Boring NASCAR this year...

Discussion in 'Sports' started by DownNDirty, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. DownNDirty

    DownNDirty Contributor

    There's a thread on another motorsports message board talking about the boring racing. Here is my long winded post that I made regarding the racing in NASCAR. It may be a bit wordy but I tried to get across everything on my chest about NASCAR racing in 2012. The most interesting thing I found out - which is in the article - is that DID YOU KNOW there was ONE pass for the lead on track the entire race at Kansas last week? One pass - when Hamlin went around Truex Jr. And definitely at least check out the margin of victory at the end of the race as it concerned the lead lap cars. How people are defending the racing in 2012 at least at Kansas, Texas, and California is beyond me.


    Let me try and articulate my thoughts on NASCAR in its current form and this will likely be a long, all over the place rant.

    My family have always been fans of racing - mostly dirt track racing and NASCAR. I was born in 1980 and have been entrenched in racing my entire life. My parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and many friends here in East TN loved Winston Cup and Grand National racing back in the day. More and more of them over the years have faded into the "eh, I've got better things to do than watch it" type of crowd. My dad and I watch almost every single NASCAR Cup race together - it's the time we can take from our lives to spend a few hours together every weekend together sharing our common love for the sport. Honestly, the main reason we still watch NASCAR Cup races anymore is just being able to spend the time together. I don't "hate" the sport but I've became mostly disinterested. And I'm not alone - at least not as far as my family and friends are concerned. I don't know a single one of them that is loving the racing in today's sport.

    I can safely say that I can appreciate the driving talents of the drivers and some of the clean racing. However, I watch F1, Indycar, NHRA, AMA Supercross, Touring Cars, Dirt Late Models, and really just most forms of motorsports that I come across. This year F1 and Indycar both have ran laps around the excitement of NASCAR IMO. I watch F1 for the pure driving, Indycars for the fierce road racing, and NASCAR for the "rubbins racing" style of racing. No, of course I don't expect every single race to be legendary. It's just not possible - the law of averages will guarantee some stinkers no matter what. However, this neutered form of racing this year is mostly absymal. Where is the passion? Where are the weekly feuds that keep you hooked from one race to another?

    I know most of the people on here saying things tongue-in-cheek about 25 cautions and a photo finish are just making fun of some of us fans that don't appreciate the racing we are seeing this year - especially from California, Texas, and Kansas this past weekend. Kansas would be as forgettable as Texas if not for the close race at the end between Hamlin and Truex. Let me break down the Kansas race below just in case some may not know:

    14 lead changes among 9 drivers. Well that don't sound horrible. Let's look closer at how many of those passes actually occured from something OTHER than pit stops....

    Allmendinger leads 1-44, Hamlin 45 (Pit stop), Edwards 46 (Pit Stop), Truex 47-91 (got lead with good pitstop), Johnson 92-93 (pit stop), Kenseth 94 (pit stop), Montoya 95-96 (pit stop), Truex 97-177 (lead back out of pit stops), Kenseth 178 (pit stop), Keselowski 179-180 (pit stop), Truex 181-223 (lead back out of pit stops), Montoya 224-225 (pit stop), Hornish 226-232 (pit stop), Truex 233-236 (lead back out of pit stops), Hamlin 237-267 (PASS FOR LEAD ON TRACK). Yep, ONE, one, count them ONE pass for the lead of meaning in the entire race not due to pit stops.

    Now lets look at margins between drivers on lead lap at end:

    1. Hamlin 2. Truex 0.57 3. Johnson 2.88 4. Kenseth 7.33 5. Biffle 13.86 6. Harvick 14.07 7. Dale Jr 17.91 8. Kahne 21.58 9. Carl Edwards 23.51 10. Kyle Busch 23.69 11. Keselowski 26.96 12. Montoya 27.48 13. Stewart 29.39 14. McMurray -1 15. Logano -1

    Ok, digesting that data after the battle for the lead Johnson was almost 3 seconds back. Kenseth was 4 seconds behind Johnson and Biffle was over 6 seconds behind Kenseth. After that the ONLY drivers even close to battling in the top 10 were Edwards and Kyle Busch 9th/10th. I can't tell anyone else how to feel about the racing. If you like it like this then good for you but don't try and make me feel like a heel for liking more excitement than the winner beating 10th place by almost 25 seconds and no battles in the top 10 at all besides that race for the lead at the end. There is something wrong with that picture. If this race was an anomoly I wouldn't be complaining but this is becoming the norm and I just don't get it. Maybe I should go back to "wrasslin, monster trucks, and demolition derbies" according to some people on here. I'm all for debating my side of things without having to resort to name calling or feeling that because I feel the way I do of course I'm right. I just don't get it from some people and don't know what I'm missing. This isn't the way NASCAR used to be. I don't have to see a flaming wreck every week but it's nice when guys lean on each other a little and from time to time spin out.

