Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Let's get NASCAR fans' attention again

   Let’s try to get some people’s attention.

   I’m a history buff and certainly appreciate tradition, particularly in NASCAR. The importance of tradition ranks as high among racing fans as those in baseball in my opinion.

   But there is also a time for a change. And for NASCAR a big one needs to be made now.

   It’s time to shorten the NASCAR Sprint Cup season and shorten the races.

   Yes, that’s right. Cut the season and cut the race lengths.

   I compliment NASCAR on the changes it has made in recent seasons to cater to fans’ desires, in making the racing safer and better, in trying to enhance excitement through rule changes. I’ve never been a proponent of the Chase format, but I give NASCAR credit for at least trying something.

   Let’s face it. Even with the Chase enjoying its closest points race since its inception, TV ratings are still dropping week after week.

   The racing product is good – last week’s Talladega race was one of the better ones I’ve seen from start to finish in my 13 seasons and the race still lost almost a fourth of its audience from last season.

   Is it football? Maybe so, but if it is, then something has changed because NASCAR and the NFL have shared Sundays for decades.

   What I think has changed are fans’ attention spans. In an Internet, Twitter, Facebook, photo-phone world, four-plus hour events are taxing people’s patience.

   Everyone who has watched races have heard drivers saying things like, “We were riding around biding our time,” or talking about “staying out of trouble until we could race for it at the end.”

   Fans – and media – rate Truck and Nationwide series races typically better than Cup and that’s in large part to their shorter length. Cup races have become in large part endurance events rather than a race to see who is truly fastest or has the best car.

   My solution? Cut the Cup schedule by six races so the season ends as the NFL season starts. Every race in Cup should be 400 miles/laps or less except for the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600.

   There are two choices here: Give up and wait the situation out and hope it gets better on its own or try again with a big swing at big change.

   You want to produce better racing? Create more of it by removing all the riding around.

50 comments:

  1. Shorter seasons and shorter races are dumbing down the competition. Dumbing down never works. The sport is not supposed to knuckle under to the ADD lobby, it is supposed to challenge the fans to become smarter and to lengthen their attention spans.

    The reason drivers ride around so much is not the distance of the race, it's the point system's obstinate refusal to reward most laps led and winning the race. Change the points system to require wins and most laps led and you'll change the whole mentality back to going for the lead regardless of lap.

    BGN and Truck races objectively speaking are not better than Winston Cup - the shortness of their distances cheats the fans out of different outcomes and the points-racing mentality is worse than in Cup because the shortness of the races forces drivers to put points ahead of competition sooner - the fear of losing points is greater because there's less time to erase a gap.

    400 miles is an absolute joke. 500 miles is a superior test of machinery and driver and produces more passing and different outcomes. By far the most graphic refutation of the shorter-is-better myth is Pocono versus the Brickyard 400 - Pocono's 500 milers produce some excellent racing while the Brickyard has but one memorable race in its entire history - 1994.
    Not only must NASCAR not shorten races, it needs to LENGTHEN its 400 milers to 500 miles. 500 milers have consistently been of superior competitive depth than 400s.

    Cutting six races from the schedule means cutting the nose to spite the face. The length of the season is not a liability and never has been. On the contrary the sport has needed to lengthen the season to put a stop to needless speedway fratricide. People lament losing a race at Atlanta; that would not happen if NASCAR simply added two or three more races to the season.

    To produce better racing, stop aiming for the lowest demoninator - make changes to force drivers to fight harder to win and lengthen races and the season because it is longer than it better.

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  2. You lost me when you said "Pocono's 500 milers produce some excellent racing."

