There has been something on my mind lately. Multiple people have asked me what I thought was wrong with NASCAR. While I do continue to follow the sport, cover events, I do still want to be positive about it since I have a lot of respect for those for who do that line of work and those friends of mine who are in the business.
There is no easy answer because there are a number of things that can be done. Recently, current drivers have even talked about this very subject. So here we go!
1) The main issue is that NASCAR is too politically correct. While competitiveness is key, fans follow because of rivalries, drama and unpredictability. None of those three are occurring currently.
Although, every driver has to keep in mind that they are trusting 42 others with their lives every race weekend. So, that sort of deters any of those three things from happening.
Rivalries are not happening because NASCAR is not allowing it as well. Drivers are not allowed to payback or say what they want to say without hearing from the sport's bosses. There are certain tracks under green conditions, which payback should not happen. Nor should one car chase another car through the garage at any time. Although, NASCAR says they don't really like drama happening, they don't mind boosting TV ratings for something like that occurring.
To finish up political correctness, everybody is so...happy go lucky all the time. How is that possible?
2) Competition: I am going to go old school for a moment. Richard Petty talked about the cars being so aerodynamically dependent and that if spring and shocks were used more to manipulate handling than pure down force, the racing could be better.
Don't get me wrong I think the world of Kenny Wallace, but a short time ago he mentioned this subject. He believes that it's as competitive as it has ever been. The racing is as good as it's ever been. Only in one aspect may it be better in that the cars are more equal than ever before. However, it is tougher to pass and when a pass is made, it's more about using aerodynamics to get by.
3) For the love of all man kind, please SMI fix Bristol and Sonoma. Bristol used to sell out, but not anymore. When they decided to widen the whole track, now everybody is searching for the high line because there is no grip to be found on the bottom. Passing is way more complicated because the bump and run doesn't exist. As for Sonoma, there are only two places to pass now and the only answer is to reconfigure or take it off the schedule.
4) Fans want to see more contact, and close quarters racing. The only way that happens is if more short track racing is implemented. While 1.5-mile tracks seat more, that style of racing isn't what most fans wish to see.
5) Whether we like it or not, too much isn't always a good thing. Too much technology and too many rules are present and probably here to stay. Anything related to better safety, is not what I am talking about when it comes to this subject. Everything else is fair game.
6) As for the average fan, ticket prices are too much. Why do say...four people want to go to a race and pay $100 per ticket? That's before all the other expenses are included in the trip.
7) The Chase: We are not even going talk about the system itself at the moment, but we will make exceptions for certain drivers to win the championship. Look things happen. If a driver misses an extended amount of time due to injury...that's life. They have to start every race in a season to be eligible for the championship. Let's say Alex Bowman gets injured, will NASCAR take exception to him making the Chase...nope.
So, this is not a total slam on the sport. Im just being honest. Look at the Camping World Truck Series. They probably provide the best NASCAR racing at the moment because none of them are household names. This a group that is trying to make it to the next level, so they have less to lose at this point in their careers.