As 2021 looms, so does the implementation of the Next Gen car, new wheels, a revamped schedule and possible new venues, among other things.
For the most part, NASCAR fans have (surprisingly) been receptive to the changes that are on the way in what’ll be the biggest single year of change in the sport’s half-century-plus history.
But when NASCAR confirmed Sports Business Journal‘s Adam Stern’s report of Daytona Speedweeks being condensed to six days from over two weeks, the wrath of traditionalists rained down once again.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 4, 2020
Don’t get me wrong; the overwhelming majority of folks who chimed in on social media weren’t negative nancys, but there of course were still those sprinkled in there.
Think about it: what’s NASCAR’s goal been when talking publicly about the widespread change that’ll flood the sport? Cut down costs for teams, inject fresh ideas and practices into everyday life and shorten the schedule.
Everything NASCAR has done, whether it wound up having a net positive or negative effect, has been in the hopes of bettering the sport itself. Why would the sanctioning body voluntarily tear itself down?
Answer: it wouldn’t.
The Busch Clash this year was, to put it nicely, a you-know-what show. It’s been leaning that way for the last few years, and it needed a change.
Putting the race on the famed Daytona International Speedway road course under the lights (for the first time, might I add) is a good move, in short, because it hasn’t been done before and nobody knows what to expect. It’ll be a one off, with no consequences, and hopefully will be really fun to watch.
Shortening Speedweeks is a good move, too. I can’t speak for the camping aspect of things, as I’ve never gotten to participate (although I will someday, mark my words), but the shortening of things cuts down costs dramatically for teams (and by the way, fans!) and gives more bang for the proverbial buck.
Tradition is great, I get that. Just because something has been that way (and has worked) for decades doesn’t mean it can’t be manicured and polished to be the best it can be.
It’s an overarching point that’ll certainly be hammered home a plethora of times this year with talk of the Next Gen car, new 18-inch wheels, single lug nuts, the schedule, etc. But the point remains: change isn’t necessarily a bad thing when things need changing.
It’s OK to be stubborn to change, but it’s unhealthy and a moot point to resist it.