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  3. Monkeesfan obviously has been a fan of NASCAR for a long time because he still refers to it as the Winston Cup. I enjoy his passion for the sport and his comments but I feel that this article is right about shortening the season. NASCAR is the longest season obviously and has the longest events. ADD is definitely a huge part of our culture now and we need to change some things to keep peoples attention. There is a reason baseball is no longer the national past time, its because its very slow, very little action and games are 3 hours long. MNF recently beat the World Series in ratings...that says a lot right there.
    Even Denny Hamlin this week stated that the season is too long and guys dont get to spend a lot of time with their families like they want to. Even a guy who doesnt have kids or a wife was stating that he wished he could do that as well. Now when you have the drivers, fans and journalists saying shorten the season...maybe they are on to something.

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  4. The "Lucky Dog" and "Wave Around" Rules have made it far easier to gain back a lap that was lost, and created a disincentive for drivers to race hard to stay on the lead lap. If drivers and pit crews can't work hard enough to keep their cars on the lead lap throughout the race, then maybe they don't deserve to race with the leaders. Yes, sometimes things happen that are beyond the control of the race team, but "Thats racin'". Get rid of those two rules and we will see some of the "polite" driving go by the wayside.

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  5. It's more than a race, It's a lifestyle.

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  6. From a long-time fan. I am OK with shortening some of races and modifying the points system to reward leading laps, qualifying well, and high finishes; but, definitely not OK with shortening the season. Remember when they used to race 50-60 races in a year! My vote is to start the season in Jan at the warm climate locals and end Thanksgiving weekend. This would allow some very deserving tracks to get a race (or two, in the case of great traditional tracks that have been reduced to only one).

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  7. I just saw in another blog that Talladega came in third of all cable programs last weekend, behind NFL & NBA. Although I realize that the Chicken Little Syndrome has infected a lot of folks, when seen from the perspective of "tough Times" and folks working more than one job to make ends meet, I see this ratings issue as temporary. And some of it may just be that the previous several year's extraordinary ratings were a fluke.

    Just everyone stand up, stretch, take a deep breath, and see what happens. So what if the ratings decline a bit, it just means less income for NASCAR, which will probably translate into smaller purses, and maybe it's time to "downsize" a lot of things.

    Personally, I'd like to see 35 cars in a race, so that the Start & Park guys have less of a chance to make the field. The season should start in March and be done before the World Series starts. Race lengths are OK, but let's not go to a track more than once a season to keep each race "special". Get rid of the road courses and back to traditional circle-track racing (that saves the cost of specialized cars that aren't easily adapted to other tracks).

    Every 5th anniversary of NASCAR, try to include some of the early tracks, if they're still around - sort of a "History Circuit" season. I'm sure Rockingham, N.Wilkesboro, and others, would create some great racing. What would you think of "throwback" cars that look like the classics, but built on today's chassis? Wouldn't that be fun! Gimme that high-wing Plymouth, or the Monte Carlo, or the old Thunderbird - good-looking cars with that nostalgic flair.

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  8. As for the TV broadcasts, how about they stop running the ticker at the bottom showing other sports scores. Doing so just tells the viewer there may be something better to watch somewhere else. I don't see the NFL showing a ticker of the NASCAR leaderboard.

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  9. jamesutter - how could I lose you for stating a fact?

    kantnockdahustle - "ADD is part of our culture and we need to change some things to keep people's attention." ADD is an excuse, and dumbing down the sport is not a viable answer. MLB's problem is not that the games are three hours long, it is the general contempt people have for the system where the players seemingly have no accountability and there is far too much spending instead of having a hard cap on spending.

    Denny Hamlin's opinion of the length of the season is not to be taken seriously because it's the game, not the players, that matters most. The people who say shorten the season need to better exercise their attention spans.

    I agree the sport needs changes - what it needs is to make the racers go for the lead like they do at Talladega - the sport's goal in this regard needs to be forcing them to fight for the win no matter what lap it is.

    DMorrisPE is also wrong - cutting tracks to one date doesn't make that one date special, it cheapens the track and denies the sport the extra revenue of more dates.

