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(Bleacher Report)   NASCAR ratings stagnating or dropping this season. Looks like Lil' Brian France's pointless changes didn't succeed in "growing the sport" after all   (bleacherreport.com ) divider line
    More: Amusing, NASCAR, Darrell Waltrip, Bleacher Report, Fox network, NASCAR fans  
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590 clicks; posted to Sports » on 05 Apr 2014 at 8:33 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-05 08:13:17 AM  
Pining to the old Nielson dinosaur are we subby?
Let's just forget about media fragmentation and the fact that billion dollar companies are invested in preserving that model.

/Love the changes to Nascar this year
 
2014-04-05 08:46:49 AM  
I'll love the changes as long as that one particular driver and his cheating crew chief don't win. I may change my mind after that.
 
2014-04-05 08:46:55 AM  

Bonkthat_Again: Pining to the old Nielson dinosaur are we subby?
Let's just forget about media fragmentation and the fact that billion dollar companies are invested in preserving that model.

/Love the changes to Nascar this year


So you're the one.
 
2014-04-05 08:52:21 AM  
NASCAR.
Lost me after they quit racing to the start/finish line on yellow flags.
I know I know wrecks.
 
2014-04-05 08:57:28 AM  
Does anybody still watch NASCAR in this day and age?  I thought we were all moving into urban centers, drinking craft beer, and abandoning our simple roots.
 
2014-04-05 09:15:57 AM  
I mean, this guy's cool with the changes anyway:
img.fark.net
 
2014-04-05 09:17:23 AM  

Go Fast Turn Left: I mean, this guy's cool with the changes on better meds anyway:
[img.fark.net image 800x533]


:)
 
2014-04-05 09:20:45 AM  

QueenMamaBee: Go Fast Turn Left: I mean, this guy's cool with the changes on better meds anyway:
[img.fark.net image 800x533]

:)


Why need meds when you have this?  (media event '09)
img.fark.net
 
2014-04-05 09:22:52 AM  

Go Fast Turn Left: QueenMamaBee: Go Fast Turn Left: I mean, this guy's cool with the changes on better meds anyway:
[img.fark.net image 800x533]

:)

Why need meds when you have this?  (media event '09)
[img.fark.net image 604x453]


Dear God that is one of the scariest things I've ever seen.
 
2014-04-05 09:24:14 AM  

wichitaleaf: NASCAR.
Lost me after they quit racing to the start/finish line on yellow flags.
I know I know wrecks.


The green white checker races they run after the two hour warmup Yeah I love those.
 
2014-04-05 09:30:18 AM  
Watching the Nationwide race last night, I couldn't help but think that NASCAR is in deep, deep, deep trouble.
 
2014-04-05 09:34:40 AM  
Meh. The hell with the Jimmie Johnson show
 
2014-04-05 09:35:56 AM  

Kurohone: Watching the Nationwide race last night, I couldn't help but think that NASCAR is in deep, deep, deep trouble.


media.tumblr.com

They brought it on themselves by chasing a fickle demographic and making "the product" into WWE on wheels, only without someone with half the sense of a Vince McMahon, or even an Eric Bischoff to run the show.
 
2014-04-05 09:36:18 AM  

Kurohone: Watching the Nationwide race last night, I couldn't help but think that NASCAR is in deep, deep, deep trouble.


Out of curiosity, compared to what?
 
2014-04-05 09:44:40 AM  

Go Fast Turn Left: Kurohone: Watching the Nationwide race last night, I couldn't help but think that NASCAR is in deep, deep, deep trouble.

Out of curiosity, compared to what?


Compared to itself, I suppose.

Racing all over is in tough times right now; that's pretty normal during economic downturns, and moreso now as people start to look at it more and more as wasteful and environmentally damaging.  But NASCAR has further to fall, I think, just because of how fast and how far it grew during the 90's and early 2000's.

There just isn't enough talent in the system right now.  I seriously couldn't name a single Truck driver till I checked Wiki.  Smith and Elliot are the only Nationwide drivers to win a race this year.  Kyle and Kyle made up 30 spots in less than 30 laps...which shows you how hard teams had to work to find bodies to fill 40 cars.
 
2014-04-05 09:47:21 AM  
I have enjoyed the races I've seen so far this year. I can see where fans wouldn't want to watch considering the same driver seems to win all the time. You tend to get JJ fatigue.
 
2014-04-05 09:52:25 AM  

The Googles Do Nothing: Does anybody still watch NASCAR in this day and age?  I thought we were all moving into urban centers, drinking craft beer, and abandoning our simple roots.


No, that's just the smart people. The stupid ones still like to watch cars go around in a circle.

/Christ, GOLF is more exciting.
 
