This Week in NASCAR - Brickyard week part 1
Chase Ellliott won in the Nationwide race, while Tony Stewart returned to the Sprint cars and won.
In the meantime, debate continued on the continuing efforts to adjust the cars and change the schedule. The season is a long one, longer than any other sport. NASCAR starts in February and the final race of the year is run in November. That leaves teams with only three months off. Of course, if you ask the drivers at this time of year, they say the season seems endless. If you ask them in December, they can't wait for the new season to get underway. Some drivers have travelled to Australia to continue racing, while others just resort to video system racing.
With the formation of the team alliance, it doesn't seem that NASCAR will able to simply impose changes to the car without discussions, input and testing.
But what about the schedule?
Someone, somewhere got the idea to ask Darrell Waltrip what he thought. His answers might surprise you.
DW feels that NASCAR is at a crossroads. He says they have made so much progress, but are still "running from" the sport that is the NFL. DW proposes that we look at the Memorial Day weekend, and make a move to achieve that same kind of fan extravaganza. After all, Memorial Day is a race fans dream! First, there is the F1 race from Monaco, followed by the Indianapolis 500, and finishing with the Coca Cola 600. People talk about it for weeks before it actually arrives.
Why not use the NFL in the same way, says DW? After all, the Daytona 500 is the Super Bowl of NASCAR, so why not run the Daytona 500 in the morning, and follow it up, on the same day, with the Super Bowl?
Certainly there are football fans who just don't like NASCAR, or racing of any kind. And there may be a few racing fans for whom football does nothing. However, in my experience, a sports fan is a sports fan. Even if you are like Pat, and don't believe NASCAR is really a sport, or that NASCAR drivers are athletes, in my experience, most people recognize the physical effort it takes to drive a race car. Most NASCAR drivers have some kind of workout regimen. Gone are the days that a heavyweight like Jimmy Spencer can excel in the sport. In fact, the only driver who could be considered a little heavier than optimum is, possibly, Tony Stewart.
But, I digress. Along with running the Daytona 500 on Super Bowl Sunday, Darrell would like to see the season begin earlier in the year, and then end earlier than November. He also wants to see teams travel to one area of the county and run all the races in that area one week after another. For example, Phoenix, Las Vegas and California would run one week after another. All the short track races would be run consecutively. In his mind, this would be a huge money saver for race teams.
In my mind, this could also attract fans from areas outside of their home track. I have always wanted to take a "racing holiday". I've wanted to take a month and travel the circuit with the teams. Having that circut be in Phoenix, Vegas and California would make that dream a little more realistic.
Does this mean I'm in favor of DW's suggestions? Not necessarily There are parts of his suggestions I agree with, and think would be beneficial to the sport, but there are some other things I just don't see working.
What about you? What's your take on these suggestions?