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  10. So according to Monkeesfan, the races need to be longer, there needs to be more tracks and there needs to be a longer season... Yeah, that's the answer LOL

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  11. David R. - Great comment and wonderful suggestion. Wish I would have thought of too.
    Good thinking!

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  12. I don't know about anyone else, but if I drive 12 hours and pay premium prices for tickets to the Bristol night race, I'm not going to be happy to see a shorter race. I'm sure the hotel isn't going to charge less for the room, or Nascar isn't going to cut their ticket prices 20%. Those ADD members of the audience can watch the NHRA...perfect for short attention spans, or watch the timed road course races. Personally, I stopped watching at richmond. The season ended with Harvick leading the points. everything after that is some media hype Nascar 'invented' for the media to salivate over because it's simple.

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  13. Pocono produces exciting racing? When? I've been following the sport over 25 years and I really can't remember a single exciting Pocono race. I wish the track was gone from the schedule completely.

    Besides that 500 miles is not a 'superior test of machinery' anymore. Engine and mechanical failures are a relatively rare thing now. If the races where shortened to 500 miles the engineers would be turning up the wick on the engines more knowing they had to go 100 miles less.

    500 miles are to long except for the Daytona 500 and the Coca Cola 600 or whatever it is they're calling it now. Everything else needs to be either a timed event or 400 miles or less.

    And yes we could use less races, there is no need to go to many of these tracks twice a year.

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  14. NASCAR should look in a mirror, or maybe a rearview mirror. They might just see what made this sport great. It was not competing against the NFL, MLB, NBA or the chinese ping pong championships. It was 'RACING'.
    Now, they are much more interested in the 'market share' than in the racing.
    And in typical democrat fashion, they blame it on the fans. It's not us stupid.....it's you! When the market share is more important than the product......you lose support. You old guys like me, remember what fired you up about Sunday in years past. In my case it was not the stick and ball sports, but stock car racing. If you get caught doin' that now........Monday you get fined. Not rocket science lads, it's the racin'..........

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  15. @David R Noble: ESPN shows that ticker during all events. During NASCAR events the standings are shown on the ticker on the other ESPN channels (and ABC if it's Saturday). They're a sports news channel, CNN never removes their news ticker, why should ESPN?

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  16. A shorter race means getting up on the wheel and earning your check! Economics are a factor in 2010/2011 and the people are obviously not watching the races on TV, not going to the track and NASCAR is loosing a lot of money.

    For me the best value is a truck race or BGN race because the length is just right and it provides good action and lastly a more intense strategy. Too many races and the whole deal needs a serious no BS overhaul that oh by the way keeps in tradition of what made this sport great.

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  17. For NASCAR to continue to thrive and prosper they need to drop back and take a good look at their product and their devotion to the "allmighty dollar". The cars now have become nothing more than rolling billboards. It's all about the sponsorship money. I think NASCAR could care less about whether or not they sell out races because it's all about TV revenue. If you looked in the background last weekend at Talladega you saw lots of fans dressed as empty seats. If you can't sell out such a race as that then you have no chance at most of the tracks you visit. Why can't NASCAR get a split screen during commercials so if (rather when) something happens during the break you can see it live? Reason is advertisers don't like it because no one would pay attention to their commercials. I've been following NASCAR for 50 years and here's my suggestions to restore it to glory.
    1. Do away with this chase format as it exists. How can Jeff Gordon, with no wins, rightfully say he belongs in the chase when Jamie McMurray wins 3 of the biggest races all year and is not there? Take the top 12 in race wins, then next top points person that did not make that cut.
    2. Parity ain't racing! These cookie-cutter cars are boring! Make the cars fit close to a template that approximates a stock vehicle. If the manufacturer doesn't make that model in a 2 door then race it as a 4 door template.
    3. Give at least 50 more points to winner than second place finisher. Makes winning more valuable.
    4. Pay points ONLY for top 25 finishers. These cars out there running around that are 50 laps down don't do anything for the product.
    Well, what do you think?