    I don't totally blame the drivers. I think the driving force behind the majority of what's wrong is the car. The CoT sucks, period. I'm glad it's safer for the drivers and understand the safety innovations were necessary. Thankfully next year they will be flipping the script and hopefully with the cars all changing it will bring back some of the excitement for fans like me - those growing up in the 80s-90s. Not all the races were good but most were memorable for one reason or another. And the manufacturer wars "hopefully" will return. Maybe one will be stronger on one track and another on another track. Everybody will be fighting about who has the advantages and all of that again. Maybe some of the innovative mechanics and crew chiefs will feel like the box is opened up a bit more and there will be a new renissiance of innovation flood the sport. The tires are another major factor in the problems I see with the sport. They need to have more degredation bottom line. Getting out there and drivng the wheels off of them the entire run makes everyone equal. Where are the days of Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip saving tires during a run and coming on strong because they saved their stuff? With the knowledge that you can't abuse the tires any more than the next guy and that mechanical failures are at a minimum now all drivers just get out there and drive it to about 90-95% of the limit all day long without having to worry about reprucussions. Maybe if Goodyear made the tires a little softer and made it to where if you pushed it too hard you risk blowing out the tire during a long run it would make drivers jockey around a bit more once again.

    However, the biggest problem I see - and the one I don't think anything much will be done about is the points system. My God, you hear these guys get out of the car at the Daytona 500 saying good points day. The sport of NASCAR was not founded on who won the fricking points title. There is so much unnecessary emphasis placed on the points it's unbelievable. Once upon a time there were bigger teams and drivers that didn't worry about the points at all - they wanted to go out there and win money and win races. The races themselves should be spectacles of the best drivers in NASCAR giving it their all every weekend instead of riding around collecting those precious points to make sure that you have a shot the last 10 races. I understand that culture will not change and that points racing cannot be derailed. But if they could figure out a way to make the drivers go as hard as possible every weekend and just worry about the race they are in it would make things much better all around. Richmond is coming up this weekend - I know all drivers want to win but realistically about halfway through the race 75% of them will know they can't. And then they'll be "chasing those points." Let's not get in trouble or do anything that can drop us from 13th to 30th. Let's just ride it out and have a decent day and move onto Dega. That mentality I do understand but just think it hurts the sport overall.

    I'm not saying I'm right but I'm just trying to defend my position. I want excitement, guys mad at one another, some controversy, etc. from time to time. The sport I'm sure can live without me and my dad watching every Sunday. But when they lose us and I don't raise my kids with the same love I had and others are doing the same thing I think NASCAR could eventually have a problem. It will never go back to the Southern roots and I don't forsee Cup races at Wilkesboro or Rockingham anymore but we can at least have some good racing. I'm hoping the new cars next season will give us what we want as far as at least some homage to the past. If I want to see pure racing I can always watch F1. If I want to see fast oval racing I can watch Indycars.

    Just because some fans like myself don't like this pure racing and fields spread out all over the track doesn't mean we all want demolition derby's. I think many of us just want close hard racing and we aren't getting that this year. If the drivers are so out of touch they don't understand why we don't like it I cannot help them. I'm sure being in the car is a blast but when you have races like Kansas last week where there was 1 pass in the top 10 in the last 20 laps of the race that's not good - at least to me. For anyone who read all of my rambling lunacy I salute you.
     
  2. rbroyles

    rbroyles Chieftain

    I am pretty much in agreement with you DND. The last two races, I played in on line poker tournaments. Even my Pick'Em contest couldn't keep me watching. I simply pulled up nascar.com's leaderboard and kept tabs on the race.

    In my opinion the single largest problem is the Chase, which goes in line with your idea about points racing. Teams are so caught up on making the Chase the crew chiefs are afraid to gamble on strategy calls, and drivers are just riding unless they have a shot at a top 5. Even then there are those who are happy settling for whatever position they get.

    A lesser cause is how much money the drivers make. Take a look at the season point standings/money won chart. Figure most drivers are getting a minimum of 40% with the top guys getting 50% plus endorsements which in some cases exceed their race winnings. I think they should be paid on a par with other top sports, but some are too satisfied with what they can make running mid-pack.

    My solution has been posted before, shorten the races to 500 or 400 km or less with a few exceptions, (Daytona 500, Charlotte 600, Indy 400 and maybe Talladega 500). This is why the truck series has good racing, drivers cannot just ride. This would also be more TV broadcasting friendly, and appeal to new or casual fans in that not so much time has to be allocated to watch a race.
     
  3. IP

    IP Advanced Pruitt Apologetics Bot

    I've never understood why mid-pack guys got more than an average worker's salary.
     
  4. MaconVol

    MaconVol Chieftain

    I agree with this last part especially. I want to see some excitement. That doesn't mean cars have to be flipping up into the grandstands, but I wanna see guys mad as hell at each other for something that happened during the race. I want the 2nd place car to spin out the 1st place car so they can get the win. I am tired of the gap between 1 and 10th being 25 seconds as well.
     
