Surefire Cost-Cutting Ideas for NASCAR
I bid you welcome gentle readers, and of course a heartfelt “Hey y’all” to our assigned reader of all things NASCAR on this fine day. Did everyone enjoy the race on Sunday? Did anyone watch the race on Sunday? It was obvious that the threat of really nasty weather kept a lot of folks at home by the fireside, but they don’t appear to have been watching TV. Closing day of the Olympics is said to have turned in an all-time low, and Atlanta drew only a 3.3 final rating, down from 3.8 last year and a 1.1-million drop in viewers. Cable companies beware… America is turning off her TVs, one set at a time, but in now alarming numbers.
There was a lot of discussion on my website over the weekend and beyond, and much of it centered on the “money-saving” efforts of NASCAR on behalf of the poor beleaguered teams. The one catching the most flak was the new “mandated” air guns, several of which did not work on Sunday for an assortment of reasons. I’m “told” that the teams pay circa $1200 per race to lease those things. There’s a lot of unrest among the teams because of having no way of controlling the quality of the randomly distributed “pieces of [excrement]” as Cole Pearn sort of put it. Well, if you want to save money, who better to ask for suggestions than an old lady on a small pension?
This old lady has a couple of really good ideas. Why not ban ALL air guns, pit guns, air wrenches or whatever, and let the teams all use lug wrenches! No lug wrench is going to set you back anything like $1200 per race. They’re really tough to break and most are a once in the lifetime of a vehicle purchase… and come with the car. I’ve never shopped for a lug wrench, but a quick search tells me that the average cost for a good one is in the area of $20.00. Sure, it will slow the pit stops down some more, but the savings would be astronomical! If slow pit stops will make someone late for dinner, then shorten the races to compensate. The target demographic is said to have little or no attention span to speak of anyway.
Let’s go to another area where a LOT of money could be saved… qualifying. Once upon a time, qualifying was almost as interesting as the race itself, and lasted over two and sometimes three days. Today’s young folks have no time or inclination to watch a bunch of cars compete against nothing but a clock. Face it! Even with the field shortened to 40 cars, the Charter system has pretty much killed the idea of anyone going home. We saw a full field of 40 at Daytona, but that is going to be the exception in 2018, not the rule. Let’s look at this logically. The cars spend a full practice working on a qualifying set-up, which differs greatly from their racing set-up. It necessitates extra tires, fuel and general wear on car and engine, just to prove who’s the fastest.
Surely, there are better and cheaper ways to do that. They could line up according to practice times… fastest time is on the pole… or the other way around if you crave the excitement of watching the good guys come from the rear of the field. (The last one has flaws, in that they WILL sandbag) They could use the finishing order of the previous race to set the field. Or… they could do it the way they set the field for the Clash and All-Star races… have the crew chiefs draw ping-pong balls or slips of paper from a hat. Whatever… qualifying, with all the cost and man-hours involved, has become a dinosaur whose time has passed. It’s just an unnecessary expense that serves no purpose in racing today, and in case no one has noticed, the crowd in the grandstand for any qualifying, at any track, is best defined as “non-existent.” There probably are other things that fall into that category as well. We tend to get set in our ways because “That’s the way it’s always been done.”
Well, there you go NASCAR. Those are a couple of really solid cost-saving measures that should not require meetings in board rooms or endless months of study to activate. My advice would be to forget about leasing the lug wrenches to the teams. Let them get their own, and the team that has the guy with the strongest arms has the advantage.
Time now for our Classic Country Closeout. This week we’ll be hearing from some wonderful ladies of Country Music. The selections are short, but live. Please enjoy…
Be well gentle readers, and remember to keep smiling.
It looks so good on you!