Unfortunately for the sport of NASCAR, they have a countless number of problems right now while some probably will continue to watch races despite this, others are tired of giving the sport their time and feel to cheated by it to return for another season. With that being said and the season already fast approaching( at least in mind), here are five things they need to fix before the first lap of practice takes place in February.
This list of problems will vary from person to person and these are only things we have personally observed. Nonetheless these are also issues that we believe need to be fixed before the start of the season unfolds. If not, NASCAR is only going to risk falling further and further into obscurity by alienating their longtime fans, but failing to appeal to new fans as well.
5. Network bias
While commentary is is a crucial part of the race day experience for NASCAR fans, it is sometimes challenging to sit through when you notice that certain Networks have certain biases towards specific drivers. Even worse, sometimes the networks have the same biases, which only create a bland and unimaginative experience for fans that are watching.
For example, NASCAR on Fox has had a propinquity for talking about Dale Earnhardt Jr throughout his entire 17 year Cup Series career and while a lot of people enjoyed it, fans of other drivers probably got tired of hearing The Fox Sports be so biased towards the popular driver. Then there’s NASCAR on NBC, which seems to focus more on Toyota and drivers not associated with Team Chevy.
Sure, they will cover the story if it presents itself and makes itself a story, but they keep their attention transfixed on their favorite talents. NASCAR on Fox does the exact same thing, but with a different set of drivers. In the end, i guess its nice to get a little bit different of a perspective when switching between the two Networks,but its by no mean an exactly enjoyable experience either.
4. Stage racing
In what has to be the epitomy of the gold star of effort award, NASCAR introduced stage racing a t the start of the 2018 season. Although the idea of stage racing became a huge talking point during the preseason hype and even persisted throughout the playoffs, the idea was plagued by the fact that the segments weren’t created in a way that would benefit the sport.
The problem here Is that NASCAR’s segments are way too long and doesn’t coincide with the feel that they are trying to create around the sport. If NASCAR which was smart, they would increase the number of segments and decrease the number of laps in each segment. Not only would doing this be a perfect way to create more side by side racing and intense dueling during restarts, it can also be heighten with the right incentive as well.
3. Cup series drivers racing in lower tier series
While its sometimes fun from to see when your a fan attending a Saturday afternoon Xfinity Series race, its a lot of the times boring for fans at home to see the same Cup Series drivers beat regulars week after week. Of course NASCAR tried to put a stop to this limiting the amount of races that a Cup Series driver can participate in, but this has created a negative impact due to the fact that Cup Series drivers don’t feel welcomed there anymore.
Unfortunately for NASCAR, this has caused big name sponsors to back out of deals with Xfiniy Series teams because they don’t want to take a chance on unproven talent. NASCAR could alleviate thing effect by changing the rules and increasing the amount of races that a Cup driver can compete it, but it can’t be to a point where they outright dominate throughout the season.
2. Not penalizing driver
It doesn’t happen very often, but when NASCAR does have to make a decision to penalize a driver or not, they usually make the wrong one. The perfect example of this was during The Fall playoff race at Martinsville Speedway last season, where Denny Hamlin pushed Chase Elliott through a corner and caused him to lose control of his car. The incident cost Elliott a spot in The Final four and robbed him of his first ever Cup Series win.
With that being said, NASCAR for some reason or another, decided not to penalize Denny Hamlin for what he did to Elliott that Sunday afternoon. Furthermore, Chase Elliott seemingly cost Denny Hamlin his spot in the final four by racing him too aggressively in final laps of the race, which ultimately resulted in Hamlin blowing a tire. NASCAR didn’t penalize Elliott either and the two were left to settle things for themselves.
1. Find a new favorite
While losing NASCAR greats like Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart and many others were huge gut punches to the sport, the knockout punch had to be when Dale Earnhardt Jr announced that he too would be hanging up his drivers helmet as well. The rampant string of retirements also comes at a time when the sport is going through rampant changes, which only makes fans more skeptical about actually giving it a chance.
With that in mind, NASCAR needs to choose a favorite, or better yet, a group of favorites in order to move the sport forward into its new era. This needs to be people Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Daniel Saurez and anyone else that has the personality to help drive the sport and bring in fresh new faces along the way.