NASCAR always has a ratings free fall once football starts. Seeing that the NFL season starts this week, what can NASCAR do to combat that in the future? – Damon P., York, Pa.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record and beating a dead horse … shorten the schedule.
I’ve come to the realization that doubleheaders just aren’t going to happen. And with the potential news of Pocono Raceway cutting back to one date, that eliminates the one doubleheader weekend on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. *whomp whomp*
.@NASCAR is tentatively set to announce the 2022 Cup Series schedule next week, per sources.
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) September 8, 2021
As long as NASCAR is locked into this TV deal (through 2024), 36 points paying races will remain on the schedule. So this idea is probably unrealistic. But starting the season in mid-February and ending it by the end of September or early/mid October still is a possibility.
The potential for an Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval/road course doubleheader is there. So is Charlotte Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway in the same week.
Will it happen? Doubtful. But the NFL is a machine, an unbeatable one at that. And other leagues realize that. NASCAR’s ratings will still be good, but it won’t ever beat the NFL with regularity. Even their preseason games and games in London that start at 9 a.m. ET get ratings that other leagues would dream of.
Regular readers know I’m a proponent of shortening everything. The races, the season, the spoilers, all of it. Nobody needs 500 miles at Texas Motor Speedway. Nobody needs 500 miles at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Crowned jewels are fine and should remain, but the longest season in all of professional sports is too long.
Make people crave the product. Part of the reason the NFL is so successful is because it’s short. Seventeen games, every Sunday, appointment viewing. You know your team won’t be playing all year long and will only have, at best, a few months to play.
NASCAR takes up 10 months out of the year. It’s too long, as is the 36-race schedule. If the television partners and sanctioning body don’t want to implement midweek races and weekend doubleheaders, shortening the season (not too drastic) is the way to go.
Did NASCAR get the penalty right by fining Kyle Busch $50,000? – Mike B., Port Tobacco, Md.
They had to do something, and the rule violated in the specific penalty was applied correctly. So, yes, by the letter of the law, they did indeed get it right.
184.108.40.206.a: "Any violations deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators, or others are treated with the highest degree of seriousness. Safety violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis" https://t.co/CWn8wRh0UO
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) September 7, 2021
“On a case-by-case-basis” is the key here, and in this case, NASCAR deemed the move in question from Kyle Busch a finable offense, $50,000 at that.
Should Kyle Busch be called to the NASCAR hauler for this? pic.twitter.com/uONT02RugP
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 5, 2021
It’s not the first time Busch has done something like this, either. I remember vividly a couple years ago at Bristol Motor Speedway (what year was it? Anybody remember?) when he was frustrated, drove his car to the garage and may have struck a fan walking around.
Regardless, this was a blatantly dangerous move. Fans and crew members alike assume the risk when on pit road. You have to always be alert for flying lug nuts, tires, debris and even cars. But those cones are there for a reason.
They’re there to slow the driver/car down to make a safe entrance into the garage. Thanks to FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass, we found out they’re also there for a legit reason: scoring.
The cones are there to encourage a wide turn into the garage so the transponder (which is closer to rear of car) crosses the timing line at the start-finish line and give driver credit for the lap. https://t.co/2Kb1YAGF3d
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) September 7, 2021
Busch blatantly ignored all those things, with safety being the paramount reason for the fine. Will $50K break the bank for KFB? Absolutely not. But it’s the principle more than anything else. Don’t put yourself and anybody else at an unnecessary risk just because you’re pissed off.
Kyle Petty said it well on the NBCSN broadcast after Busch’s interview, where he dropped two dirty words. Paraphrasing: apologize for the language, but don’t apologize for the passion. Busch’s passion and refusal to lose is second to none. That shouldn’t come at the expense of anybody’s safety, though.
Davey Segal is one of Frontstretch’s lead reporters, our Video Editor in charge of YouTube content and does a TikTok recap every week on his Twitter feed. Check out his latest work here.
📦 𝙎𝙊𝙐𝙏𝙃𝙀𝙍𝙉 𝟱𝟬𝟬 𝙍𝙀𝘾𝘼𝙋 🏆
…but with some exciting news!
😁 Thrilled to share that my weekly TikTok recaps will be posted on the official @NASCAR channel for the remainder of the 2021 season! 📲
— Davey Segal (@DaveyCenter) September 8, 2021
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