NASCAR Screwed Up Again
Good, Bad and the Ugly: Preseason Edition
Over the years as a NASCAR fan I have gotten used to changes. The cars change, the driver lineups change and the rules change from year to year. But the changes before this upcoming season have been Silly Season on steroids! This year RaceTalkRadio is also undergoing plenty of changes and one of them is the return of the famous (Or is the right term “infamous”) “Good, Bad and the Ugly” feature.
Each week I will take a look back at what happened in NASCAR racing and give it my good, bad and ugly designation. Let’s start off by looking at the NASCAR rule changes and how they might affect the product we see on the track.
Thank you NASCAR for changing the rules and not allowing seriously damaged race cars back on the track. While you could have easily done this by making sure each car returning to the track was safe for competition, you at least understood the idea of not allowing damaged cars to ruin the flow of the race with too many debris cautions. Having a strict time requirement for repairs and requiring them to only be done on pit road might be overkill but this will cut down on the number of damaged cars limping around, getting in the way and dropping body parts.
When a driver retires it always hurts NASCAR because that driver’s fan base might give up supporting the sport. But when a driver retires at a young age at the top of his game then the sport has a huge loss on its hands. When that driver gets replaced based more on who the sponsor wants in the seat than the best available driver that is an added loss to the sport. Losing Carl Edwards at age 37 at the same time the sport has lost past champions such as Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon in back to back years is going to sting both at the box office and on the television ratings.
How NASCAR has determined a champion has changed many times over the years. In the early days of the sport money won determined the overall champion. A points system was developed during the start of the so-called “Modern Era” of NASCAR and each race was scored with the same number of points from 1975 until 2004 when the Chase Era began. Just a few years ago the point system was changed to “Simplify” how the races are scored. This year NASCAR has not only changed the Chase for the sixth time in the last 12 years but now races will be stopped to award “Stage Points.” While I applaud NASCAR for trying to find a way to get drivers to race harder each and every lap why do you need to remove all of the strategy from a race by throwing a caution flag to award “Stage Points?”
What do you think about all of the off season changes? Don’t just sit there if you have a comment about what you just read then sound off on our message board after the article.