over and done with by Labor Day…Halloween at the absolute latest. Back in 73 (Parsons title) there were only 28 races. The schedule then swelled to 30 and then 31 races but was consistent at that number for over a decade. Remember, the more races the less signifigant each is. The less signifigant, the less attendance and lower ratings.
Football teams play what, 16 games a regular season with two bye weeks. Look at the NFL ratings. Less equals more.
I’m tired of this “change of pace” “more talent required!” road course argument. Does F1 run two oval courses a year to spice things up? Does the NHRA turn two events into mud bog competitions? Do the Daytona prototypes race at Bristol? Do the Monster Trucks run Road Ohio? Stick to what you do best.
I’m all for full fendered road course racing. It astounds me with the new Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers no one has started a stock based road course series to recall the Trans Am series in its glory days of 1966 to 71. I’d sure as hell watch if the races were run on Saturdays, used production based American cars and drivers devoted to the road course discipline. And if on an off weekend a Cup regular like Gordon, Stewart or Martin wanted to try thier hand at TA2, it sure would give us something to talk about, wouldn’t it?
2) Shorter Races- One half distance is too radical? How about two thirds. I’m easy. Ask any drunk blonde woman who ever asked me to dance. Let’s just admit the current race durations are way too long.
Read an interesting article this week about how 30 minute TV ads have replaced 60 second ads as the norm and now companies, big comapanies like BK are trying 15 second ads because research says that’s how long people actually pay attention. So what chance does a four hour stock car race have at winning over new fans. I’ll ask some folks if they watched the race and they’ll tell me they went to NASCAR.DUM and watched a three minute highlight reel, so yeah they saw what they needed to see.
You know this weekend at Talladega most of the field will just ride in a single file line. Some will even go all the way to the back to avoid the Big One. It’s only a race if people are racing. If not it’s a “Cruise”. I love cruising the old Trans Am, but I’m not going to pay to watch a cruise.
3) Dump the Chase- This point is beyond argument. It’s a cancer that has attacked the sport’s heart and brain. Yeah, I’d be behind BZF when he tossed that first shovelful of dirt to give him a good boot in the ass into the hole then I’d be shoveling like Hell.
Is my points system too radical? I don’t think so. But I’m open to debate. Bill B suggested my points system would pretty much hand the championship to the driver who won the most races. And that’s a bad thing? As long as that driver raced every week and didn’t crash out of every race he didn’t win, I’m OK with that. I mean isn’t the whole reason they saddled our asses with the Chase because Matt Kenseth won the title with only one race victory?
4) STOCK cars. (Sorry Jacob) Racing is supposed to improve the breed. The current generation of street muscle cars are Panthers. The Cup car is a platypus…and a damn ugly one at that. Stock, stock, stock…and I ain’t talking about ISCA preferred on Wall Street. If the late Dale Earnhardt could see the Chevys that they’re racing today my guess is he’d burn his dealership to the ground for insurance money.
5) Bias ply tires- Bias ply tires used to routinely explode? I guess I was absent that week. But I surely do recall the farce at the Brickyard when radials were failing left and right.
A 69 Vista with a 400? Sure I’ll get that sideways. Hell I used to pitch my mom’s 318 Aspen woodie wagon sideways through corners at twice the posted speed limit just to see if I could make Ed puke out his nose again. Bonus points if Donna from “That 70s Show” comes along with the Olds. Son, we were drifting back when Toyotas and Hondas still had pull starters.
Yes, I intended the seventh place driver get points. That one slipped by the editors too. Nice ccatch.
As for the top 35 rule, TV problems, start and parkers and the rest, wait till next week. I only have so much venom to drip per five pages.
Thanks all for the comments,
MPM- The Answer Man
quote—“I like most of what you are saying. having said that the first thing you should worry about is King Brian using all his power, legal or other wise, to silence you.”
I think thats been tried before, didn’t work then, won’t work now.
Now if the suits in the big shiny tower in Daytona would take some of these ideas to heart, maybe we could see racing again instead of just lapping for points.
