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(ESPN)   NASCAR Chairman Brian France says NASCAR wants to avoid gimmicks, and he hopes fans will tune in to see if a driver can come back with the Lucky Dog and then pull off the win in a Green-White-Checkered finish   (espn.go.com) divider line 30
    More: Unlikely, Brian France, Lucky Dogs, NASCAR, Chairman Brian, green-white-checker finish, cribs, Chase for the Sprint Cup, Mike Helton  
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420 clicks; posted to Sports » on 10 Jul 2012 at 11:56 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-10 12:00:18 PM
lolracepics.com

Brian France and Bruton Smith are like jackhammers when the job calls for a screwdriver: big, useless tools.

"Fans have been extremely outspoken the last few weeks about the difficulty to follow a race because only a few minutes of on-track action are shown before it cuts away to a commercial break."

*cough* ESPN *cough*

And since when are long green flag runs "difficult to watch"? That's racing; be it NASCAR, Indy, F1, Grand Am, what have you. If someone watches a race just for the wrecks, then they're not a fan.
 
2012-07-10 12:17:50 PM
Please. Vince McMahon cringes at how contrived NASCAR races have become.
 
2012-07-10 01:05:06 PM
I've been watching NASCAR since the mid-80s when I would have it on and play with my cars in front of the TV. These were the days when you got a few races a year on TV.
I went to my first race in 1990 (the Pontiac Excitement 400 in Richmond - still spoken of as the coldest race in the history of the sport) and I can tell you one thing, if you went to a race without a radio, especially at a short track, you had no idea what was going on after about 20 laps.
As the sport grew, money became the main issue. When the sport peaked, the money was outrageous. Now the sport is a "brand" and everything has gone all to hell.
There's no fixing the problem. It became a novelty for a while and NASCAR has tried to hold onto that portion of the fanbase that was only watching because it was popular. The grandstands were built to meet the demand of 10-20 years ago that has gone away and the tracks look like old Busch races with entire sections closed off.
The more they try to hang on to the passing fans, the more they push out the traditional fans.
NASCAR is trying to empty the ocean to save their ship. It's time to downsize while there are still a few fans left and let the sport, not the "Brand," dictate its size.
 
2012-07-10 01:52:27 PM
You forgot the biggest gimmick of them all subby. "THE CHASE".

I had the same tickets to both Talladega races for the last 15 years. Been going practically every year since the middle 1970s.

I didn't renew this year. I still watch some on TV. I still go to my local short track. I still love racing, but I can't stand to see what Brian France is doing to the sport and my $300 a year was helping him do it.

No more. I'll go back when Brian gets shown the door and someone with a functional brain takes charge.
 
2012-07-10 01:59:31 PM
While avoiding gimmicks, maybe they can get rid of the chase and the top 35 rule as well.

Qualifying would be a lot more entertaining if every car is at risk of missing the race.
 
2012-07-10 02:11:25 PM
meh, I like the Lucky Dog implementation; it keeps the lapped cars agressive with each other.

/waits for counterpoint.
 
2012-07-10 02:18:13 PM
ESPN talking about zillions of commercials during a race? Did we divide by zero here?
 
2012-07-10 02:20:13 PM
don't forget about the wave-around!
 
2012-07-10 02:34:40 PM

brerjeff: don't forget about the wave-around!


I don't mind the wave-around so much, keeps lapped cars away from the leaders, and can play into strategy if a team gets behind. But I don't think the "lucky dog" is necessary. First of all, I can't stand the term, "lucky dog," it sounds like some stupid redneck bullshiat. And I think the wave-around rule already covers the same idea without being so charitable.

As far as the other stuff, I think the Chase blows chunks, I'll never buy into that idea, I like double file restarts (almost seems crazy that they didn't used to have them), and I think the green-white-checker finish has actually produced some more satisfying endings than we'd otherwise have seen. Though ultimately I could still live without it no problem.
 
