• 45°

Building a better NASCAR

By Scott Adamson
Scripps Howard News Service
Things I’d like to see in NASCAR but never will …
– A senior circuit. On select Saturday afternoons (or Saturday nights) on race weekends, bring back the old-timers for a 100-mile race. Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Junior Johnson ó let ’em squeeze into the cockpit and go racing for cash and prizes.
It would be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, giving longtime fans a glimpse back at the sport’s storied pass and let the younger folks get a feel for what racing was like before it evolved from a competition to a corporation.
– Revive the old tracks. In an effort to become more metropolitan, NASCAR now builds cookie cutter tracks at places like Chicago, Kansas City and Homestead. They have come at the expense of venues such as North Wilkesboro Speedway and North Carolina Speedway.
Tradition might not be everything, but it should account for something.
Who wouldn’t like to see at least one more Cup race at these traditional tracks?
– No series jumping. Drivers are basically contract labor, so there is no rule preventing a man (or a woman) from competing in Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Craftsman Truck or any other form of motorsports ó unless the team owner makes it part of the driver’s contract.
I’m sure a lot of fans like to see Cup guys run Nationwide, but to me it’s like a major league baseball player stepping down to Triple A for a weekend series.
If I ran the world (and my application to do so has been repeatedly denied), Cup drivers would race strictly Cup, Nationwide strictly Nationwide, etc.
After all, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck are supposed to be “support” series, aren’t they?
– Commercial-free race. The big complaint in recent years is the inordinate amount of commercials that take place during an event. Just once I’d like to see a race (maybe the Daytona 500) brought to me without commercial interruption.
I mean, with 43 flying billboards already on the track, isn’t that enough advertising?
And while we’re at it, we can give the announcers the day off, too. I’m guessing real race fans will know what’s going on without their help and non-race fans aren’t watching anyway.
– A true stock car race. Don’t be fooled ó the National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing is nothing of the sort, especially now that the Car of Tomorrow has arrived.
Still, how neat would it be to actually see a stock car race? Go to a dealership, buy a car, get the crew to tweak it a bit and then put it on the track.
Unless you’ve been a race fan for half a century, you’ve probably never seen a true stock car race.
I know I haven’t.
Anyway, don’t count on any of these five friendly suggestions to ever come to pass.
I just figured since NASCAR has spent the last few years trying to fix a sport that wasn’t broken, I’d throw a few ideas their way.

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