NASCAR Racing: Dover

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. For the second race in the chase for the Sprint Cup and the 28th race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, they go to Dover International Speedway in Dover, DE. I find this concrete “Monster Mile” produces some great racing. I go to the race in May, but not this one in September. Maybe because I am not thrilled with the hype of the chase.

As you know, the chase was set after the race at Richmond International Raceway. The top twelve in points make up the chase and no one will be allowed into the top ten any more.  The first race in the chase was at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Clint Bowyer won the race when Tony Stewart ran out of gas at the White Flag. Denny Hamlin was close behind Clint in second.

After the race, all cars passed the post race inspection. But Bowyer’s 33 car was taken to NASCAR R&D center and was found 1/16 inch out of whack. He was penalized 150 points.They will appeal. But this brings up something about the chase. Ryan Newman is no longer very far away in points from Clint. And with the chase, will not be able to catch Clint.

So, I must ask the question, why is the chase good for NASCAR? In years past, drivers could race their way into or out of the top ten in the last few races. Now the champion is based on the performance of twelve drivers in the last ten races of the season. Instead of the best driver through 36 races. I fail to understand why that might be exciting.

And according to television ratings, neither do most fans. The racing was great at NHMS, but ratings were way down. Some blame the coverage. And I have to agree, it leaves something to be desired. I watch because I love watching racing. But the casual fan might not be as forgiving. NASCAR gives great hype about the playoffs beginning in New Hampshire. And no one cared to watch. I say it is the chase itself that is chasing the fans away. NASCAR wanted to bring in the football fan and so started their version of a playoff. But I really don’t think football fans will be watching the “roundy-rounds” just because there is now a playoff system in place.

NASCAR might better go back and try to get the regular NASCAR fans back, instead of trying to get football fans to watch. Football fans will watch football. And with the chase in place, the NASCAR fans of 31 drivers may rather be doing something else. It may be a great story line for the media, but if they want the fans watching, the last ten races would be more exciting if all 43 drivers were doing more than just being on the track. Why racing should be more exciting because the Cup title is given to one of twelve drivers and the 12th place driver has an equal opportunity to win, is beyond me. They are still racing in 36 races and there are still 43 drivers out there at each track competing for the win. Only with the chase, only twelve matter. Who would care to watch that? According to the ratings and the number of fans who come to the last ten races, not many.

In my opinion, the chase is chasing away fans rather than bringing them in. Is it more exciting to crown the champion of ten races, than the champion of 36 races? I don’t think so. Racing is racing. Each race is different. Each race is exciting. racing is exciting. Trying to make it more exciting with a playoff system doesn’t make it more exciting. It just cuts off fans of 31 drivers. In my opinion.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. Thank you for listening. I love NASCAR.

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