2012-07-10 02:54:43 PM

Passive Aggressive Larry: brerjeff: don't forget about the wave-around!

I don't mind the wave-around so much, keeps lapped cars away from the leaders, and can play into strategy if a team gets behind. But I don't think the "lucky dog" is necessary. First of all, I can't stand the term, "lucky dog," it sounds like some stupid redneck bullshiat. And I think the wave-around rule already covers the same idea without being so charitable.

As far as the other stuff, I think the Chase blows chunks, I'll never buy into that idea, I like double file restarts (almost seems crazy that they didn't used to have them), and I think the green-white-checker finish has actually produced some more satisfying endings than we'd otherwise have seen. Though ultimately I could still live without it no problem.


I agree the wave around is better than having the leader start mid-pack, but I miss racing back to the caution (which was really replaced by the Lucky Dog). I know it is a safety thing, but that used to be one of the most exciting things in racing even if it meant a driver slowed down for his teammate.
 
2012-07-10 02:58:35 PM
Can somone help refersh my memory on why we have the "lucky dog" bullshiat. As best I can remember it involved that d-bag Robby Gordon but the hell if i can remember what happened??
 
2012-07-10 03:03:27 PM
I like the lucky dog, because it was a fair trade off to end "racing back to the line," a horribly dangerous practice.

I'm ambivalent towards the wave around, because I think it disincentivizes leaders from trying to lap a bunch of the field somewhat, and I recall some great races that resulted from a bunch of desperate guys restarting in front of the leaders and having to fight to stay on the lead lap, but it does make things less messy, because sometimes that was just a clusterfark.

Top 35 needs to DIAF.

The Chase needs to DIAF.

GWC is okay.

Double file restarts are okay, especially since that inside lane used to be lapped cars anyways, so with the wave-around you might as well make it fights for positions.

As for "long green flag runs without much action," the problem isn't long stretches of racing, it's aerodynamics. Almost every driver has hinted to this being the true problem at some point or another. Cars get close, and with the exception of a couple tracks, they immediately lose their air, like they were farkin' open wheel winged cars. So they space out from each other. That should not happen in NASCAR, and it's plagued them for quite awhile. F1 and Indycar have had to introduce gimmicks to overcome the problem (push to pass, KERS, DRS) but NASCAR should just fark up the aerodynamics of the cars. Make them complete shiat. Ban wind tunnels. I don't know, whatever it takes. Realistically, I'm hoping the introduction of the new cars next year will throw enough variables into the equation to make the problem duck back out of view for a couple years before it rears its ugly head again, once the teams get a handle on things again.
 
2012-07-10 03:11:14 PM

eas81: Can somone help refersh my memory on why we have the "lucky dog" bullshiat. As best I can remember it involved that d-bag Robby Gordon but the hell if i can remember what happened??


Teams "raced back to the line" for a yellow, even if the wreck was between them and the line. Lapped cars would try to pass the leader, who had the option of slowing and letting them go as part of a "gentlemen's agreement" or trying to keep them trapped behind him." This essentially meant up to a lap of chaos when a yellow came out, rather than everyone safely slowing down because.. you know.. there was a wreck/debris/danger. This eventually led to some crazy close calls and even some real bad wrecks.

So as a trade off for eliminating "racing back to the line" and having lapped cars make banzai runs at the leader, they decided to just give the first car one lap down a casual run back around.

Again, I think it was fair.

The name is just another retarded Darrell Waltrip-ism, which Mikey then picked up, and his sponsor Aarons then capitalized on. NASCAR just wanted to call it the "free pass" or something generic like that.
 
2012-07-10 03:19:38 PM

eas81: Can somone help refersh my memory on why we have the "lucky dog" bullshiat. As best I can remember it involved that d-bag Robby Gordon but the hell if i can remember what happened??