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  18. Here's my 2 cents worth.......Go back to bias ply racing tires. The radials are safe but so is and was the bias ply tire, just a different feel for the track and it will lower cornering speeds and not make the cars so aero dependent on down force.

    Now you can get rid of the junk aero packages and go back to STOCK bodies, like they are producing. Example: In 1971 or 1972. The only thing fabricated on those cars were the 1-1/2 inch tall spoilers. They had to run factory sheet metal with minimum modifications for wheel well openings.

    I like someones idea of going back to the older tracks that NASCAR did away with and come out with a throwback body style to run at several of the races. Either body styles from the late 60's or from around 1971 or 1972. It will keep body fabricators busy.

    Get rid of the boat anchor Toyota. They don't belong there and they are the reason I no longer attend races or give any money to NASCAR after being a fan of theirs since 1971.

    Media coverage is way overboard. Way too much hype and hoopla before each race and on several stations yet to boot. Just ONE half hour pre-race show on the same network as the race....that's it! Also a half hour after the race.....that's it!!!!! Also go with just one hour of coverage during the middle of the week to recap and intro next race...No more! No other NASCAR spin off shows need to be on.

    Do away with the chase and go back to the regular race schedule.

    Eliminate ALL but ONE of the off weekends from the schedule completely!!!

    To go, or not to go, to fuel injection or keep a Carburetor? Well.......anyone can make an engine with FI....but it takes BRAINS to work and make an engine go fast with a carb!!!

    NASCAR free since 2004!!!!!!!

    Ask yourselves......Can one race team/brand dominate in NASCAR that long in this day in age...LEGALLY?

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  19. Tony, you obviously didn't watch Pocono in recent years else you'd have seen the five-abreast racing up front, the three lead changes in one lap between Montoya, Gordon, and Hamlin back in August, and so forth. Pocono is third all-time in the sport in per-race average number of lead changes. You've been following the sport for 25 years and you don't remember Pocono races from 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2006, and the last two seasons? Those were spirited races.

    500 miles is indeed a superior test, lack of mechanical failures or not. It is never too long and putting qualifiers ("except the Daytona 500 and World 600") discredits your argument. If it's good enough for Daytona, it's good enough for Pocono, Dover, Kentucky, etc.

    500 miles is the best racing - that is fact, not opinion.

    Dirk is flat wrong - shorter races do not mean more intensity, they mean more aversion to risk.

    jamesutter obviously can't refute the argument as he reverts to sputtering mockery instead of credible analysis.

    The fact remains the season is not too long and the races need to be lengthened.

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  20. That's because stating Pocono has great racing is a mockery LOL

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  21. I love when people imply that Hendrick is cheating. They may push the envelope, but they don't cheat. They scout well and build good cars, they also share information between four teams which helps tremendously.

    In regards to Toyota and how they "don't belong", no one has ever properly explained this to me. NASCAR is supposed to be about what Americans drive, every third car in Charlotte is either a Toyota Camry or a Toyota Yaris, that says to me that Toyota belongs there.

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  22. kantnockdahustle said... There is a reason baseball is no longer the national past time, its because its very slow, very little action and games are 3 hours long. MNF recently beat the World Series in ratings...

    Come on...NFL games are just as long if not longer. Very little real action. One national reporter told us that in a regulation 60 minute game there are only 12 1/2 minutes of actual play. Each play lasts an average of 7 seconds. There are nearly 3 times the time spent in their huddling than the actual play action.And that does not count the time going back to the scrimmage line before and after the huddle. Then you have the continuing time outs along with stopping the clock by running out of bounds.

    Then darn if you don't have a break with no action between the 2nd qtr and 3rd qtr.

    And you find this entertaining?

    And we all know sometimes it takes 15 minutes to play the last 2 minutes.

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  23. at Bobby,

    I suppose that tickers are here to stay regardless if we like them or not. Personally I look at them sometimes.

