Posts Tagged ‘NASCAR opinion’

My NASCAR Opinion: To Chase Or Not to Chase

November 30, 2010

The Chase for the Sprint Cup began in 2004. It was started in response to Matt Kenseth winning the 2003 Championship with only one win. 2004 was also Brian France’s first year as head of NASCAR. And Nextel/Sprint was the new Series sponsor after Winston left. Suddenly NASCAR was no longer good enough to compete with the NFL, and changes must be made.

Having a playoff system in place was supposed to bring in the football fans who have a playoff system in place. That is why fans watch football, right? Because there will be a playoff at the end of the year. For stick and ball sports, which have divisions and leagues, playoffs are the only way to decide an overall champion. The divisions play each other, deciding on a division champion. The division champions play each other to see who will be the league champion. The two league champions play each other to determine the best team overall.

For NASCAR, there are no divisions. The different Series’ do not race against each other. They each have their own champion. So, why the need for a playoff system? To give the tenth place team more of a chance to win the championship? I have to ask why that would be exciting. To let the driver that is the best in the last ten races win the championship? Again, I fail to see why that would be exciting.

The fans went along with this chase the first year just to see what would happen. The media loved the concept of a playoff and they talk about only 12-15 drivers all year. Ratings have gone down each year since the chase began. And more so, the ratings for the chase races have been dropping each year, especially since Jimmie Johnson has won the last 5 in a row. The points were close for three drivers this year going into the finale at Homestead-Miami. Yet the television ratings were not any better for this last race.

So, why are fans not watching any more? NASCAR is looking to get the 18-25 male demographic to come over from NFL and watch NASCAR. At the expense of the die hard fans it once had. Race fans are very loyal to their drivers. You pick a driver and you stick with him. You may have picked Jimmie Johnson as your driver was a Rookie in 2002. Or added him to your list when he started winning all these championships. But for the die  hard fans, we already had our favorite. And if our favorite is not in the chase, why bother to watch the last ten races? To see if our favorite can win a race in the chase? Sure. Some of us do. But more fans would be watching the last ten races if there were no chase. The chase seams to be sending NASCAR on it’s way out. The media can talk all they want about how great the chase is and how great the racing is in the chase but it won’t bring in the casual fan, or the NFL fan. If you don’t care to see cars drive around in circles going very fast, you probably are not going to watch NASCAR racing.

But for those fans who already had favorite drivers prior to 2004, this chase is chasing them away. NASCAR has to decide whether they want to keep on with what the media likes, or find out what the fans think. Each year since 2005, ratings have been steadily dropping. And there is an even bigger drop in the ratings of the chase races. Yet NASCAR doesn’t know what to do. If you need to continually tweak the system to create more excitement, maybe that system isn’t working. Someone suggested dropping the chase next year. Due to what the fans want. If the fans don’t come back to watch the races each week, those fans who do not like the chase will admit that is not what is causing the ratings to drop. And NASCAR can have the chase back. But if most of the fans come back and watch each week, the chase is gone for good. I think that is a great idea. The chase races are not more exciting because twelve drivers have a chance to win. There are 36 different races in a NASCAR season. If there were no chase, a different driver would have won each year. I would think that a different driver each year would be more exciting than Jimmie for five in a row. Quite a feat. But you can’t really compare that to others who won the regular way.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.


In My Opinion: Phoenix

April 17, 2009

Welcome race fans! It’s time for My Opinion. This week NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series comes to Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona. I, of course watch everything that is televised over the weekend involving racing. That is, I watch all the practices, but may not watch Trackside or all the Speed Reports. Mostly because I don’t care for the commentary of those. Just my opinion.

But I do watch all the practices and qualifying. PIR is one of the shortest races in the Series. The race is the Subway Fresh Fit 500, but that is 500K, not 500 miles. It’s only 312 laps/miles, instead of the 500 laps at Martinsville and Bristol. In my opinion, it’s just a Nationwide race. But that’s another story.

The Nationwide drivers took to the track at 8:00 AM today. My time, Eastern, it was a reasonable 11:00 AM. #32 Burney Lamar was on the track and #60 Carl Edwards (a Cup regular) got into him, damaging both cars. Carl, of course, blamed Burney. Burney claimed he didn’t see Carl coming and went down in front of Carl. Now, Carl is a Cup veteran, driving in the Nationwide series. In my opinion, Carl should have been better than to run into Burney.

The Nationwide Series should be for up-and-coming drivers. And if drivers like Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch want to race with these guys, they should expect racing incidents like this one. David Ragan, also a Cup driver, had to get into the wall to avoid another Nationwide driver. And many times Kyle Busch gets mad and storms off when he doesn’t win all the races in Nationwide. Or if a Nationwide driver won’t let him by.