With a little bit of research, it looks like the straw that broke the camel's back was an incident where Dale Jarrett lost it right at the restart at New Hampshire, and a big group of the field tried to pass Bill Elliott (leader), and the lapped car of Casey Mears, (not Robby Gordon) almost lost it right when they got back around to Jarrett. You were right in that it was the 7 car that spun Jarrett out to cause the whole deal, but it was driven by Jimmy Spencer at the time.

Video here.
 
2012-07-10 04:28:13 PM

Jensaarai: eas81: Can somone help refersh my memory on why we have the "lucky dog" bullshiat. As best I can remember it involved that d-bag Robby Gordon but the hell if i can remember what happened??

With a little bit of research, it looks like the straw that broke the camel's back was an incident where Dale Jarrett lost it right at the restart at New Hampshire, and a big group of the field tried to pass Bill Elliott (leader), and the lapped car of Casey Mears, (not Robby Gordon) almost lost it right when they got back around to Jarrett. You were right in that it was the 7 car that spun Jarrett out to cause the whole deal, but it was driven by Jimmy Spencer at the time.

Video here.


And there had been quite a few close calls in the months leading up to it. For some reason Bristol comes to mind.
 
2012-07-10 04:40:17 PM

Guelph35: While avoiding gimmicks, maybe they can get rid of the chase and the top 35 rule as well.

Qualifying would be a lot more entertaining if every car is at risk of missing the race.


Considering that the sponsorship situation is so bad that 1) The last few races have had only 44 drivers trying for 43 spots because most of the start-and-park/show up to qualifying crowd have left NASCAR and 2) several of the drivers who actually made the last few races don't even have primary sponsors, losing the top 35 rule would have zero effect on qualifying. I do kinda like the Chase, though, since it keeps one driver from so dominating the start of the season that the championship is decided before the last 5 races. The *big* problem, as someone else stated, is the cars themselves. They need to return to the days of "bump" drafting, which the current generation of cars is probably *more* suited to than the older generations of cars (more safety features built into the cars, stronger cars, and a better understanding of what is actually happening to the cars, combined with a *much* smarter set of drivers in the cars).
 
2012-07-10 04:45:02 PM
They should get rid of the GWC and make caution laps not count toward the lap total.
 
2012-07-10 04:46:55 PM
Oh and everyone who shows up (especially when only 2 cars won't make the race) gets to start the race and only the top 43 get points. That would make the go and go homers at least have to do a little competing too.
 
2012-07-10 05:32:05 PM

Jensaarai: F1 and Indycar have had to introduce gimmicks to overcome the problem


Actually Indy cars have never had it anywhere near as bad as F1 owing to the fact the cars have underbody tunnels that allow for the actual body of the car to generate quite a bit of downforce and make the car less twitchy in a draft. F1 mandates flat underbodies, so that is all right out. And it's the underbody tunnels that allowed for CART cars to run what looked like impossibly small front wings and rather primitive looking rear wings at places like Indy and Michigan.
 
2012-07-10 06:01:33 PM

brerjeff: don't forget about the wave-around!


I don't mind the wave around because there's a risk involved. You've got to stay out with the tires and fuel you've got on board when the caution happens. Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn't.

The lucky dog is a freebie gimmick designed to keep cars on the lead lap.
 
2012-07-10 06:23:06 PM
Sure, the lucky dog can go because of the wave-around rule (which I like). I hated when lapped cars would start in front. Restarts were confusing, if not boring.

The top 35, not sure what the big deal is there. Lots of individual sports have things like provisionals and the like to ensure the starts are there for every race. I'm a huge Tony Stewart fan. It would be unfair for me to pay a shiatton of money to see a Cup race, and have him not in the race because he happened to get loose and crash during qualifying.

The Chase- I don't mind it, but no real comment because I only really started being a big fan in 2005.

Green-White-Checker is absolutely necessary. I hate when a race ends under 6 laps of caution. Boring. I don't mind the white flag rule, where a yellow will end the race if its the last lap.
 