    But what I do despise is while listening to Chanel 128 on Sirius radio and these knuckleheads spend 15 minutes or more discussing football or basketball or baseball. 128 is supposed to be NA$CAR. If I want to heasr schit about a ball sport I'll go to that chanel.

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  24. jamesutter - stating Pocono has great racing is a fact; your denial is a mockery because it has no factual basis to support it.

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  25. Some of these people, like Larry and David, are all over the map here. Why should the cars "approximate a stock vehicle?" They're racecars. "They're cookie cutter." So what? How many times must it be pointed out that form follows function, so naturally they're going to be "cookie cutter."

    To Larry's question of why they can't do the split-screen during commercials - the sponsors told NASCAR not to do this because it was costing them ad time and ad revenue. The problem is the rights fees they have to pay; they have to make up that money with ad buys, and that's where all the commercials come from.

    Larry is only half-right about the points - the winner's bonus needs to be 125 or more, and the bonus for most laps led needs to be 100, to guarantee the leader of the most laps outpoints everyone behind the winner. And the entire field warrants paying some points.

    David is delusional about going back to stock bodies. The fact is stock cars are not hand-built anymore; they're computer-built, and they're too brittle to go back to stock bodies. Not having stock bodies was never the problem to begin with.

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  26. To Bobby

    Big Bill Frances' concept back in the day was focused on American sedans. Yes, a Jaguar won an early NA$CAR race but Big Bill saw to it that it wouldn't happen again. And it didn't.

    Both the Bill Frances'...imo...would not have allowed a Japanese company to run their products on his tracks. Personally I stopped attending when the Toys appeared but I do watch on TV. I'm not a newbie. I watched the ol Beach Races at Daytona.

    As far as Mr Rick the Felon and his teams...if they haven't cheated then why have they been fined and/or suspended so many times?

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  27. So monkeesfan thinks opinions are facts? Ok,heres another fact then based on his logic. Monkeesfan is a moron. Indisputable I say. Better go buy a dictionary and lookup "fact" and "opinion" there sunshine.

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  28. To Monkeesfan

    I don't know a single fan who has admitted liking the COT. All I hear within my circle is 'they should go back to stock bodies'. The teams did that up into the 80's. I can't recall when they got away from that.

    Are you saying that the cars raced in the Grand National asnd later Winston Cup races were not race cars?

    Just because the COTs are computer-built doesn't at all mean they have to remain so. Personally I would like some resemblance of what Ford or Chevy or Dodge actually looks like.

    I heard recently on Sirius 128 that all 4 manufacturers are having discussions with NA$CAR concerning the 2012 season and doing away with that stupid looking COT. The car makers are wanting NA$CAR to run 'stock' bodies. I hope these meeting abode well.

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  29. If you think about it, the only car the race cars are pretending to be that is built in the United States is Toyota. The others are built in Canada or Mexico.

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  30. Here, everyone with differing opinions on this subject, go to the link and look around, the year is 1968,

    http://espn.go.com/racing/schedule/_/year/1968

    they did not open with Daytona and they raced from November to November something like 49 races in a year. Some of those races were during the week and there were times that drivers raced on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays. Everything was done on the same day, practice, qualifying, heat races, and the main race. I've been following Nascar and racing in general since I was old enough to remember because Dad always listened to the races on MRN, did not require stopping what you were doing, you could be driving, relaxing, building a house, working on a car, throwing a baseball around, whatever... there have been times that I would gladly listen to the radio broadcast and turn off the sound on the TV.... the field consisted of 38 cars back in the seventies and early eighties until it was extended to 43 cars

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  31. mrmonday - mocking instead of offering some factual rebuttal won't win the argument.

    63 fastback - I'm not defending the COT; what I'm attacking is the premise that the cars are uncompetitive because they're "cookie cutter."
    Not only am I not saying the Grand National era cars (1960s-70s) weren't racecars, I'm saying that that history was important to why these cars look alike today - form following function.