2014-04-05 09:56:19 AM  

Kurohone: Go Fast Turn Left: Kurohone: Watching the Nationwide race last night, I couldn't help but think that NASCAR is in deep, deep, deep trouble.

Out of curiosity, compared to what?

Compared to itself, I suppose.

Racing all over is in tough times right now; that's pretty normal during economic downturns, and moreso now as people start to look at it more and more as wasteful and environmentally damaging.  But NASCAR has further to fall, I think, just because of how fast and how far it grew during the 90's and early 2000's.

There just isn't enough talent in the system right now.  I seriously couldn't name a single Truck driver till I checked Wiki.  Smith and Elliot are the only Nationwide drivers to win a race this year.  Kyle and Kyle made up 30 spots in less than 30 laps...which shows you how hard teams had to work to find bodies to fill 40 cars.


There's plenty of talent in the system. Most of those guys, though, won't be able to secure the funding to get up to the level they need to.  Those with the funding aren't always the best drivers (re: Townley, John Wes), and what you get is the CE Falks, Lee Pulliams, George Brunnhoelzls and the like can't find rides on their way up.  You have guys like Ryan Ellis who is a hell of a wheelman who, if the Nationwide team he's driving for doesn't have anyone else for the car, will put him in it.  If anyone else shows up with a bag full of money, Ellis is out of a race that week.

I guess what I'm saying is that the economics of racing across the board is more to do with the "lack of talent" than it is anything else. I'd still say that NASCAR is in a FAR better position than any of its North American motorsports counterparts (F1 excluded, because it's a whole different thing economically).

All of that said, look at IndyCar's second tier of racing, Indy Lights.  They had 5 guys run the full season last year, and just 14 cars take the green flag in total.  Even if NASCAR "falls" and ratings drop and attendance drops, it's still not going anywhere as the premier sanctioning body of motorsports.  They've made some quality changes to their Whelen All-American Series, the two Modified tours have produced some fantastic racing over the last few seasons, and both of the K&N Series divisions (east and west) are not only providing some amazing racing right now, but car counts are higher than they've ever been.    If anything, the K&N Series of now is what the Busch/Nationwide series *used* to be some 10 years ago, racing at South Boston, Greenville Pickens, Bowman Gray and the like.
 
2014-04-05 10:07:06 AM  
I might watch it if I didn't have to listen to non stop talking by the announcers. Years ago when I first hooked up surround sound for my television, the first program I watched was a car race. I thought it would be cool to listen to the cars racing around the track in surround sound. I was wrong, it was announcers talking over each other.
 
2014-04-05 10:10:26 AM  
bring back the stock in stock car?
 
2014-04-05 10:10:32 AM  
Go Fast Turn Left:

Oh, I totally agree with you on everything that you've said...well, as much as I _can_ agree, given my limited knowledge.  Being stuck in central Saskatchewan it's not nearly as easy to keep up with the short-track stuff as I'd like it to be.

But as you said, money talks, and there just isn't enough in the system to support NASCAR as is, and certainly not as it was.  France's idiotic efforts at rearranging the deck chairs aren't doing anything but alienating old fans and not bringing in new ones.  I guess when you say that it's in a far better position than any other NA motorsport I don't disagree....but it's kind of like being the guy on the crows nest of the sinking ship.  You'll stay dry longer than your crewmates, but you're going to end up taking a bath sooner or later.

I so so so wish the K&N and Modified series got on TV more than they do, or at better times (though I'm not sure I agree with you about the health of the Modified series...I don't have the knowledge that you do, but when I was able to watch races it sounded like drivers were swapping rides an awful lot as money ran out).  We've got the Canadian Tire series up here, which has some great short-track stuff as well.

And my ultimate dream?  That as more tracks get more connected, we'll all be able to kick back and stream short-track racing with local commentary from anywhere, every weekend.  I was really disappointed that I couldn't find any live video coverage of the World Series, for instance.  I love going out to Auto Club Speedway in Saskatoon when I can, but when I can't, I'd love to be able to turn into South Boston, or Stafford, or Thompson and watch the heats all night.
 
2014-04-05 10:16:40 AM  

Kurohone: Go Fast Turn Left:

Oh, I totally agree with you on everything that you've said...well, as much as I _can_ agree, given my limited knowledge.  Being stuck in central Saskatchewan it's not nearly as easy to keep up with the short-track stuff as I'd like it to be.

But as you said, money talks, and there just isn't enough in the system to support NASCAR as is, and certainly not as it was.  France's idiotic efforts at rearranging the deck chairs aren't doing anything but alienating old fans and not bringing in new ones.  I guess when you say that it's in a far better position than any other NA motorsport I don't disagree....but it's kind of like being the guy on the crows nest of the sinking ship.  You'll stay dry longer than your crewmates, but you're going to end up taking a bath sooner or later.

