I have only worked one place in my lifetime where we had a “Suggestion Box” which was put up by the Department Manager. This box was in the break room where everyone in the building would go at least once a day if not more. When the box was first installed we were instructed that all “suggestions” were to be typed and were not to be identified in order to ensure anonymity for those inclined to make suggestions somewhat less than feasible. I personally don’t recall ever dropping a suggestion in the box, but I do remember some of the memos we received from management as to some of the comments delivered to that bright yellow box mounted to the wall by the drink machine. I guess a suggestion is only as good as the person receiving it as it. At least that seems to be the general consensus of those I’ve asked about that today. Seems management always unconditionally accepts what it wants and discards the rest.
Hugh, I would appreciate it if you would pay particular attention to this Legendtorial as you seem to be one well versed in the world of NASCAR rules and what I will be proposing here tonight are my suggestions as to how I see the improvement of the product NASCAR offers to its fans. I mean that as a sincere compliment to you, Hugh, and I’m sure some of what I will say I have actually heard you say before, or at the very least infer. I know NASCAR doesn’t have a “Suggestion Box” but maybe someone will get the drift of what I’m saying. This is not intended to be an indictment of the way you guys in Daytona are running things these days, just a way I see as a door to working with all the old fans like me while keeping your product relevant to what you are trying to do. Okay, here we go.
First up let’s go to the continuing discussions that can’t seem to die as to Cup drivers’ double dipping or triple dipping into the Trucks and the Xfinity series. Frankly, as much as I enjoy the Camping World Truck Series, this season it was merely tuning in to see Kyle Busch in the lineup and I would be turning off the television and finding something else to do. I did watch several of the Nationwide races and enjoyed the ones where the Nationwide regulars could run up front and even win. With Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and occasionally others getting into the act, it was soon no fun for me, as I imagine it was the same for others. It was a necessary act on your part, NASCAR, when you required drivers to designate ONE series for points competition but that wasn’t enough.
What I propose for next year, in both trucks and Xfinity, is a requirement for a large entry fee for drivers not competing for points in the lesser series. I would propose a $10,000.00 entry fee for trucks, and $15,000.00 for Xfinity. You could add those entry fees to the points fund at the end of the year for each series. Further, points would be awarded ONLY to those drivers signed to compete in that division, as they are now, but the finishing positions of non-specific drivers to those series would NOT be counted in the point computations as if those drivers did not even exist in the field. In my personal opinion, I think this would enhance both series and if Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski still want to run those divisions, they can afford the fees. Busch has said he enjoys “taking the candy from the babies” but he may not enjoy it so much when he has to pay for the candy. Think about that NASCAR,please.
As we are apparently stuck with The Chase Format forever, according to everything I’ve read from the drivers’ viewpoints and now the manufacturers joining in, I think we need to “tweak” this a little more. Oh, and Brian, “tweak” is one of your most favorite words when talking about the Chase. This is what I would propose: Keep the elimination format as you have, but change it to 20 drivers eligible in the first round, with FIVE to advance after the third race. However, keep the requirement of winning to advance OR the top five in the points. Now here is where it gets tricky with your inability to understand a point systems. Award Chase Points to ONLY those drivers in the Chase. I have said this since the very first Chase but now Jeff Gordon has picked up on that plan as well. In other words, when computing Chasers’ points, take the highest finishing Chase Driver and he gets 20 points, next highest 19 points and on down the line. Throw out the lap leader or leading one lap point. Run plain and simple on this basis. Award Chase points ONLY to the Chasers while the rest of the drivers get the regular points for their finishing positions. And please, please, I beg you, get rid of that “Nation” designation you are using. Change it to “Team Gordon”, “Team Earnhardt” or whatever. This “Nation” thing is insulting to most fans I believe.
In the final race, you will have FIVE drivers running for the title, either race winners or the highest in the CHASE points. If you thought four were good, five is going one better and I think it will make it even more interesting.
Now, let’s get rid of that “Lucky Dog” rule. In racing, as in life, you should earn what you get and racing to be the top car one lap down is sort of disgusting prospect. There is the option of making up a lap on the track by passing the leader. That should be your option, NOT getting a free lap just because you were the first car one lap down. I know there are lots of Danica fans who will scream about this one, but let’s be fair and have them earn what they get. As for the “Wave A rounds”, I’m not so sure I like that either, but when you consider that puts the leaders back in front in the “clean air”, that may be an advantage to present your fastest with the option on pit stops.
While we are talking about “clean air”, can’t your engineers figure out a way to make the cars handle that situation more easily? Back when there was actually some ground clearance between the front of the car and the track, the clean air wasn’t such an issue and the cars raced pretty darn good. Can’t we go back to something like that? I know we can’t go back to stock looking race cars because there are no stock two door Fusions, Impalas of Toyotas available. More the pity, in my opinion.
One suggestion on your television package, and I am intentionally avoiding the “Waltrip Debacle” you have unleashed upon the fans. There is no reason I can see for your continuing self-promotion commercials during race telecasts. This past season it seemed there were such commercials every six to seven minutes. Your fans, what there are left of us, are watching already. Why waste the time and money in efforts to entreat us to watch? Kind of redundant don’t you think.
Ok, that’s enough for tonight. Jeff says I talk too much anyway, which is not the real problem here. The real problem here, in my opinion, is NASCAR, you listen too little. So your ratings and attendance supposedly improved during the last three Chase races. Can we anticipate that is going to translate to next season? It is a shame that a 36 race season means nothing until the last three races in the season in the scenario you have created. I guess it’s like I always like to say; “Honor the past, embrace the present, and dream for the future”. I do have a dream for the future of NASCAR but so far Brian hasn’t invited me to talk it over.
Wishing you all a most Happy and wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have much to be thankful for so remember that as you gather with your family Thursday.