You haven’t been listening Matt. Brian has been having meetings with fans, teams, manufacturers, networks. The overall opinion is the Chase is great, the schedule is great, the COT is great, the # of times Brian sticks it up the a** of everyone is great. Everything’s great!
Dont the GT classes that run with the Daytona Prototypes use production-based engines and chassis that actually look like street cars? But they race on road courses, not ovals, so they dont count, right?
MATT: “Football teams play what, 16 games a regular season with two bye weeks. Look at the NFL ratings. Less equals more.”
Funny – NASCAR used to be accused of trying to be like the NFL, which seems to have backfired considering race attendance and television ratings are suffering. Now, the NFL is trying to take that page from NASCAR’s playbook as they try to expand to 18 games.
In another eery parallel to NASCAR, football is starting to experience blackouts in certain markets – which would have been unthinkable a few years ago. And (regardless of how you feel about the game) there are rules changes and safety concerns in the NFL news these days that may fundamentally change the way the game is played. I think the NFL is not going to do much until they have their own ‘Dale Earnhardt’ tragedy to deal with.
There’s a cautionary tale in NASCAR’s recent past for the NFL to consider…
Shorter season? No.
Kill the chase? Kill the COT? DUH! Give us real cars – both on the track and at the dealership.
One important thing you miss – the television coverage sucks. I always hear fans at the track say there IS racing – but we never see it on TV because they never show anything except the leader.
Casual fans never get to see what racing is about because they never get to see any racing even when it’s there.
Kill the chase/cot abortion and fix the coverage and I think the resulting RACING will take care of the rest.
Bonus points if Donna from “That 70s Show” comes along with the Olds. Son, we were drifting back when Toyotas and Hondas still had pull starters.
I’ll take Hyde and Leo and go on an old fashioned road trip in the Vista Cruiser. Better yet would be Hydes sweet El “Frikin” Camino that he scored from Leo.
I agree with 90% of your ideas. And yes, lose the road courses, 2/3rds race lengths, less cookie cutters/more short tracks (mile or less), less races (~30), ‘more’ stock cars and motors, bias plys? what a concept. As far as the shorter season, have the champion crowned on labor day and then run a few ‘special races’ every couple of weeks through September & October (like Burtons all star show and things like that). With less saturation during the time when the NFL is starting then there may be more fan turnout.
You need to give up this B.S. proposition about dropping the road courses. We get it, you don’t like them. Unfortunately for you, you are in the minority. Most current NASCAR fans love the road courses and want more added to the schedule.
Constantly beating this road course drum is almost as tiring as you singing love sonets to Tim Richmond and whining about Darlington and Labor Day.
I was gonna disagree on losing the road courses,but when you said put back Rockingham and North Wilkesboro,then I am all 4 it. Good Read Matt!
Do you mean like the way you feel most people agree with you because a handful of your followers do?
But even throwing out accusing each other of bias based on our own opinions, your formula contradicts your argument of why road courses should be removed from the schedule. You’ve always stated that it was too expensive to build specialty cars for only two races per year. Cutting Daytona and Talladega down to one race each means building specialty speedway cars for only two races per year. I know, I know, you’re going to counter that restrictor plates won’t be necessary anymore with your new “stock” cars. However, these new cars of yours will make racing cheap enough and the cars more universal that the only modifications would be adding a second weight box on the right side and moving the fuel filler neck to the right side when they go to Watkins Glen. Not an unreasonable request to accommodate a large percentage of NASCAR fans. You are big on not turning your back on tradition. Road racing in NASCAR is as traditional as short track racing.
Besides, your new cars which put more emphasis on putting control back into the hands of the drivers would make for some of the best racing all season. Think of it as short track racing with 11 turns. Bent fenders and tires smoking. Let’s watch the best stock car racers in the world show what they can do.
Your proposal is a step in the right direction, but I’d modify it this way.
1. No track testing. If the teams don’t have notebooks on what works at every track, then they have no business being in the sport.