I so so so wish the K&N and Modified series got on TV more than they do, or at better times (though I'm not sure I agree with you about the health of the Modified series...I don't have the knowledge that you do, but when I was able to watch races it sounded like drivers were swapping rides an awful lot as money ran out).  We've got the Canadian Tire series up here, which has some great short-track stuff as well.

And my ultimate dream?  That as more tracks get more connected, we'll all be able to kick back and stream short-track racing with local commentary from anywhere, every weekend.  I was really disappointed that I couldn't find any live video coverage of the World Series, for instance.  I love going out to Auto Club Speedway in Saskatoon when I can, but when I can't, I'd love to be able to turn into South Boston, or Stafford, or Thompson and watch the heats all night.


FansChoice.tv man, it's the wave of the future. I'll be on the rest of the season at Southern National Motorsports Park doing the announcing there (next race is April 12th, twin 75 lap Late Model Stocks, www.snmpark.com @SNM_Park, facebook.com/southernnationalmotorsportspark), and we've got five cameras set up so anyone from anywhere can tune in and watch the racing at our track.  I think Langley Speedway's got three cameras set up for their opener.

South Boston's always fantastic, I love the people there.  Stafford is the same.  Sadly, Thompson is a shell of itself: It realized that the money is in road course club racing, they redid their whole road course and don't run a weekly series anymore.  I think they have six oval track races all year.

As for the Modifieds, like any regional/local series, it's taken a hit due to the economy, but the racing is as good as it's ever been.  The problem in the northeast is that there's also like three different modified touring series now, which as diluted some of the talent pool up there.  The racing is good, but the chance that you'll get Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, and everyone else all in one race varies a lot more now than it did even five years ago.

In all, local racing is struggling a little bit, but will overcome it with a lot of changes from the same people who are "destroying NASCAR".
 
2014-04-05 10:26:17 AM  

wiseolddude: I might watch it if I didn't have to listen to non stop talking by the announcers. Years ago when I first hooked up surround sound for my television, the first program I watched was a car race. I thought it would be cool to listen to the cars racing around the track in surround sound. I was wrong, it was announcers talking over each other.


That's another thing: I am sick and tired of the frikkin Waltrips

/There. I said it
//let the hate flow through you
 
2014-04-05 10:26:26 AM  
...but Why Is No One Watching?

Because you spent years undergoing reckless expansion into new markets while simultaneously doing everything you could to alienate your core base?

By constantly tweaking the design rules so that your biggest races seem to spend more time under caution than racing under a green?

By trying desperately to add a postseason mechanic that renders 75% of the field insignificant except as mobile chicanes?

Or by arbitrarily altering those rules when a big name gets bumped out of the postseason at the last minute?

Or possibly because for the better part of a decade, you had the same champion who had all the personality of a wet noodle?

Or perhaps because the corporate mentality you infected the sport with discouraged any form of displaying more personality than said noodle?

Now, I'll forgive you your biggest sin, because it isn't your fault; just like baseball, you have the audacity (in the eyes of the raw TV numbers) to run the last part of your season during football, and the double juggernauts of college/SEC and NFL football aren't going to give you an inch on fall weekends.
 
2014-04-05 10:27:30 AM  
Go Fast Turn Left:

FansChoice.tv man, it's the wave of the future. I'll be on the rest of the season at Southern National Motorsports Park doing the announcing there (next race is April 12th, twin 75 lap Late Model Stocks, www.snmpark.com @SNM_Park, facebook.com/southernnationalmotorsportspark), and we've got fi ...

Oh, thanks for that hookup.  That's just the sort of thing I'm looking for.

And I'm really curious...you seem to have a positive view of NASCAR at the local and regional level, but there is definitely a differing view of by a lot of fans at a national level.  Why do you think there's the difference?  Do you think they're doing the right things with the touring series as well, and a lot of people are just misunderstanding what's going on, or is there something like a split in NASCAR itself, where the regional people are doing their thing well, and the touring side isn't working as well?
 
2014-04-05 10:29:50 AM  
You yokels do know that NASCAR is fixed like professional wrestling, right? That's why they call it "sports entertainment".

If it"s still real to you, enjoy you're high speed soap opera.
 
2014-04-05 10:32:49 AM  
*checks out fanschoice.tv*

Events at South Boston, Thompson, Evergreen, and Langley today?  Including Modifies at South Boston?  Thanks a bunch, GFTL, I'm not getting out of this chair again today, am I?
 
2014-04-05 10:33:52 AM  

PreMortem: You yokels do know that NASCAR is fixed like professional wrestling, right? That's why they call it "sports entertainment".

