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Fire on Fridays: Changing Things That Need Changing Isn’t a Bad Thing

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.

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.

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About Davey Segal

Davey Segal
Davey joined the site prior to the 2017 season and currently serves as a multimedia editor and reporter. He authors the bi-weekly column "Fire on Fridays" and spearheads Frontstretchs video content. He's covered the ARCA Menards Series East and West extensively for NASCAR.com and currently serves as a production assistant for NBC Sports Washington.

7 comments

  1. Avatar

    Too bad that they have changed things that didn’t need fixing/changing as often (or more) as they have changed things that needed fixing/changing. Makes them look like a bunch of buffoons. I don’t remember anyone asking for the chase/playoffs, stages, etc.. And the things they need to change, like removing some 1.5 mile tracks and replacing them with more short tracks (read less than ¾ mile) they won’t because it would cost them money.

    • Avatar

      Bill B – now didn’t brain fart want the playoffs to make na$car more like the nfl?

      • Avatar

        Brainfart came up with the convoluted chase idea because, in 2003, when he took over from his dad, a driver, and a Ford driver no less, won the championship by winning only one race, but rattled off 11 top-5s and 25 top-10s, with an average finish of 10.2. That same year, Ryan Newman had 8 wins, rattled off 17 top-5s, and 22 top-10s, but had an average finish of 13.9. The fans screamed and complained about Kenseth winning the championship the way he did it and demanded a change., so Idiot-France devised the chase. It’s the old saying, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. The fans screamed, hence, France changed it.

  2. Avatar

    “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.” No, everything NASCAR has done has been in the hopes of attracting attention from people who don’t care about racing, at the EXPENSE of the sport itself. Now it is simply desperation time – regardless whether or not some of the next round of changes are for the better or worse.

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      The changes are to bring in more MONEY! And only that.

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        As soon as I read WJW’s response I was going to make the same comment, you just beat me by 3 hours.
        Greed. That’s what’s been driving all the changes.

  3. Avatar

    Less than 20 to go, yellow caution laps don’t count as raced laps.

    Yellow caution laps don’t count in between stages.

    I really can not understand how these are not implemented. The stage racing produces non racing laps. :faceplant: