It's that time of year again, to put together my annual list of wishes to send to the Jolly Big Guy (no I'm not talking about Mike Helton, the other Big Guy). I think I've been pretty good this year, except maybe for that piece on "More Chase"... that may have crossed the line.
However, technically I still have that under appeal with the National Motorsports Appeal Board. I'm trying plead it down to a P1, but if I can just drag it out for two more weeks I'm good!
But here's my Christmas Wish List for the Premier Series and beyond.
- SAFER barriers all around. We need our drivers protected as much as possible and SBs have shown their worth. Just finish the job! Now! Please!
- Fix the aero push problem. It's killing your product and acting like it's not a problem by not talking about it isn't helping.
- Improve Racing. Better racing cures many ills. Improve racing and lots of things get a lot better ... including fans' attitudes, outlooks, viewership and attendance.
- Adopt “Race For the Green.” Rewarding good finishes with good starting positions the following week will take the sport to a newer, higher level. Just do it.
- Show the Race. Today's TV coverage isn't getting it done as it has driven off many fans and apparently hasn't drawn in new ones. Please get back to making the race the focus, not the show put on by the broadcast team. Text me ... I have some ideas.
- Showcase the Trucks. They race ... so show them where the rest of the world can see them. Give them the professional coverage they deserve. It will pay big dividends.
- Restore Support to Local Tracks. Your sport exploded when RJR got involved in the local levels, so please come back. When done right, everyone wins. We need a winner right now. See James Crooks' article.
- New Sponsors. New sponsors mean new energy and more excitement. Thank you Sprint for what you did. Welcome aboard Monster Energy. Now we need more sponsors to come on board to bring fresh new interests to the sport.
- Put Sponsors on Cars not in the Series. We know it takes money to race and everyone needs sponsors. So let's get them on the cars instead of bringing them in as Series sponsors to be the next "Official Fast-Acting Liquid Laxative of NASCAR". I know money is needed to run a series but the teams need money too, and the last I checked teams are needed to put on a race. Let them have the sponsors.
- Bring In New Fans. The sport needs fresh blood.
- Drop Ticket Prices. Getting some money from more fans has to be cheaper than paying to rip out seats to "Right-size". Make up the difference in souvenirs and concessions. Who knows, folks might come back... and bring a friend or two.
- Target All Fans. Do we really have to target one demographic over another? Don't all fans, no matter what group they happen to fall in have some value? Isn't racing big enough for everyone? I think it is; maybe it's time for folks to start acting like it, instead of putting one over the other.
- Deal with the Chase. I want it gone, especially in the lower series. And I won't recount all the reasons why I think it's not the best way to crown a Champion but allowing higher level drivers to drop down and alter the results in the lower series by robbing win slots that would allow Series drivers to advance to their Chase is wrong. Something has to change here. A Champion crowned by a season's works would be refreshing. Kyle Busch said it best - Hate the game, not the players. I don't hate the players and only want a game that I (along with 857.3 million other race fans) don't have to hate. Please fix this.
- Reduce racing and spectator costs. Cost reductions will cure many problems. Find a way.
- Insert Logic, Restore Trust & Integrity and Operate Transparently. 'Nuff said.
- Turn the Economy. The economic downturn has been blamed for the Series’ misfortunes. Please turn it and eliminate that from the equation.
- Restore the Family. NASCAR has been and probably will always be primarily a family sport. But the family is suffering in a mighty way, which has to negatively impact the sport as well. Restore the family and help the series and beyond.
- A Safe and Successful Season for One and All. No matter what level or what series, keep everyone safe - drivers, crews, mechanics, officials, owners, sponsors, fans and all and may they all have a successful 2017.
- World Peace - while I'm asking...
- For Everyone to Have a Very Merry Christmas and remember the reason for the season!
That's my list...what's on yours?
I know it's a lot to ask for and I doubt I've been that good, but it doesn't hurt to ask, does it?
Now... do you think I should send this to the North Pole or on to Daytona Beach?
Merry Christmas to all and to ... oh wait; that's Mike Helton's line.
Merry Christmas everyone!