If it"s still real to you, enjoy you're high speed soap opera.


*cough*your*cough
 
2014-04-05 10:33:58 AM  

PreMortem: You yokels do know that NASCAR is fixed like professional wrestling, right? That's why they call it "sports entertainment".

If it"s still real to you, enjoy you're high speed soap opera.


I'm sure you have proof, right? I mean both that it's "fixed" and that it's called "Sports entertainment." I've never seen it referred to that way.

/hate pro "wrestling
//marginally enjoy NASCAR
 
2014-04-05 10:36:24 AM  
We talked about this last year in the fark NASCAR threads and you guys hit the nail on the head: NASCAR just cares about expanding their audience instead of cultivating a quality product


You want to give the championship to the most consistent team all year not some flash in the pan young gun who hit a hot streak at the right time. Compound this with everything you guys have talked about:

Cookie cutter stupid 1.5 mile tracks fans hate

Drivers being promoted on their marketability instead of raw talent

Aero package being unable to pass in clean air

Danica

In the end you have pissed off your core demographic fan base who instead of supporting you now skip around and only tune in when it's interesting

Seriously this elimination chase format is going to explode in their face the moment Kurt Busch takes out Dale jr and fans storm the track with pitchforks
 
2014-04-05 10:41:51 AM  
Three words: 

Car of Tomorrow.

I was never much of a fan, but growing up, when it really was Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge to see who could make a winning car out of something off the lot, that had some bite to it.

And let's quit being coy: we love wrecks.  We love big high speed flames coming out car flipping in the air wrecks. The people who say they watch the races for "the strategy" are as convincing as the people who used to say they read Playboy for the articles.
 
2014-04-05 10:43:50 AM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: wiseolddude: I might watch it if I didn't have to listen to non stop talking by the announcers. Years ago when I first hooked up surround sound for my television, the first program I watched was a car race. I thought it would be cool to listen to the cars racing around the track in surround sound. I was wrong, it was announcers talking over each other.

That's another thing: I am sick and tired of the frikkin Waltrips

/There. I said it
//let the hate flow through you


Are you not entertained?!?!
img.fark.net
 
2014-04-05 10:53:10 AM  
NASCAR needs to market itself as a green alternative to F1 racing. Using hybrids would be a good first step in this direction, but ultimately it needs to go full EV to tap into the eco-friendly demographic.
 
2014-04-05 10:54:33 AM  

Kurohone: Go Fast Turn Left:

FansChoice.tv man, it's the wave of the future. I'll be on the rest of the season at Southern National Motorsports Park doing the announcing there (next race is April 12th, twin 75 lap Late Model Stocks, www.snmpark.com @SNM_Park, facebook.com/southernnationalmotorsportspark), and we've got fi ...

Oh, thanks for that hookup.  That's just the sort of thing I'm looking for.

And I'm really curious...you seem to have a positive view of NASCAR at the local and regional level, but there is definitely a differing view of by a lot of fans at a national level.  Why do you think there's the difference?  Do you think they're doing the right things with the touring series as well, and a lot of people are just misunderstanding what's going on, or is there something like a split in NASCAR itself, where the regional people are doing their thing well, and the touring side isn't working as well?


Here's the thing, everyone pines for the "olden days" in almost any sport.  Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, if you ask around, lots of people will say "Oh, the sport was better when...".  In some cases they're true, in some they're not.  NASCAR, in my opinion, made a mistake with the COT.  The safety aspect of it can't be ignored: It was a better car as far as preventing injury, but it was boring and looked like a painted up brick.  They've done away with that and have gone back to a car that looks more like what you find in your dealerships.

Points: The Chase was actually come up with by the old USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series years before it was a thing in NASCAR.  It worked amazingly well for the USAR, and whether people care to admit it or not, it's worked great for NASCAR.  Years ago (back in the "glory days"), 9 times out of 10 you'd have a champion declared before the season was over.  Same with the races, for every one race where you'd have a dead heat to the line, you'd have five races where Richard Petty won by 3 laps.  I'd love to know how that's better.

The difference between the local/regional racing and the national racing series is the size of the microscope it's under.  If we make a change to the format at Southern National Motorsports Park, the Raleigh newspaper *might* make mention of it.  If NASCAR changes something at the Cup level, *everybody* notices it.  It gives the local racing a huge edge as far as what they can/can't do.  Hell, the Truck Series did green/white/checkered for years (like we do at the local level) before NASCAR decided to put it into the Cup series ,because back then the Truck series wasn't really paid that much attention to.

I think that, in the end, NASCAR is more guilty of trying to make changes too quickly and not letting the last round of changes totally sink in.  I think the change to the chase is a great idea, I love the "win and you're probably in" aspect of it.  You've already seen strategy changes in the first six races of the season, and I don't foresee that changing.  Is it "manufactured" a little?  Sure, but the only difference between the way we determine a champion in NASCAR and they do in the NFL is that NASCAR's not been under the same microscope for nearly as long.
 
2014-04-05 10:55:47 AM  

drateR: NASCAR needs to market itself as a green alternative to F1 racing. Using hybrids would be a good first step in this direction, but ultimately it needs to go full EV to tap into the eco-friendly demographic.


Read up, they're already working on it:  http://green.nascar.com/
 
2014-04-05 10:57:52 AM  
Read a few of the comments, might have missed someone saying it, but if it hasn't been said yet;  NASCAR needs to add more road courses.  A quick poll of the drivers will even tell you the same thing, Oval racing is exciting to some, road racing seems to be exciting to everyone.

/on a personal note my friends and family will go with me (the whole weekend) for Watkins Glen but no one except my wife will come with me to an oval track race.   (and I don't think its the company, har har.)

/love me some NASCAR
 
2014-04-05 10:58:55 AM  

smerfnablin: We talked about this last year in the fark NASCAR threads and you guys hit the nail on the head: NASCAR just cares about expanding their audience instead of cultivating a quality product


You want to give the championship to the most consistent team all year not some flash in the pan young gun who hit a hot streak at the right time. Compound this with everything you guys have talked about:

Cookie cutter stupid 1.5 mile tracks fans hate

Drivers being promoted on their marketability instead of raw talent

Aero package being unable to pass in clean air

Danica

In the end you have pissed off your core demographic fan base who instead of supporting you now skip around and only tune in when it's interesting

Seriously this elimination chase format is going to explode in their face the moment Kurt Busch takes out Dale jr and fans storm the track with pitchforks


And DW's obsessive love for her.
 
2014-04-05 11:00:09 AM  

Go Fast Turn Left: As for the Modifieds, like any regional/local series, it's taken a hit due to the economy, but the racing is as good as it's ever been.  The problem in the northeast is that there's also like three different modified touring series now, which as diluted some of the talent pool up there.  The racing is good, but the chance that you'll get Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, and everyone else all in one race varies a lot more now than it did even five years ago.


The big problem with the Modifieds is definitely the money, and there's been a feeling for a long time that NASCAR isn't interested in the series for anything more than the money.

Remember when NASCAR also sanctioned the Busch All-Star Series (dirt late models), the Northwest/Southwest/Southeast (All Pro)/former ARTGO Tours (late models/pro stocks), and the Dash Series (four-cylinders)? They sold those off or closed them down, then retooled the Busch North into the Busch East Series hoping to attract some of those All Pro teams to come on board. There was lots of concern that the Modified Tour was next on the chopping block.

I'm not a Modified insider, but reading the local reporters' work, it seems like there's this "us-versus-them" thing going on in the Mod Tour. About eight or nine years ago they experimented with "flash races," fifty-lap points races that alienated a couple full-season teams (multi-time champ Tony Hirschman among them) who didn't want to race for reduced purses on a heat that still cost the same in tow money and preparation. More recently, they added points races in Bristol, TN (a hike for a series where the regulars are mostly based in CT or NY) and a one-time deal in Ontario (where there isn't really a big Modified scene, and I'm guessing a lot of teams didn't have passports before that season). Chad Little was appointed as series director for a couple years, which irritated people who saw him as a west coast guy and not familiar with the Modifieds in the least. And then there was the whole spec-engine debacle of a couple years ago, where NASCAR allowed a spec engine that performed so well, the smaller teams were concerned they would have to throw away their investments in built engines (not to mention the hit to engine builders that had been providing the series with power for many years).

We saw this as the Busch North Series evolved into the Busch East and later the K&N East. A series that ran on tracks in New England with drivers and teams based in New England started to add dates in VA and NC. It went from a regional tour to a development series, and the longtime stalwarts disappeared - some because they couldn't afford to chase the full schedule, others because they disliked playing with the rich kids. Now, the former Busch North Series races one event at NHMS where they once raced four times a year - and that's the only race in New England at all.

The Modifieds are largely the same series they used to be; there's no pressure for it to become a feeder series (and there's already the Southern Tour). But it's an expensive tour to race for the prize money they pay. The Boehler "Ole Blue" #3 team was talking about going part-time in 2014 because it costs so much to do special trips like the Bristol race. Other team owners have threatened to leave the NASCAR tour over things like the spec-engine program. And if they did leave, there are plenty of weekly programs for them to run, plus the Modified Racing Series and Race of Champions tours if they want to go touring. They don't have to be part of NASCAR to race; it's just nice to have the name-brand exposure.

