Over the past few years, NASCAR has struggled with both dropping TV ratings and attendance at the track. NASCAR decided that in order to keep the fans watching on TV from seeing how sad it really is, they took out seats…
Over and over, they have made changes to the cars that do nothing but make them more Aero-dependent, and that is one of the problems we will address in a bit. Another problem is the penalties. Well, if that is what you want to call them; to me it’s been more like spanking the hand of a 3-year old child. The “penalties” have no bite… no teeth, and thus, no real meaning.
So, I sit back and I look at this sport that I have loved and been part of for over 45 years, and I wonder… how can it be fixed? Or better yet, can it even be fixed? Well I have the answer.
For years my friends have called me “Doc” or “the dr.” It’s a play on my name; that is a story for another day… but I digress…
With that being said, I have come up with the following, “The dr.’s Script for how to fix NASCAR” and this if from years of watching, talking to the legends of the sport and lots and lots of research. I am going to list these suggestions in the order in which they need to happen, or would happen if I were the top gun at NASCAR, so here goes…
1) Send teams a notice, that the current cars were going to be run the rest of this year and the cars for next year would be vastly different. It is not open to discussion by a council, or a group of drivers or owners.
2) Contact each make, Ford, Chevy, and Toyota, and ask them to send us one car, of the make and model they wish to race; this car will be pulled off the line at random, by a NASCAR official. This will be the car the NEW templates will be made from.
3) The safety features that are in place today will remain, and we will strive to provide the safest guidelines possible to protect our drivers. Moving forward, these may change as better equipment becomes available.
4) Notify each track that by the July 4th race in 2018 they will replace at least 50% of the seating they took out the past few years, and that any seat not sold, will be given to various charities, such as organizations that look after our Veterans, Children with illnesses, First Responders, Law Enforcement and others to be determined at a later date. (See, I kept that last part from some of NASCAR’s demands and press releases.)
5) The new cars: Here is where it gets good. All cars wanting to compete in 2018 will have STOCK noses, no side skirts, no chin spoilers, and no rear spoilers. The entire body will conform to the NEW templates that NASCAR will provide to teams. There will be NO bump stops, no coil bind setups. Goodyear will provide a tire that is as hard as Chinese arithmetic. The restrictor plates will be tossed in the garbage; all engines will be 9:1 compression running on pump gas. Teams will have the option of fuel injection or carburetors to give the teams a choice.
6) The Lucky Dog Rule is gone. You go down a lap… well, you’re going to have to work to get it back.
7) There will be no overtime garbage; we will finish under a green flag, no yellow checkers.
8) In the last 25 laps of a race, yellow flag laps do not count.
9) If there is debris on the track that warrants a yellow, it must be seen by at least 3 officials… or no yellow.
10) If a team is found illegal in post-race inspection, the win will be taken away!
11) Point system will no longer be a playoff format. It will be as follows: winner gets 50 points 2nd gets 40 and drops by one to the end of the field. A pole in qualifying gets you 5 bonus points. If you lead a lap you get 5 points; lead the most laps, 10 points. If your running at the end of the race, 5 bonus points.
12) All penalties handed down for infractions will include a point reduction of some type.
13) There will be no segments! When the green is dropped, racers will race to a checkered flag until all laps are completed.
14) Should two drivers have a conflict that results in an on-track altercation, they will be given the options.
A) Sit out 2 races or B) put on the boxing gloves at the start/finish line and go three 2-minute rounds immediately following the race.
15) All teams in the top-10 in points will be required to have one of this sport’s legends in their pits each week, to give them a true understanding of how the sport began.
16) NASCAR will put in place the “Forgotten Racers Fund” to support racers who have fallen on hard times; 10% of all purses paid will go into this fund.
17) There will be no Saturday night races so as not to interfere with local race tracks.
18) All ticket prices will be cut by 30% effective NOW!
19) Winner’s purses will be once again posted for all to see.
20) All management of NASCAR will be required to attend ALL races and 50% of those races attended will be done so on pit road, and the remainder from the GRANDSTANDS with the fans. Under no circumstances will any race be viewed or watched from a skybox.
NASCAR has forgotten who the core supporters are; they have forgotten they even exist and this has dramatically affected the success of the sport that once had the second-largest fan base in all of sports. In order for NASCAR to truly succeed, it MUST get back to its roots. As my grandfather used to say, “Dance with the one who brung ya” and it seems pretty simple to me. Why is it that the current Management team can’t see this?
I think I can fix the sport we all love so dearly, if I only had the chance. I know this is a serious pipe dream, and one of those “if only” type lists, but in my mind, this is what it would take to fix a sport that is run by people who don’t even like racing.
I want my NASCAR back! I am “the dr.” and I approve this message.