Story by Patrick Reynolds. Photo courtesy NASCAR.
Nobody Asked Me, But…
…since NASCAR Sprint Cup is the premiere stock car oval series and stages a pair of road races each season, I would like to see other major series break rank and do the same. ARCA already has road course and dirt races. I want to see Formula 1 and IMSA compete in oval races. Just once per season.
…I have hoped for years that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase would run its course and go away. It is not. I have been told that all along, and the longer we go the less interested I am in the series championship each season. The Chase provides a watered-down and absolutely phony title shoot-out in Homestead each year. For 2016, Chase formats have been instituted in the NASCAR Truck and Xfinity Series. The Trucks even have a caution clock in 2016 where a yellow flag is waved after 20 minutes of continuous green flag racing. I fear this clock is being used for eventual testing in the Sprint Cup Series. NASCAR’s National Tours keep heading down dark roads. I find more interest in other forms of auto racing each season. This fundamental changing of NASCAR has me literally sad as I reflect how far a once great sport has fallen. Will the executive decision-makers ever realize that the changes they make to fill empty seats are the reason the seats are empty in the first place?
…Alexander Rossi winning the Indianapolis 500 was a good thing for Indycar. I was at a dealership for vehicle service a few days after returning home from Indy. One of the advisors said, “I’ll bet Indycar was disappointed in that (Rossi’s win). I said “Well he is a young American from California. Rossi grew up with dreams of Formula 1, went to Europe, and made the grid, only to be left with no ride this year. An American F1 castaway winds up in the 500 driving for an Andretti and barely wins on fuel vapors. On the contrary- this is exactly what Indycar needed.”
…Formula 1 races in the United States once each season. From the media coverage, we would never know it. I see broadcasts and articles about the Texas weekend just as much as I see coverage of Monza’s Grand Prix. I wonder why the FIA or COTA doesn’t have at least the marquee names chatting it up on Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show, or Seth Meyers during race week.
…Indycar and NHRA should let NASCAR Sprint Cup lay out their schedule for a season and be willing to flex a bit on their own schedules to shoot for Saturday nights and afternoons when Cup is not racing. I would not avoid or be afraid of NASCAR if I was either group, but there are gaps that could be beneficial. For instance this past Father’s Day there was no Cup race. Indycar was also off. That is a missed opportunity in my eyes. Would NHRA be interested in Saturday night elimination rounds? Spread your product over a broadcast package and take advantage of the calendar. NASCAR Cup is still the dominant American form of racing, but it is not what it once was. Grab the opportunities for market share, sponsor exposure, and new fan’s eyeballs.
…There are plenty of events s I have never been to that I wish to. The Snowball Derby, Knoxville Nationals, Long Beach Grand Prix, Oxford 250, and Rockford Short Track Nationals are just a few.
…There are plenty of events I have been fortunate enough to go to. The Indy 500, Daytona 500, World 100, Little 500, Spring Sizzler, Rolex 24, Winchester 400, Hoosier 100 and Oswego Classic are just a few.
…NASCAR pioneers should be voted into their Hall of Fame before today’s stars. Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett are extremely deserving of their HoF inductions- just not before Red Byron and Raymond Parks.
…Sam Ard should be on the Hall’s ballot.
…If I won Powerball, I would not own a high-level professional race team. I would be interested in buying a short track- maybe North Wilkesboro or Concord here in North Carolina.
…I think race cars being towed on open trailers are cool. These days even a majority of entry-level short track divisions are pulled in enclosed units. Decades ago, thousands of racing machines were towed across the country in full view over all of the miles they traveled. That captured a lot of attention and generated interest over the years. Auto racing from every level lost a hug promotional tool when cars stopped being visible. Think about it.
…Between the crowd, on-track racing, and general positive energy that come from Indycar’s return to Road America, I propose we vote that the track has a permanent place on the schedule. All those in favor, say “aye!”
…I miss an all-motorsports channel. SPEED sure had its faults at the end but it was my go-to channel to turn on the TV. I don’t have that now. In a gratuitous self-promotion, we at RacersReunion are working hard to change that and bring back an all-around auto racing news show. Speedway Report does well for a radio broadcast. Expanding that format and developing television are what we are after. That last sentence is a lot of work trying to move a mountain. As the expression goes, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”
Patrick Reynolds is a former professional NASCAR mechanic who hosts Speedway Report Mondays 7pm ET/ 4pm PT on www.racersreunionradio.com. Follow on Twitter @SpeedwayPat.