I guess it's the same problem as anywhere else. The sponsors are less willing to take a risk on an unproven name; they'd rather sign on for a little piece of a Dale Jr. or a Brad Keselowski than sponsor a whole season for Johanna Long. The result is that Johanna start-and-parks, or worse yet, doesn't race at all. And that problem is a bigger deal for these regional series, where the driver, the team and the sponsor are usually blood-related if they're not the same person.

/American-Canadian Tour season opener is next weekend at Lee USA Speedway
//I hope it warms up by then
 
2014-04-05 11:01:34 AM  

Sirlan: Read a few of the comments, might have missed someone saying it, but if it hasn't been said yet;  NASCAR needs to add more road courses.  A quick poll of the drivers will even tell you the same thing, Oval racing is exciting to some, road racing seems to be exciting to everyone.

/on a personal note my friends and family will go with me (the whole weekend) for Watkins Glen but no one except my wife will come with me to an oval track race.   (and I don't think its the company, har har.)

/love me some NASCAR


Um, no. Maybe add a few more just to change it up, but I personally would rather watch the grass grow. It's about as exciting as Kansas.

/the state or the race
 
2014-04-05 11:09:59 AM  

Sirlan: Read a few of the comments, might have missed someone saying it, but if it hasn't been said yet;  NASCAR needs to add more road courses.  A quick poll of the drivers will even tell you the same thing, Oval racing is exciting to some, road racing seems to be exciting to everyone.

/on a personal note my friends and family will go with me (the whole weekend) for Watkins Glen but no one except my wife will come with me to an oval track race.   (and I don't think its the company, har har.)

/love me some NASCAR


While I personally prefer road courses, I wouldn't say they're universally preferred, but most DO seem to agree they're under-represented (or that the 1.5 tri-oval is OVER-represented)
 
2014-04-05 11:12:45 AM  

pwn3d781: Go Fast Turn Left: As for the Modifieds, like any regional/local series, it's taken a hit due to the economy, but the racing is as good as it's ever been.  The problem in the northeast is that there's also like three different modified touring series now, which as diluted some of the talent pool up there.  The racing is good, but the chance that you'll get Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, and everyone else all in one race varies a lot more now than it did even five years ago.

The big problem with the Modifieds is definitely the money, and there's been a feeling for a long time that NASCAR isn't interested in the series for anything more than the money.

Remember when NASCAR also sanctioned the Busch All-Star Series (dirt late models), the Northwest/Southwest/Southeast (All Pro)/former ARTGO Tours (late models/pro stocks), and the Dash Series (four-cylinders)? They sold those off or closed them down, then retooled the Busch North into the Busch East Series hoping to attract some of those All Pro teams to come on board. There was lots of concern that the Modified Tour was next on the chopping block.

I'm not a Modified insider, but reading the local reporters' work, it seems like there's this "us-versus-them" thing going on in the Mod Tour. About eight or nine years ago they experimented with "flash races," fifty-lap points races that alienated a couple full-season teams (multi-time champ Tony Hirschman among them) who didn't want to race for reduced purses on a heat that still cost the same in tow money and preparation. More recently, they added points races in Bristol, TN (a hike for a series where the regulars are mostly based in CT or NY) and a one-time deal in Ontario (where there isn't really a big Modified scene, and I'm guessing a lot of teams didn't have passports before that season). Chad Little was appointed as series director for a couple years, which irritated people who saw him as a west coast guy and not familiar with the Modifieds in the least. And then ...


There's nothing that you said that isn't accurate there.  Money is a problem most everywhere in the sport right now, from Cup all the way down to Street Stocks.  The problem is this: The more you spend, the more stuff you can get, and if you've got the right people in place, the more you'll win. (Face it, there are some Late Model or Modified teams that spend like no tomorrow, but won't be winning anytime soon).  So when that starts to happen, NASCAR steps in (way too late, usually) and says "Okay then, this is the new engine deal" or whatever.  Everyone complains and that's where you end up.  Unfortunately, there's no good way to circumvent that kind of thing.  An existing touring series can't set a huge new rule package out there without people being upset that in the short-term it's going to cost them more money, regardless of what the long-term effects of those changes are

In Late Model Stocks right now you have the crate engine debate.  NASCAR has slowly let more crate engines into the fold, and the engines (coming right from the manufacturer) are as good, if not better, than the built motors that guys have been running forever. If you take the engine builder (who will completely be out of business in this scenario) out of the picture, you can have everyone running a few motors at a lower cost with more reliability, but people are totally against it.  Why? Because that's not how we've done it.  It makes no sense logically, but here we are.