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  32. More to 63 fastback - The reality is the cars are going to look alike, period, because of form following function. You can't go back to stock bodies because they didn't work. They got away from "stock" bodies in the 1960s because they weren't safe, and by the 1970s the car bodies were all acid-dipped to make them lighter. By the 1980s it had become impractical to maintain the myth of running stock bodies. You can't go home again here.

    As for the Bills France, the revenue Toyota brings to the sport absolutely would have made them allow Toyotas to race in the 1970s or later.

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  33. If you want better racing -

    1 - Plate the cars on all tracks.
    2 - Go back to the bodystyle of long snout, flush "snowplow" airdam, chopped roofline with roof blade, and big blade spoiler with wicker; do keep the COT back deck with bumpers lining up.
    3 - Abort the Chase concept and go to the Latford Point System with the race winner bonus increased to 300 points, 175 for second, etc. and the most laps bonus increased to 100 - i.e. the winner receives 300 points with 100 points to the leader of the most laps; this makes the championship mathematically require most wins and most laps led.
    4 - Lengthen 400 mile races to 500 - Fontana, Las Vegas, Dover, Michigan, Chicago, the Firecracker, the Brickyard, Kansas, Miami - all need to be lengthened to 500 miles, the superior test of racer and car than 400 miles. Present 500s elsewhere must stay at 500.
    5 - Force the contraction of multicar teams and the end of engine leases; open up to allow teams to build their own engines.
    6 - Add the second Vegas race BS wants to January; put the Atlanta 500 back on in early April; drop the two non-points races (Clash and All-Star Race) and put the money used into the purses.
    7 - Take money out of the point fund and put it into the direct purses.

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  34. 1. the plate all the races? How did New Hampshire turn out on that one?
    2. Lengthen the races? yeah that's right, we need more audience to disappear.
    3. OPen up teams to build their own engines. You going to pay for their costs?
    4.Holding races where people do NOT attend does not help the sport.
    5. So you want to add to race purses presumably to increase competitiveness but get rid of the all star race that pays the biggest one and produces best racing.
    6. A grest finish to a race does not equate to "great racing." I have been to most Pocono races in person since 1998 and none features "five wide for the lead." Ever.

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  35. To monkeesfan...

    I know the following is a fact because I was there. Up until 1987 Bill Elliot would come to the Atlanta Ford Assembly Plant twice a year to get raw-metal bodies to take and modify them to NA$CAR's requirements. That #9 TBird looked like the street versions for several years.

    What I was referring to with 'stock' was not meant to refer to show window stock. I would prefer for NA$CAR to use 'stock' bodies...(please notice the quotation marks) to distinguish between the makes while they're on the track. If you didn't know which driver drove what number or color scheme there's no way to tell a Ford from a Chevy.

    Revenue? From Toy's entry? LMAO. Show a link to this statement or other wise it's just your opinion. I can speak for myself and 4 others personally and we all have stopped attending the Shows..races...because of Toy. Now I know that won't even create a ripple on the NA$CAR's bottom line but I believe...my opinion...there are many others who despise the Coming of Toy.

    I like the 'form following function' remark. How true. Seems like every designer is following BMW...lol.

    Bottom line is, NA$CAR is in trouble. Let the manufacturers race what they want asnd will build. Bring back 'what wins on Sunday sells on Monday. Truthfully, back in the day...when I thought I had to trade every year...I drove for the year whatever Brand won the Daytona 500. Hence my user name...lol. I hated when I had to show my face in a Plymouth...lol.

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  36. I agree, at least in part, with Monkeesfan - I've been going to Pocono for 20 years (and following the sport for 40, btw) and the racing there is great. Seeing 43 cars crowded together on a 1/2 mile, one-groove race track, where you have to spin someone to pass doesn't make for good racing.