It’s my opinion that this series is for drivers who are still learning. And they will make mistakes. That’s why they aren’t in the Sprint Cup Series. The Cup drivers are veterans. And if they want to go and drive in the minor leagues, they should expect situations like that to happen. After all, they are playing with Nationwide toys and shouldn’t just expect the drivers to pull over and let them by. It’s their Series and they want to win. Every bit as much as Carl and Kyle do.

Yes, Kyle and Carl are better drivers. They will do better than the regular Nationwide drivers. They are Cup regulars, after all. And as such, they should be able to avoid such incidents. I actually like a Nationwide race where Kyle and/or Carl do lousy. And hate it when those two beat up on the Nationwide drivers to get a spot. They shouldn’t be taking out drivers in their own series. They should be better than that.

And now, in my opinion, I suggest that NASCAR take a good  look at the Nationwide Series. There are many drivers who depend on this series for their bread and butter. And deserve recognition. When Cup drivers run all the races in Nationwide, they will, by definition, do better than the series drivers. Carl and Kyle are first and second in points.  And in my opinion, that should not be allowed.

And the media should spend more time talking about the regulars, instead of the Cup drivers. They can talk about Cup drivers in the race the following day. I want to know about how the Nationwide regulars are doing. I have my favorites and want to know how they are doing. I don’t care how the Cup drivers are doing, even if they are faster. They SHOULD be faster.

They limit the number of races a Nationwide driver can race in Cup and still be a rookie contender. Can’t they limit the number of Nationwide races a Cup driver races in, and still qualify for the Chase? It’s been the “thing to do” the last few years. Cup drivers going for the Nationwide Championship. But is it the right thing to do? Not in my opinion. Pick a Series. And go for the Championship. Although, Kevin Harvick has two Busch Championships, but no Sprint Cup Championships. Carl Edwards has his Busch series Championship, and no Cup Championship. And Clint Bowyer has his Nationwide Championship, but no Cup Title.

Hmm! It doesn’t look like anyone will win both in the same year! But I sure hate hearing how well Cup drivers are doing in the Nationwide race. In my opinion, it’s like Tiger Woods playing against the amateurs just to prove he’s better than them. Duh! But that’s just my opinion.

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NASCAR Labor Day Weekend

August 13, 2008

Dear Race fans. I just found out  from Steve Waid of NASCAR Scene that the Historic Darlington Raceway will be hosting an event on Labor Day weekend. All us real NASCAR fans never forgave NASCAR for taking the Southern 500 from Darlington and giving the weekend to California. In my opinion, the Southern 500 was one of the crown jewels of NASCAR. Giving the weekend to California for the sake of marketing was just not right.

Well, Labor Day weekend Darlington will host the inaugural Darlington Historic Racing Festival. It will feature the legendary cars and drivers from a veriety of racing series, including NASCAR and Indy car, from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. Fans will get to see drivers and vintage cars that contributed to racing’s legacy. There will be two days of question and answers and autograph sessions with past drivers. And vintage cars will take laps around the tough, old 1.366 mile track.

Drivers Derrell Waltrip, David Pearson, Charlie Glotzbach, Bobby Allison, Buddy Baker, Marvin Pauch, Cotton Owens, Ned Jarrett and Rex White will be on hand for autographs and Q&A. As well as crew chiefs Leonard Wood and Wadell Wilson. And owners Bud Moore, Ray Fox and Raymond Parks. Also, radio announcer Barney Hall.

More than 100 vintage race cars will be there and many of them will run laps. Many car clubs will participate as well. Each club that participates will be able to take a lap around the historic track. The Darlington Historic Racing Festival will open for fans at 9 AM on Aug. 30 and 10 AM on Aug. 31. Tickets for the event are $15 for one day and $25 for the weekend. Call Darlington ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at

So, all you die hard race fans, make sure you are there, rather than at California. Let’s see how many fans go to see the race in California and how many attend this event. In my opinion, Darlington is the better choice.  No matter what Brian France thinks. California may be a good market, but race fans LOVE Darlington. And, if I may say so, Rockingham as well.