To the point of the Busch East series and whatnot, it's in part the tracks not wanting it there anymore.  There's sanctioning fees that you have to pay for each of those series, and the K&N Series schedule is basically built around who wants to pay for that event.  At SNMP we only run the Southern Modified Tour, and don't do the K&N Series, in part, because it's expensive as hell to run them.  The PASS and X-1R Pro Cup series both rent the track, so SNMP takes a profit no matter what happens there.  If Stafford/Thompson/Waterford/Monadnock or whoever wanted to pay for them to come race, they'd be there that season.
 
2014-04-05 11:19:14 AM  
I think the one thing people also lose perspective on is exactly how popular NASCAR became. When INDYcar crashed and burned NASCAR became the absolute king and it's popularity seemed to skyrocket. And that kind of popularity is always hard to maintain. So to me the biggest problem is that when the popularity decreases as it inevitably does how do you adjust to that?. They probably grew too big, too quickly and are now paying the price. I'd bet that it's still more popular now than when I was a kid watching but not as popular as it's peak because the faddish fans are gone. But it seems like they are trying to hold on to that image of the past peak. Everything has to be a large spectacle, a momentous occasion, versus just a race. But again I'm a bit more old school so maybe the kids dig that kind of crap more than me.

I also can't blame them for trying new things. Every sport evolves and some changes people like and some they hate. (Hell after all these years I still don't like instant replay in sports but I can imagine the people screaming if they ever took it away.) I personally would like to see some more road courses and less super speedways. But I've always been a fan of that type of racing. And hopefully if/when the economy rebounds it will bring some new money/perspectives to it.
 
2014-04-05 11:21:48 AM  
It's been a good season so far, but I'm sure people are getting tired of every season having a new set of rules and Chase stipulations.  Fox is so biased on certain drivers and I'm sure that isn't helping anything.
 
2014-04-05 11:22:50 AM  

Tellingthem: Everything has to be a large spectacle, a momentous occasion, versus just a race. But again I'm a bit more old school so maybe the kids dig that kind of crap more than me.


See, and that's the thing that, to me, people lose sight on.  How many Super Bowls are actually *good games*.  A fraction of them.  Not every NASCAR race over a 36 race season (which is too long a season in my opinion) is going to be good.  Hell, two years ago I attended 65 races.  Of those, probably 30 of them had really good racing, and the rest were "okay" at best.  It's what comes with any sport.

That said, SMI has somehow managed to make boring racing at every level. I don't know how, but save for Sonoma and New Hampshire, they have.
 
2014-04-05 11:25:57 AM  
Holy crap. It's so strange seeing a thread about racing that hasn't devolved into a bunch of left turn jokes.

GFTL... your insight is greatly appreciated.
 
2014-04-05 11:36:00 AM  
I quit watching when ol' Giggity started saying that stupid shiat They try to add some intelligence to the sport then piss it all away by having him announce.That and the cheating and weekly rule changes. The sport is fixed and NASCAR plays too big a hand in who wins--sudden yellows for 'debris' for instance.I grew up two blocks from Daytona and could see part of the race from the roof...back in the 70s. THAT was stock car racing. This abortion today is all spectacle.
 
2014-04-05 11:38:04 AM  

fastfxr: I quit watching when ol' Giggity started saying that stupid shiat They try to add some intelligence to the sport then piss it all away by having him announce.That and the cheating and weekly rule changes. The sport is fixed and NASCAR plays too big a hand in who wins--sudden yellows for 'debris' for instance.I grew up two blocks from Daytona and could see part of the race from the roof...back in the 70s. THAT was stock car racing. This abortion today is all spectacle.


So it's your theory that up until about 2003 or so, no driver or team had ever cheated, or tried to cheat?  And there weren't yearly rule changes?  I just want to make sure I'm getting this right.
 
2014-04-05 11:38:46 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: Kurohone: Watching the Nationwide race last night, I couldn't help but think that NASCAR is in deep, deep, deep trouble.

They brought it on themselves by chasing a fickle demographic and making "the product" into WWE on wheels, only without someone with half the sense of a Vince McMahon, or even an Eric Bischoff to run the show.


Ding.

Admit it's scripted. Get the NASCAR equivalent of Snowden to leak it all.

At least get Brian France with an underaged boy/girl/both.

I'll stick to Reality TV.
 
2014-04-05 11:47:43 AM  

Go Fast Turn Left: Points: The Chase was actually come up with by the old USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series years before it was a thing in NASCAR.  It worked amazingly well for the USAR, and whether people care to admit it or not, it's worked great for NASCAR.  Years ago (back in the "glory days"), 9 times out of 10 you'd have a champion declared before the season was over.  Same with the races, for every one race where you'd have a dead heat to the line, you'd have five races where Richard Petty won by 3 laps.  I'd love to know how that's better.