    I welcome Toyota in the sport, and think it would be great if we had more manufacturers here - how about Honda, Mazda, MB, BMW? You want to be the "best in the world" you need to invite all comers.

    If you want to shorten the races - make sure that ticket prices are reduced, prize money is reduced, and all the rest that goes along with it.

    And as to "cars that look like street cars" - my car has a WING on the back, not a spoiler...

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  37. Why travel across the country for a 2 hr. race? I pay anywhere from 50.00 to 200.00 a ticket to watch NASCAR. I expect a full product. Iam also a UFC fan and travel for that also. Their fight cards are like 4-6 hrs long. I get what I pay for.

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  38. jamesutter -

    1 - "How did New Hamsphire turn out on that one?" It didn't change that much; if anything it saw a bigger pack battling up front in the first ten laps than it usually sees (people forget the 23-car battle for third that opened that race). Plating New Hampshire did not hurt passing. Plating the other tracks can't hurt passing; it can only help.

    2 - Longer races aren't chasing anyone away.

    3 - The factories are paying Hendrick et al for the costs of building engines; they darn sure can help Stewart-Haas, RPM, etc. open their own engine shops.

    4 - "Holding races where people don't attend does not help the sport." Meaning what? That there are demographics that have races that really aren't that good as racing demographics? If you're trying to make that point, you're right.

    5 - The All Star Race is a flat failure. The racing is universally forgettable and the money used is more needed in the purses of point races.

    7 - You're a liar claiming Pocono does not have five wide up front. The fact is it does, and I go every year and see it.

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  39. 63 fastback - you keep missing that stock bodies look alike because form follows function - all NASCAR did was write this into the rulebook to make the job easier for the inspectors.

    "Revenue? From Toyota's entry?" Yes - in advertising, rights fees paid the sanctioning body, and direct backing of teams.

    The multifaceted bottom line is -

    1 - the manufacturers priced the sport beyond reason in the 1960s and NASCAR had no choice but to take over car specs and the combination of costs and idiotic performance levels requires NASCAR to say No to the factories beyond the performance levels of present. If anything NASCAR has been far too permissive with the manufacturers.

    2 - the myth of stock bodies that were discernably different from one another began dying in the 1970s and should have been declared dead by the 1990s. People need to stop pretending that the sport can go back there.

    3 - "NASCAR is in trouble." It's in trouble for reasons opposite the popular assumptions - there is too much, not too little, technology, too little restriction, and too much emphasis on not losing instead of outright winning.

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  40. Monkeesfan-it is no use arguing with someone who does not understand the difference between a fact and opinion. Just because you THINK racing is great at Pocono does not make it fact. Since you cannot or will not understand the difference,anything you say afterwards can only be construed as subjective and really is pointless arguing with.

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  41. mrmonday - don't lecture me about differentiating between fact and opinion because I know the difference between the two. The fact that Pocono sees five-abreast racing, the fact it is third all-time in per-race average number of lead changes, make the racing great there. That you can't rebut this argument is shown because now you're lecturing about understanding a difference that you're not understanding. If you want pointless, look in the mirror - and start changing your opinions.

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  42. Big fan here but I consider each race the "Commercial 500". I just DVR the races and fast forward to the last 25 laps...

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  43. I've been saying this for years.

    With the addition of the Kentucky race, there are now 23 tracks Sprint Cup races are run on. I say add 2 more - perhaps from among Milwaukee, St. Louis and Iowa - to make it 25 tracks. Race ONE race on each track for 25 "regular season" races, then 5 "playoffs" races at Charlotte, Indy, Bristol, Darlington and Daytona. Only the top 20 in points get to race in the playoffs. And cut the regular season race fields to 36.

    How do you make the playoffs? Eliminate bonus pts for leading 1 lap, make it 10 for leading the most laps. NO POINTS awarded if you finish outside the top 25. Make a bigger gap between 1st and 2nd place. Do platform finishes like open-wheel racing has. As for race length, shorten races to the point that they will finish in 2.5-3 hours.