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In My Opinion: NASCAR Fans

February 22, 2008

    So, NASCAR is finally deciding that the drop in ratings wasn’t NBC’s fault after all. And maybe instead of trying to grab the football fans, who will watch when a football game isn’t on, they should look at the fans who are watching. I fell in love with NASCAR the first time I saw a race. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! And it wasn’t the Daytona 500 that I was watching. It was beautiful watching them go so fast so close to each other lap after lap. Rockingham was a wonderful little track. The Southern 500, the Brickyard 400, the Daytona 500 and the Coca Cola 600 were all very special. It isn’t even the Brickyard any more. It’s the All State 400 at the Brickyard. How sad.
Rockingham was a special track, but year after year, it was run at a time when it was raining in the Carolina’s. So, instead of putting it somewhere else, NASCAR just got rid of it. The Southern 500 at the track “too tough to tame” was a special race. Now we go to California because it is a bigger market. Not a better track, not better racing, but a bigger market. Who wants to watch follow the leader? We want to see racing.
So now NASCAR wants the core fan back. And is marketing to get us back. Marketing won’t do it. Put it back. NASCAR was great before the Chase and Nextel (now Sprint). It used to be thirty-six weeks of racing, instead of twenty-six. And the driver with the most points at the end wins! What’s so great about a tenth place team winning the Championship? Matt Kenseth was the last true Champion. In my opinion.
I hope NASCAR listens to the fans. But it’s too late for this year. Too many races are already starting later. So the drivers can’t see where they are going? Takes the specialness from the Coke 600. The theme song is better. All that screaming just turned me off. You’re starting the Chase at the Daytona 500! And with the past Owner points in place, new Teams don’t stand a chance. Even the famous Wood Brothers #21 can’t get into a race! Everyone should have to try equally as hard to get into a race. Those in the top 35 shouldn’t get to qualify in race trim and go slow just because they are guaranteed a spot, while the tenth fastest car has to go home. If Tony Stewart can’t get in on speed, too bad. He should have qualified faster. And if Kyle Petty can’t get in on speed, maybe he should retire. Sorry. That’s my opinion as a core NASCAR fan.
Personally, I will watch everything that is televised. And when I go to a track, I get there on Wednesday night so I can see everything that is going on on the track. Have the commercials during the caution, not when something is about to happen. If you want to be as popular as the NFL, don’t give us a playoff, have the commercials when nothing is going on, instead of during a play. I will continue to watch NASCAR, but Brian is ruining my beloved NASCAR. It wasn’t broken. Why did he feel he had to fix it?  Not only did he not get the football fans, but he chased away the NASCAR fans. Of course that’s just my opinion.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley, a core NASCAR Fan

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In my opinion-NASCAR

November 15, 2007

I’d like to talk about the new Busch Series. In 2008 it will be the Nationwide Series. In my opinion Busch was a proper name for it. It was the bush league, after all. Although lately it has been where the Cup guys could go and beat up on the Minor Leagues. Last year and this year a Cup Driver ran away with the Championship. And no wonder. They are regular Cup drivers. Of course they do better. It was supposed to be a place to learn how to drive the big stock cars.

Next year NASCAR is talking about not giving regular Cup drivers in the top 35 any points in the Nationwide Series. That way another Cup driver wouldn’t be able to win another Championship. After all, the Cup Drivers all claim they race in the Busch Series just to have fun and win. And I don’t have a problem with that. A Cup driver racing in the Nationwide Series would bring fans to watch the race. In my opinion Drivers should decide which Series they want a Championship in. I don’t think they should be allowed to go for the Championship in both.

In my opinion, if an Owner wants to have a Nationwide Series team, they should hire themselves a Nationwide Series driver. I also think that all Cup drivers should have to qualify on speed. Whether or not they are in the top 30 in Car Owner points. And, as long as I’m giving my opinion, I think they all should start from the rear. Now that would be a great race, in my opinion. Watching the big guys race to the front.

I liked the Busch Series back when Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. were racing each other. I still like them, but I now have different favorite Busch drivers. And I want them to win. I watch Matt and Dale, Jr. on Sunday, not on Saturday. A Busch Driver used to win Championships. At least Dale, Jr. and Martin Truex, Jr. did. That was before Cup drivers went for Busch Championships. In my opinion, it’s not right.

I watch several Series out there. And I like watching the up and coming race each other. I even have favorites in each of the Series. I watch   ARCA/REMAX, Hooters Pro Series, Busch East (formerly North), NASCAR (formerly Winston)West, The Craftsman Trucks, and even CASCAR. I love watching racing. When I go to a track, I go for the weekend. So I can see everything that’s on the track for the whole weekend. ASA was a great Series. What ever happened to it?

Anyway, in my opinion, all Nationwide Owners should get himself a Nationwide driver. Some say it’s the car, not the driver. Of course, the others say it’s the driver, not the car. If a Cup driver can win in your car, Mr. Owner, why can’t someone else? Or is the Nationwide car only good if a Cup driver is driving it? Attention Owners. There are excellent drivers out there. Find one to drive your Nationwide car. Just think what that would mean. All these Owners have Nationwide drivers in their Nationwide car! Then it would be a “Busch” race again. Not a shorter version of the Sunday race. Let the Cup guys race on Saturday, a handful at a time, but don’t let them take over.

In my opinion-NASCAR was brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I have many opinions. I hope you find this opinion makes you want more of my opinions.

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