  5. MaconVol

    MaconVol Chieftain

    I agree with this last part especially. I want to see some excitement. That doesn't mean cars have to be flipping up into the grandstands, but I wanna see guys mad as hell at each other for something that happened during the race. I want the 2nd place car to spin out the 1st place car so they can get the win. I am tired of the gap between 1 and 10th being 25 seconds as well.
     
  6. rbroyles

    rbroyles Chieftain

    Just to get to this level is a darn good accomplishment. Only a very small percentage make it, not to mention the risks they face. Look at the money being made from their activity. Would you agree to the same level of pay to the mid pack NFL, NBA, MLB player?
     
  7. IP

    IP Advanced Pruitt Apologetics Bot

    Well... no.
     
  8. 615 Vol

    615 Vol Chieftain

    Nascar is more of a team sport than some people think. True, the best drivers rise to the top, they tend to land the best rides because the best rides want the best drivers. However, you have guys such as Kurt Busch who is a much better driver than the team and equipment he is driving for. He's going to make more getting a 30th place car to finish 18th than a guy that can't get the most out of his car. Some of those mid pack guys are just stuck in bad situations, ie lack of sponsorship or whatever it may be so they still get paid well.
     
  9. The Dooz

    The Dooz Super Moderator

    Clearly the solution here is rip up and repave race tracks.
     
  10. MaconVol

    MaconVol Chieftain

    Apparently. It's Smith's approach anyways.
     
  11. JayVols

    JayVols Walleye Catchin' Moderator

    Saw Bruton's press conference yesterday. They really aren't doing that much it seems to me. They are taking out the top groove and making the banking consistent. It was said that it would still have more than 1 groove, just not 3 or 4. He made the statement that the decision to put in progressive banking in 2007 'kinda slipped by' him. He said that he would have never done that had he been aware. Truth? Don't know. He did say that he was studying progressive banking at Charlotte and decided against it. I'm not sure I would have said that the decision 'slipped by'. Gives the perception of being asleep at the wheel.
     
  12. tidwell

    tidwell Chieftain

    That press conference yesterday was embarrassing.

    Personally, I've rather enjoyed the last two races and the fewer number of cautions overall this year. Biffle chasing down and passing Johnson at Texas and Truex stalking Hamlin at the end of last week's race without the help of the manufactured drama of a "debris" caution is as good as it gets to me.

    I don't quite understand the complaint of the cars getting too spread out over a long green flag run. Some cars are simply faster, they're supposed to pull away from the slower cars. If you want to catch them, drive faster or qualify better so you're not way behind before the green flag even drops.

    That's just me, though. I get why that may seem boring to others, but that's racing to me. Call me a purist or a bore, I suppose.
     
  13. tidwell

    tidwell Chieftain

    How does the complete reconfiguration of the owner's track "slip by" the owner? That may be the single dumbest thing said yesterday in a press conference overflowing with stupid. Of course Bruton thinking Charlotte of all tracks, a place that they could already run from the bottom to the top, needed progressive banking may fully illustrate that he's not particularly bright.

    However, I don't recall exactly why they decided to change Bristol in the first place. Surely it wasn't because they wanted to limit the contact which is what they now seem to want more of despite every driver telling them not to touch it and 60% of the fans, according to Bruton, also not wanting it changed back to the single-grooved demolition derby.
     
  14. 615 Vol

    615 Vol Chieftain

    I believe Broyles has mentioned this in the past but the best thing they can do is shorten a lot of the races. People no longer have attention spans like they did in the days when baseball ruled the country.
     
  15. The Dooz

    The Dooz Super Moderator

    Wait, he said the last configuration slipped by him? What the [uck fay] does he do all day?
     
  16. JayVols

    JayVols Walleye Catchin' Moderator

    Direct quote, man. I had the same question you did. It was unbelievable. Said he caught it about 2 days too late. Makes one wonder how he ever succeeded.
     
  17. The Dooz

    The Dooz Super Moderator

    i know. he's basically taken credit for anything successful at that place. it's funny he's now trying to pass the buck for supposedly [uck fay]ing it up.
     
  18. rbroyles

    rbroyles Chieftain

    Bruton Smith is a bully type of person who doesn't like to be told anything but what he believes. I can imagine a conversation something like this: Wayne Estes, Bristol Mgr, "Bruton, are you sure we should change the track? We have done pretty well with the current configuration, 55 straight sell-outs." Bruton, "Let me worry about that Wayne, I have been doing this shit for a long time, and I know what people want to see." Fast forward to 2012: Bruton, "What the [uck fay] is the problem Estes? You want me to shut down that damn place?" Estes, "The fans don't like the changes you made to the track". Bruton, "Yeah, how the [uck fay] did I not get briefed on that idea"? Estes, "huh?"
     
  19. MaconVol

    MaconVol Chieftain

    Would changing back to the Monte Carlo's, Taurus's, and the Intrepid help Nascar any?
     
  20. rbroyles

    rbroyles Chieftain

    Changing to body styles that are identifiable ass Fords, Chevys, Dodges and Camrys would help. None of your list are still in production, but I get your point, and it is valid.
     

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