I've been a fan of stock car racing literally my entire life. Having a father that drove stock cars put me at the tracks from toddler age up until my mother remarried and we moved to Texas. The love of the sport spilled over into my teenage years, college in North Carolina, and then on until present. I've watched countless hours of the Petty/Allison/Pearson Era, the Waltrip/Earnhardt/Wallace/Elliot era, the emergence of the Gordon Era, and now the current competition. I own thousands of hours of NASCAR DVD footage which I watch over and over. But I've witnessed a trend in the last 10 or so years on the various internet sites, the television programs, the satellite radio shows, and social media of fans declaring a desire for "the good old days" of side by side racing. Beating and banging around every track, at every race, for every lap, and by every driver. Trading paint and creating the "good old days" kind of excitement. But I have to tell the truth... those "good old days" never really existed. WHAT??? It's true. In the first of the two aforementioned "eras," only a three to five teams really had a chance of winning every Sunday. The same is true of the second. There was a time at Talladega that Elliott went a lap down, raced to get it back, and proceeded to win the race. Ned Jarrett once won a race by 14 laps. Geoff Bodine lapped the field on October 2, 1994 at North Wilkesboro, 2nd through 4th were all one lap down and everyone else was 2 or more laps down, 36 drivers started the race and there were 30 left at the end of the race. Richard Petty will probably always hold the record for 200 wins because he not only raced in a period where 60 plus races were ran a year, but in a time when he only had three or four competitors that had a chance at beating him. Earnhardt raced in an era where the competition was 10 deep at best, and as the competition got stronger with the likes of Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon, the championships were harder to win. The era that we are in currently is by far the most competitive. The cars are closer in parity, the teams are closer in talent, and the rule's package makes it that way. Big money still dominates this sport, but it's never been more competitive. If you don't believe me, then go buy the videos. I think that some of the newer fans and the fact that a lot of them play video games or watch X-Games is why there is an outcry that the racing isn't "exciting enough." I guess I'll call it the Mario Kart effect, or the Grand Theft Auto Deficiency. Chad Knause was on Sirius radio yesterday and told Chocolate Myers "our only goal is to finish the race and be the first car on the last lap. Every team has that goal. I guess we could put a jump on the backstretch and jump cars to make it more exciting to the fans, but in the end every team would still try to win the race. 5 laps or 500 laps, we want to be the first car at the finish."
Onward... Forward... Upward...
a friend of mine, Mark Nelson, wrote this.....and i asked his permission to share it here.
Great read Eve...& so true...
Great Article Mark......and Race Fans when I say this guy (Mark) knows his racing,,HE KNOWS RACING!
Totally agree Mark.....so when fans compare a championship to being a great driver...what does that say about Junior? Biffle? Harvick? Martin? Bowyer? Newman? Kyle? And the list goes on........
i think the multi car teams have alot to do with it now days.if they went to single car teams there would only be 5-10 drivers being competitive.
and btw there were way more then 3 or 4 driver beating petty.idiots have to say that to take away from what he did.
petty won 200 of 1,000+ starts and only 3 or 4 drivers won the other 800+ he didnt?
dumb opinions arent facts!!!
tombo, i respect your opinion and agree about the single car teams, but please keep the discussions civil. we all have opinions and are free to express them, just do it w/o calling names, etc, please.