Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rudy's 10 things to fix NASCAR

Over the past couple of months since the start of the NASCAR season Goody and myself have been going back and forth on the state of NASCAR. Goody is much more optimistic than me so I figured starting this week I would list 10 things I would do to fix NASCAR. This week I'll list 6-10 and we'll talk about it on the show and next week I will list 1-5.

10. On the white flag lap instead of freezing the field if there is a caution and figuring out who was in what place when the drivers should race back to the line for the win. I understand the whole freezing the field and "lucky dog" rules due to safety but comeon were talking about going for a win here. This very instance happened in the NASCAR Nationwide series back in Talladega, cars were wrecking behind the leaders and NASCAR called the caution and the race ended just like that. Also NASCAR hasn't been very consistent in following this rule as there have been a few races where there is a wreck on the white flag lap and NASCAR doesn't throw the caution. For now on just race back to the checkered.
9. Drop 2 races from the schedule. One being Pocono and the other being Fontana or one of the 1.5 mile "cookie cutter tracks" that have 2 dates. Then start the season one week later and add an extra week off during the middle of the season. I believe 36 races is way to many and because of this it makes the season a little long and fans lose interest. If you add a week off during the middle of the season it not only gives the drivers some time to relax but it also gives the fans a break as well. My other reasoning for this is with the extra week off in the summer maybe some of the drivers will go back to their "roots" so to speak and maybe go back to their local short tracks and help them out. Also starting the season a week later would get rid of any worries of the NASCAR season having to go up against the Super Bowl.
8. Shorten some of the races. Make some of the 500 mile races 400 miles. I'd even take 100 laps off of Bristol or even Martinsville. This way fans don't have to worry about spending 4-5 hours watching a race especially when the weather is nice. Shortening the races makes every lap and every pit stop much more important and should add to the drama of a race. Besides half the time the races become so boring the added 100 miles is not needed.
7. In the Nationwide series have the Cup regulars start at the back of the field. I was on the fence about this one but after Saturday's debacle at Nashville I am a full believer of this rule. If anyone is a fan of the local short tracks then you know that they usually do an invert of the field so the faster cars have to start farther back in traffic. This adds so much as cars handle much differently in traffic and it adds the can they get back to the front question. I would have all the Nationwide guys qualify and they would qualify amonst themselves. Then the Cup guys would qualify and they would do the same amongst themselves, meaning they would start behind the Nationwide regulars but they are still qualifying to see who starts in the front of the Cup regulars. For a good portion of these races it probably wont make much of a difference as within 30-35 laps the Cup guys would be back to the front but at least for that time we would see someone different at the front which means more sponsorship time which means more sponsorship dollars. Also at the short tracks it would make things very exciting and it would also add strategy back into play which is something that seems to be lacking in alot of races these days.
6. This one I'll probably catch alot of slack for but I'm going with it anyways. Give bonus points for the Bud Shootout and All Star races. I would give 5 points to 1st, 3 to 2nd, and 1 for 3rd. I really don't like the idea of having these races and basically getting nothing to run in them. I understand the purses are large and practice time is always good but let me ask does anyone care about the All Star race anymore? The shootout may have more popularity due to it being the first race of the year but the All Star race has lost any interest at least for me. If you give just a small amount of bonus points it might increase interest not only in the fans but in the drivers as well. And since you won't lose anything for not winning or making bold moves we could see alot more excitement as well to try and win. The other arguement to be made is that the Shootout is like a preseason and thats dumb but in every sport all the teams are able to complete in preseason not just the select few.

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