2012-07-10 06:28:05 PM

ClavellBCMI: losing the top 35 rule would have zero effect on qualifying.


Not sure what you're getting at, but it would have a huge impact on the race and pleasing the fans? Of course a Dale Jr. is always going to qualify in the 30's or higher. All the big stars will. But what if Dale Jr. crashes during qualifying? Really sells the fans short.

Also, it provides a little drama around the 35th spot, where those drivers are not in consideration for winning anything that year.
 
2012-07-10 06:30:23 PM

amotter7: Oh and everyone who shows up (especially when only 2 cars won't make the race) gets to start the race and only the top 43 get points. That would make the go and go homers at least have to do a little competing too.


I can kinda see your point... but what about the Daytona 500, where 50 racers attempted to qualify? I don't think we want 50 cars on the track... especially since some of them have no business being there (look at some of the terrible qualifying times.)
 
2012-07-10 06:54:26 PM
Gimmicks like racing at such storied tracks as Phoenix, Kansas City, and Las Vegas instead of Rockingham, Wilkesboro, and the second race at Darlington?
 
2012-07-10 08:06:02 PM

UNC_Samurai: Phoenix


Hey, Phoenix puts on some good racing.
 
2012-07-10 08:33:23 PM
These ideas might help:

-Get rid of the Chase
-Get rid of the Top 35 rule
-No more biased announcers or tv stations (we don't need to see the crowd and have the audio turned up whenever Earnhardt Jr is leading, FOX)
-Give other racers some air time. Danica gets air time when she's in 35th place, so why can't David Ragan get the same when he's back there?
-No more imaginary debris cautions just to bunch up the field
-Stop trying to come up with ways to draw new viewers. You aren't gaining any and are losing your old ones
-The Sprint Cup girls in victory lane need skimpier outfits, as they serve no purpose being there anyways
Bring back "Old Bristol" check
 
2012-07-10 08:34:51 PM

downstairs: ClavellBCMI: losing the top 35 rule would have zero effect on qualifying.

Not sure what you're getting at, but it would have a huge impact on the race and pleasing the fans? Of course a Dale Jr. is always going to qualify in the 30's or higher. All the big stars will. But what if Dale Jr. crashes during qualifying? Really sells the fans short.

Also, it provides a little drama around the 35th spot, where those drivers are not in consideration for winning anything that year.


It would have less effect than you think due to each driver getting a certain number of provisionals under the old system. As bad as Jr.(or any ohter popular driver) can be, he wouldn't wreck 6 or 7 times in qualifying (or have mechanical issues etc) so that the rare occasions it goes wrong, they are still in the field, just at the back. Have the top 35 qualify on speed, the rest are filed using provisionals or time if there aren't enough left. It gives a greater incentive to qualifying and qualifying setups rather than so many who simply use qualifying as another test session for race setups.
 
2012-07-10 11:44:58 PM
Here's a gimmick for them: Right turns. Every. Single. Race.
 
2012-07-10 11:48:06 PM

UNC_Samurai: Gimmicks like racing at such storied tracks as Phoenix, Kansas City, and Las Vegas instead of Rockingham, Wilkesboro, and the second race at Darlington?


I agree on KC and Vegas and would toss in Chicago, Fontana-we really need a flatter Michigan?, Texas and adding a trioval to Atlanta. The other problem with nascar has been engineers, the COT is a bad idea that needs to go away.
 
2012-07-11 06:07:12 PM

cmunic8r99: Here's a gimmick for them: Right turns. Every. Single. Race.


Not every single race, there are 2 non-oval tracks in Sears Point and Watkins Glen. However if we ditched KC, Chicago, Fontana, Vegas, and added in Toronto, Road America, maybe Barber (the one in Mobile Alabama) and a street circuit like Detroit on Bell Isle or a temp circuit like the old Cleveland GP track at the Burke airport it would be an improvement.
 
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