We’re From NASCAR & We’re Here To Help You
by John Chapman on August 22, 2010 · 8 comments
Before I get into this, I have to make a confession. I used to really enjoy the Busch Series. I loved watching the up and coming drivers, seeing them move up to Cup. Some successfully, some not so much. Johnny Benson was one of my favorites.
My confession, I no longer watch the Nationwide, since it became “Cup Light”. It just really doesn’t interest me, which visiting Cup driver, driving for a Cup owner, wins a race, or the championship.
Lately, NASCAR has admitted that they have a problem with the under card series. I am a little baffled by their ideas to help it.
It seems that they are thinking of not allowing current Cup drivers to run for the championship. So far this season, non-Cup regular Justin Allgaier has won one. Kyle Busch has won 10, and various other Cup drivers have snagged all the rest. Well done Justin, a really significant accomplishment, but how much could you value the Championship under these circumstances?
The next way they’ve announced to help the series is to slash the purse by a further twenty percent. This is on top of cutting the pay-out for this season, as well as phasing in the Nationwide version of the CoT, thus costing cash strapped teams more
money (Click here to read Associated Press article on announcement courtesy of Jayski).
This is a real head scratcher for me. They’ve justified this by saying that this will help the tracks, (the majority owned by NASCAR) cover the sanctioning fees, (paid to NASCAR). Why not just lower, or even abolish the fees altogether? Silly me, like that’s ever going to happen.
It looks to me like this will drive out the few Nationwide only teams who are still trying to compete. Back in the days before the Cup owners and drivers took over the series, it had it’s own distinct identity. Bill Bumgardner was able to win three championships in a row, in 1995 with Johnny Benson, and ‘96 and ‘97 with Randy
Lajoie. Now I can see no conceivable reason why any non-Cup owner would ever want to own a Nationwide team, other than to start and park it. Any owners who really want to race, need to be in ARCA, not Nationwide.
If NASCAR really wanted to help the series, maybe a better way would be to lower the fees that they charge tracks, and book the events as stand alone shows at places like Winchester, Salem, etc. If the Cup owners and drivers wanted to enter, let them, but take this back to a true development series.
Maybe NASCAR and ARCA could have common rules, and co-promote the shows. Let them run on the Super Speedways, like Daytona, and ‘Dega. Otherwise let them find their own audience.
IF, and I don’t expect this to ever happen, but for the sake of argument, IF, then Cup would be left without a companion series.
That role could be filled by a combination of IRL, Truck, Whelan Modifies, maybe even on short tracks, by NASCAR sanctioned, Late Models. Make the tickets affordable enough that the fans would want to see something new.
What they are doing, Cup drivers, in Cup owner-owned cars isn’t working. Danica tooling around in the back of the pack, laps off the pace, hasn’t seemed to be the deal.Maybe it’s time to think outside the box.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, NASCAR, quit trying to make a buck off this series! Run it as a break even deal. Give something back for a change. Haven’t you taken enough over the years?