The Frontstretch: Speeding Through Summer: Your NASCAR Questions Answered by Summer Bedgood -- Thursday November 8, 2012

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Speeding Through Summer: Your NASCAR Questions Answered

Summer Bedgood · Thursday November 8, 2012

 

The more things change, the more they stay the same – and no, I’m not talking about the latest election!

Jimmie Johnson’s win on Sunday essentially solidified his stance as potentially the greatest driver of this era. You can bemoan the Chase system all you want to, but they’ve mastered two different points formats and several alterations to the Chase itself. This team knows how to analyze and adapt to any scenario that they are given, and they are effectively invincible because of it.

That’s not to say that Brad Keselowski hasn’t done his part in reining in the No. 48 team, but at this point how many of us actually, truly believe that anyone other than Jimmie Johnson will be holding that trophy in Homestead? I don’t know of many other than Keselowski fans.

Regardless, I think it’s a good idea to tune in for the last two races. Even if my ultimate is and has been Johnson, I still think what lies ahead will be a fun championship battle to watch.

Now, on to your questions:

Does not wrecking JJ make Kez the good guy or the bad guy?

Steve

I don’t see any scenario where it doesn’t make him the good guy. Keselowski doesn’t want to win the championship in a way that will make him out to be a dirty driver, and I would imagine most fans don’t want to see the title won that way, either. Johnson and Keselowski have raced each other aggressively, but cleanly.

I don’t understand this philosophy that these drivers are essentially wusses if they don’t use the chrome horn and send their competitors into the wall. If that’s the way it used to be, I’m glad that it changed! We don’t need to see another driver injured or worse because a minority of the people can’t pay attention without that threat.

On the other hand, it’s not like either of these people is a pushover. They both hold their own when the other gets mouthy, and they both race hard when it is absolutely necessary. Those who say NASCAR isn’t as tough as it used to be clearly aren’t watching the same races I am.

Steve, I’m not saying you were suggesting any of these things but I’ve seen people who have. The only people who think Keselowski was in the wrong for not wrecking Johnson are over-zealous spectators who have more of a place at a Demolition Derby than at a NASCAR track.

Kyle Larson, seen here after a victory at Gresham Motorsports Park is just one of many talented K&N drivers who are expected to move up the ranks in the next few years.

Are there more talented drivers coming up thru K&N and Late Model series than there will be sponsors in the next five to ten years? Cars and teams shouldn’t be a problem, but will there be sponsors to cover them?

Stephen

That is a great question, and my answer is rather sobering. I don’t think the amount of sponsorship is the problem, but rather the cost of being a sponsor. The cost of racing is astronomical, which means that the investment needed by a sponsor for the team to be even mid-pack, let alone competitive and up front where they’ll be noticed, is not doable for most companies, especially in this economy.

It is possible that the system as a whole will be more efficient by the time that some of these guys and gals are good enough to get up to the Cup Series, but honestly I don’t think that will happen for anyone that doesn’t have family money behind them already.

Additionally, sponsors aren’t going to be attracted to a system that is losing viewers. Though both attendance and TV figures have been up from last year, at times and we’ve even had some sellouts at places early in the season. So it’s not all bad, but it needs to get better. If we get back to the same numbers we were having 5-10 years ago, the cost of racing is reined in, and the economy improves, sponsorship won’t be a problem. Businesses will be lining up outside the door to get in. That’s a lot which needs to happen in a short amount of time, though, and a barring a miracle it won’t.

Can we add some different tracks? Tired of seeing highway driving. I want to see passing and more speed. Taking too much control away from the drivers. Let them race. That is why (I don’t watch) — not only the cost of tickets but cars all the same…

Rita

We have seen some schedule changes lately, but very few of them were ones that fans actually wanted to see. Honestly, this SMI/ISC stranglehold doesn’t really allow for new or different tracks to be added to the schedule. I’m with you — variety is a great thing! But the schedule has largely been set for the long-term and we shouldn’t expect any major changes in the Sprint Cup Series for a while.

The Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series, however, have a little bit of flexibility. Frontstretch.com recently broke a story about Nationwide Series racing at Trois-Rivieres next season in replacing the race in Montreal, and the Truck Series competed at Rockingham for this first time this season since its recent revival.

Honestly, I wish some of the tracks that the K&N Series competed in could make their way up into one of the top three NASCAR divisions. There are some great short tracks on that schedule and ones that I think fans and drivers alike would thoroughly enjoy.

Again, these things won’t happen for at least another several years. But if there is enough positive response to any changes, perhaps down the road we could certainly have a diversity of tracks on the schedule.

Connect with Summer!

Contact Summer Bedgood

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Carl D.
11/08/2012 08:36 AM
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“I don’t think the amount of sponsorship is the problem, but rather the cost of being a sponsor.”

And that, Summer, is the single biggest issue Nascar needs to address. You hit the nail on the head.

Bill B
11/08/2012 09:02 AM
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I’ll continue to bemoan the chase if it’ all the same.
Thank you. Come again.

john
11/08/2012 10:54 AM
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The Trucks and Nationwide are, thankfully, slowly heading back to new/interesting venues. While it sucks that Gateway and IRP are off the schedule, a street course like Trois-Rivieres is an EPIC test for these teams. Having Road America and Watkins Glen there is great too. I just wish they’d add another couple of short tracks.

Trucks are apparently going back to one or two other short tracks next season, which can be ONLY a good thing, AND the hot rumour right now is Trucks at Mosport International next year! I’ll be there with my camper for sure.

Meanwhile, the Cup series continues to bore on…

john
11/08/2012 10:55 AM
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Oh, and both feeder series run at Iowa too, one of the truly best ovals in the country. Shame we’ll probably never see Cup there.

Hank
11/09/2012 11:54 PM
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Talledega is losing fans in the seats and viewers on the screen.

What else is there to say?