Sunday, May 19, 2013

NASCAR: Enough with the gimmicks

   Enough with the gimmicks already. The latest gimmick employed in the NASCAR All-Star Race this year was to use the average finish of drivers’ first four segments to determine how they would enter pit road for their mandatory pit stop before the final 10-lap segment.

   The goal was laudable – provide incentive for drivers to race hard every segment. The problem was no one in the stands – and then apparently on the Speed broadcast – had access to the information necessary to tell the outcome of that tabulation. Incorrect information on the TV broadcast left many thinking eventual Jimmie Johnson somehow “cheated” in winning the final segment and $1 million.

   One of the reasons NASCAR has said it doesn’t take away wins as penalties is that fans should know the winner of the race when they leave the track. Well, they should also know the rules – and have access to the correct results. If you run a race with rules than leaves fans screaming of conspiracy, then the rules are too complicated.

   Here’s an idea: Perhaps the all-star race can return to it was intended and that would a showcase of the best drivers in NASCAR doing what they do best – race.


  1. I have the idea of NASCAR's next gimmick. Instead of 4 20 lap segments, how about 40 2 lap segments? Most of the actual racing happens on restarts anyway so why not have as many restarts as humanly possible? It sounds just stupid enough for NASCAR to jump all over it

  2. This story starts with a premise that is 100% false. Maybe not everyone had access (say those listening on a radio) but everyone either had access or were using an outlet that had access and could convey the information if so chosen.

    The problem here wasn't the gimmick. The problem here was that someone screwed up that math. The problem here was that the production crew was so eager to put up the information, rather than just waiting to get the official run down from scoring, they rushed with their own unofficial rundown.

    If you're looking for blame, start with the production decision, then move to the person operating the calculator.

  3. The article says perhaps the All-Star race should return to racing. What race did you guys at the Observer see last night? The racing was good. Every position in every segment was raced for which was a big change from previous formats used. You can blame Nascar all you want about what happened last night, but Nascar did not create the problem. It was the genius with FOX who miscalculated the average finish, or the genius who put up the graphic with the wrong average finish. There was nothing gimmicky about the format. It gave fans what they paid to see. RACING!!

  4. Restrictor plate the cars, give back the roof blade, and include laps led into the best average finish category for the FINAL RESTART - in short make the drivers HAVE to go for the lead regardless of lap (what they should be doing anyway).

  5. What follow the leader snorefest. The All Star race should be at Bristol!

  6. The racing sucked!!! They're lapping cars inside of 20 laps. Next weeks Coke 600 will be just excruciating to watch. Way too long a race. NASCAR made sure Danica got into the AllStar race too. Like we didn't see that coming. Rigged right from the get go. A marketing home run in NASCAR'S eyes. Brian France and his cronies are killing this sport. Just look at the attendance at the race tracks. Of course NASCAR doesn't want the networks to show the empty grandstands in their shots but that's damn near impossible. What a joke!!!

  7. This article is misdirected. An average finish is pretty common in local short track racing and easy to figure out. NASCAR didn't screw anything up or do anything gimmicky.

    Unless you're about to reveal that the scoring towers & NASCAR timing/scoring messed up the internal video feed that goes to the suites, the big screw up was the FOX/Speed TV crew that didn't know basic math. Your anger should be directed at them.