Hey Everyone, Welcome to Part 2 of the NASCAR Questionaire Survey, hosted by myself. Simply due to the fact that nobody else wanted to do part 1 for a first time, I thought it would be time to move on to part 2. So how this works, is everyone who already did the first Q and A will do it again, if you're up for it. As well as anybody who didn't do Part 1, you can do Part 2 as well. (I'd prefer to have as many new people as possible btw) Once again everything you say will remain between you and me through message. Nobody else will ask you questions but me. The only difference is this time, the question is more general. This is the question for you to answer: (In a paragraph if possible, or a bit more) What would you want to see NASCAR change?? If you could be President of NASCAR for a day, what would you change or add?? What should NASCAR get rid of, and what could they make better?? Get it? Something a long that lines. This will run from now until the middle of July. This week's feautered member is DUHHUB, next week is TOMBO and the week after is nobody yet. You want to be next and be apart of it?? Leave me a message. I don't have any more after next week, so please everyone, take a chance in being apart of it. I'm leaving a week today for a European Vacation, travelling around Europe, so I'll be gone for a few weeks. During those weeks, if someone wants to run this you can. Just let me know below. Now here's what Duhhub had to say: (It's a long one! lol)
The economic crash in 2008-09 devastated NASCAR by lowering television ratings, ticket sales, not to mention millions in merchandise sales. More than a few of the teams were forced to close their doors, and several major sponsors had to withdraw some of their advertising dollars, or even exit the sport completely. Throughout this period of time, fans were leaving the sport, either because they couldn't afford to stay connected, or weren't satisfied with the competition. Even loyal fans were disgusted at the fact that no one not named Johnson could win the sport's top prize. The sport's most popular driver couldn't finish much better than 25th, and fans couldn't even go to NASCAR's "minor" series for relief, as veteran drivers stole the show almost every week.
It was a dark time for NASCAR. But somehow, less than 4 years later, it has emerged stronger than ever.
Maybe it was some of the rule changes the sport introduced to "spice up" the competition. Double-file restarts was perhaps the most major, often affecting the outcome of the race. New cars designs and bodies were created, taking away downforce to make it harder on the drivers to pilot their 3,400 pound machines. Drivers are now allowed to earn points in only 1 series, allowing younger drivers and teams the chance to compete for a championship. The green-white-checkered finish erased the possibility of a race ending under caution. NASCAR even went as far as to publicly proclaim that the drivers could "have at it" without fear of penalty.
Or maybe it was a combination of all of them. Nevertheless, NASCAR has truly improved the competition and thus, improved what was a declining fan base by doing one thing: listening to the drivers' personal opinions, and most importantly, the fans. Think of it. Double-file restarts were created to satisfy the fans' complaints of boring, somewhat lackluster restarts. Same with the green-white-checkered finishes. The 1-series-points rule came about as a response to complaints from full-time Nationwide Series drivers. After the sport declared that drivers and teams could "have at it", the drama increased dramatically. Just ask Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards. Groups like the NASCAR Fan Council (made out of actual fans), constantly show their opinions on everything, as expressed in polls provided by Brian France and Co. So, as you can see, listening to the drivers, teams, and fans has benefited NASCAR greatly over the past few years, and is still working.
So what now? The sport has worked it's way virtually unscathed from the recession, but what is in store for the future? I believe now is the time to build on that momentum and continue to seek the fans' inputs and opinions. They are the key to the sport, and if the fan base crumbles, the sports does as well.
Personally, I am fairly satisfied with the current state of NASCAR, in all of the top 3 series. We have plenty of competition week in and week out, with a different driver winning nearly every week. In the Cup Series, we haven't seen one driver "take the reigns" over the series. Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., and many more have all been the hottest driver in the sport at one point or another. In the Nationwide Series, we have a battle between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Elliott Sadler for "top dog". It has the making of a great rivalry, if these drivers can keep on their current level each week. It is a battle between a young driver and a veteran, wins versus consistency. Much like we saw in last year's Cup championship battle. And last, but not least, the Truck Series has seen perhaps the most "feel-good" story of the year, John King. Not only did he win the season-opener at Daytona, he backed it up with another top 10 the next week. As of when I'm writing this, he's 13th in points. Not bad for an underfunded rookie!
So I believe that the current state of the sport is good, if not booming. But it is certainly not perfect. There's always the big elephant in the room, and one of the most controversial topics in the sport today: the current rules package. Everybody has at one, most likely more, rules that they feel are unfair or not necessary. For me, there are a few. The first, and one that I think most fans will agree with me on, is the top 35 points rule. In it, the top 35 drivers are guaranteed a starting spot in the field, while those outside have to make the race "on speed". This keeps the good drivers separated from the bad, right? Not exactly. Not only does it make it harder for new teams to break into the sport, it also keeps sponsors away, believe it or not. 90% of the time, sponsors will flock to the top 35 drivers, looking simply to be in the race. Those outside the top 35 in points are left out and have no potential because of this. Not only the sponsorship issue, but occasionally a driver who was one of the 43 fastest cars is knocked out of the field by one of these top 35 guys. I feel that this is unfair, neglecting to up-and-coming teams, and detrimental to the long-term growth of the sport. By removing this rule, the fastest 43 get into the field, plain and simple. It would bring out the best in drivers, going for every bit of speed to capture a spot. It would also solve the big issue of points swapping, as in the case of Danica Patrick before the 2012 season started.
The schedule is also a big issue, which no doubt is one of the most talked-about issues in NASCAR today. As Rusty Wallace put it, there is "too much supply and not enough demand." I couldn't agree more. At 36 races a year, along with 2 extra non-point races at Daytona and Charlotte, the schedule is simply too long, and thus ticket sales are still below their potential. By reducing the circuit to, say, 31 or 32 races a year, not including the Budweiser Shootout and the All-Star race, ticket sales would go up at tracks with only 1 date a year. Merchandise sales and television ratings would both recieve a boost from the more racing-hungry fans. For the record, I believe that New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, and Pocono Raceway are the most prime candidates who could lose a date and still remain popular. The races at those facilities rarely, if ever, sell out, and quite often don't even fill a fraction of the available seating areas. To be perfectly honest, I think that Kentucky Speedway shouldn't be on the schedule, but Bruton Smith would likely retaliate if that date was touched. Just simple schedule changes like reducing the number of races will help boost television ratings and ticket sales tremendously. Just look at how NASCAR was growing in the 1990s and early 2000s. A large reason for that was because of the smaller schedule.
There you go, what did you think of Duhhub's thoughts?? Leave your comments below of what you thought of his summary. I'm sure he'd love to hear what you have to say, and it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! And I look forward to hearing from you! (your thoughts, if you want to participate, or host)
This is great Duhhub....you covered everything, you truly would be an outstanding sports writer. wonderful Article..