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  44. let mt tell you why NASCAR gets on my nerves right now
    1. the constant flow of advertising, even the pit road reporters do it, how many times do goodyear and sunoco get mentioned? every driver recites a litny of sponsers, I HATE THAT and it turns off the less hardcore fan, myself included
    2. speaking of, the commercials are ridiculous, even the world cup can go 45 minutes
    3. I like the length of races but really all i have to do is watch the last 45 minutes. Make the points per lap. If you are leading you get x number per lap, second place y number etc. no sitting in the back then. scoring is computerized anyway, and only score say the top 25.
    4. i dont give two sh*ts about where Jr is at, or where this person is at or the race for 20th position if it doesnt effect the points standings. Sorry for the sports most "popular" drivers, win and get your name and car on tv.
    5. race to the yellow, race on pit road, then hire your own saftey teams with your own doctors nurses and medics who are trained in high energy traumatic injuries. stop using locals who may be less than to be desired, it's not like NASCAR has taken REAL steps to make the races safer, if so they would have hired these folks already
    6. delete new hampshire, phoenix, pocono (sorry dude) and all the road courses. I wouldnt mind seeing martinsville go either. the racing is horrible in all those places, and usually turn out to be snoozefests.
    7. More Sat night races, yes it interferes with college football, but more importantly to NASCAR it interferes with local racing. Too bad, most casual fans love night racing and dont go to the local trailer park tracks anyway. In case you didnt know those are the people missing from the tracks now, hardcore base fans are still there.
    8. When I go to a race it is very difficult to follow what is going on, need more screens and scoreboards
    9. The cost for the show you get at the track sucks, really need to work on the cost issue, I get a much better show at home in between commercials and sick product placement for the cost of cable.
    10. no more lucky dog and wave around, this was set up to help the "popular" drivers if they fell out during a race, earn it

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  45. llwm126 falls for the myth in his point #5 about the sport using in-house track safety and medical crews instead of a traveling crew. The reality is the in-house crews work out better than the costlier traveling crew; years ago a Watkins Glen medical person told me that drivers who complain about not knowing the track safety crews never bother to talk to them and those crews too often are denied garage access.

    One #6 he's wrong about Pocono, New Hampshire, and Phoenix; he is right about the road courses and even Martinsville.

    "More Saturday night races" displays an elitist streak. His assumptions about the audience at local tracks is wrong and his shot about casual fans is also wrong - they're not swayed by night racing. It belongs with local tracks only; Winston Cup has no business racing any time except afternoons.

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  46. I have a couple ideas that may add to mix. How about allowing just the top 10 to race for the chase? Only 10 cars out there would be pretty darn exciting.
    Also, I think that when a guy causes 2 cautions he should be put on notice that he will be black-flagged and parked for the 3rd one. That would get some of those lousy drivers and broken up cars off the track.

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  47. I would say Nascar should race on Sat nights SOME. Maybe 10 races total. But at the same time, when they race on Sundays they should try to have 2 or 3 drivers make appearances at local tracks the night before. I'm not sure exactly how much they do to help local tracks, but I'm sure they could do more and still have a Saturday night race every now and then.

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  48. JD, NASCAR's big leagues need to stay off Saturday night altogether. I'm for sending 2-3 drivers to local tracks on the Saturday night before a WC race to help the local tracks.

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  50. when they started getting everyone to be "vanilla"; taking away individuality. Everyone is tiptoeing around to avoid fines and other assorted penalties. I used to really like Tony Stewart when he had his outbursts - usually there would be a grain of truth, but now that he is an owner - he has become a "Stepford" driver. It gets boring watching anyone win too much - doesn't matter if it's Earnhardt, Gordon, Johnson or whoever - the cars are all the same and now the drivers are all becoming the same.....ho hum.

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