The thing with the Hooters ProCup was that they ran two distinct Northern and Southern Tour schedules, which had a full complement of drivers each. They'd then bring the North and South together for a few races to determine an overall champion. Not that this wasn't considered in NASCAR - remember when people thought they should split the tour so they could accommodate all the "good" drivers coming through the ranks? - but trying to give more drivers a shot at a season-long title just feels like a contrived way to make the title chase more exciting. The only way the title chase should be more exciting is if more drivers manage to put together that perfect season start-to-finish. 1992 is the classic example, of course. But not every season can be 1992, either.

To the point of the Busch East series and whatnot, it's in part the tracks not wanting it there anymore.  There's sanctioning fees that you have to pay for each of those series, and the K&N Series schedule is basically built around who wants to pay for that event.  At SNMP we only run the Southern Modified Tour, and don't do the K&N Series, in part, because it's expensive as hell to run them.  The PASS and X-1R Pro Cup series both rent the track, so SNMP takes a profit no matter what happens there.  If Stafford/Thompson/Waterford/Monadnock or whoever wanted to pay for them to come race, they'd be there that season.

No argument there. And for the number of seats they're going to sell, any NASCAR show is an expensive race to host. Connecticut had the added complexity - at least according to people who comment on Internet articles and forums - of being Modified Country, in that any "Busch North is leaving Thompson" article was accompanied by a bunch of "good riddance, bring on the Mods" responses. Though there's less interest in hosting the K&N Series at Lee or Beech Ridge when the only driver anyone will recognize as a local is Eddie MacDonald.

That's why I've taken a real liking to the ACT the last few years. ACT and PASS North sort of picked up where the old Busch North left off - New England drivers touring New England tracks, a combination of veteran journeymen and rookies looking to climb the ladder if money will let them do so. Unfortunately, PASS wants to focus on Maine and Canada, and the ACT favors Vermont, plus the ACT trimmed a couple dates off the schedule this year, one being 30 minutes from me. I'll admit that it wasn't a packed house that Saturday night (not to mention only 19 cars showed up), so I'm not that surprised...just disappointed.

Tellingthem: I think the one thing people also lose perspective on is exactly how popular NASCAR became. . . that kind of popularity is always hard to maintain. . . . Everything has to be a large spectacle, a momentous occasion, versus just a race.


Very good point. The tracks look downright empty at some of these races, but everything was built and upgraded in a boom cycle where there were waiting lists for tickets to every big event. I remember when my folks were on the NHIS waiting list just hoping we would eventually get seats on the frontstretch for a Cup race. Now, you can pretty much buy those tickets a month or two before the race. When you grow that big and that fast, there's nowhere to go but down. And today's culture sure isn't as tied to the romance and spectacle of the automobile as it used to be.

In the offseason, they were talking about producing "Game 7 moments" to make racing more exciting, that everything needs to be the last game of a tied Series. Does that make it any less impressive when the series is over in four or five games? Not every series has a Game 7. Not every race is going to be a barnburner. Besides, what looks like a great race to one person probably looks a lot worse if their favorite driver isn't the one who led every lap.

Not every baseball game is the World Series Game 7, either. And no one's calling for MLB to shorten up to a more exciting schedule.
 
2014-04-05 11:55:08 AM  

pwn3d781: That's why I've taken a real liking to the ACT the last few years. ACT and PASS North sort of picked up where the old Busch North left off - New England drivers touring New England tracks, a combination of veteran journeymen and rookies looking to climb the ladder if money will let them do so. Unfortunately, PASS wants to focus on Maine and Canada, and the ACT favors Vermont, plus the ACT trimmed a couple dates off the schedule this year, one being 30 minutes from me. I'll admit that it wasn't a packed house that Saturday night (not to mention only 19 cars showed up), so I'm not that surprised...just disappointed.


Down this way we now have two Super Late Model touring series: The PASS South and the Southern Super Series.  Both seem quite content running separate tracks which is working in the short term.  That said, I don't know about the North series, but where the PASS South "great racing" comes from is the fact that they have to restart every 5 laps due to another caution. I always hated reporting from those events, it was just brutal.  The car counts are good down this way in both, though.  This is, in part, due to the desolation of the Pro Cup series.  When Hooters pulled out, USAR decided they were done.  Lots of the USAR teams in this area went to PASS, then USAR decided "Actually, we're going to race anyway", and tried to throw something together.  The CARS Pro Cup (they have a title sponsor now, X-1R)'s opener had 8 cars. 8.  Another one I'm glad I didn't have to be at.
 
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