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Big changes coming

LewTheShoe

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NASCAR's growth in the mid-90s - early 2000s was truthfully an unsustainable bubble that was not going to last forever. Brian is an idiot for not realizing the boom/bust cycle.
This. This right here is the #1 factor. And to be honest about it, the over-investment in capacity mainly happened before Bill France Jr. turned over power to Brian France. There's plenty of blame to go around.
 

LewTheShoe

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Since I don't have any money tied up in the sport, I haven't done any research on the subject. I won't claim to have a comprehensive list. An abundance of 'cookie cutter' tracks? The effects of the recession on people being able to afford to attend, or on sponsors being able to afford to support cars? TV broadcasts shot full of commercials? Expanding too rapidly, and assuming it would continue? Earnhardt's death? Dodge's exit? Toyota's introduction? Dodge's return only to exit again?

I'll give PARTIAL blame to the rules changes, but there are plenty of other factors. I don't think either of us has a statistically accurate way to measure the individual impact of any of them. My opinion is just semi-informed guesses and shots in the dark. We'd have to start by asking former fans why they made their choices. I will take a bet that NASCAR's marketing office did that, along with other forms of marketing research I can't even guess at.

And frankly, events and activities have always risen and fallen in popularity on a cyclical basis. I regularly read here that viewership is down across the board in sports. Tiger Woods took golf to numbers no one had seen since Palmer and Nicklaus. Current players are as good or better, but their viewership is down anyway without the sport changing. Look at the mid-80s when pro wrestling was everywhere. The mid- and late 70s were all about tennis. Almost nobody cares about boxing any more, and a hundred years ago it was the top form of entertainment in sports. Why there are no westerns on TV anymore? Oh, they were replaced by 'reality programming', which fell to police procedurals. Stuff comes and goes. My point is that neither of us can accurately, definitively say where NASCAR would be today if there had been no changes made in the last 20 years.


Then it doesn't matter what was or wasn't said today. You're already convinced the sport is dying. Why worry about it? Breathe in, breathe out, move on.
This is such a great post. Thanks, Charlie, for taking the time to write it.
 

LewTheShoe

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Nascar could have retained a lot of the people that came during the boom but they had blinders on and arrogantly pursued a foolish agenda.
That is an opinion based on speculation and guesses. I suspect it is partially true, but have no real research or facts to prove it. But there is plenty of blame to go around, IMO.
 

Revman

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NASCAR Radio when a caller suggests working on improving the car: "....at some point the drivers need to drive the car, and given the right incentives, the racing will be better."--Pete Pistone.....who has never engineered a race car to my knowledge. SMDH.

On that note, could somebody tell me why the hell NASCAR doesn't give these guys some leash in adjusting the rear spoiler?
 

MarcWiley

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NASCAR Radio when a caller suggests working on improving the car: "....at some point the drivers need to drive the car, and given the right incentives, the racing will be better."--Pete Pistone.....who has never engineered a race car to my knowledge. SMDH.

On that note, could somebody tell me why the hell NASCAR doesn't give these guys some leash in adjusting the rear spoiler?
Everyone rips on Moody (and rightly so), but I really think Pistone is the biggest jackass in NASCAR media.

And as for the spoiler thing, I've wondered that myself, as it would be a very interesting part of the car to work on for the teams.
 
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Skoalbandit33

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That is an opinion based on speculation and guesses. I suspect it is partially true, but have no real research or facts to prove it. But there is plenty of blame to go around, IMO.
All I can offer is anecdotal evidence in that people started flocking to the series when it was still palatable for the majority of oldtimers but instead of commissioning studies to find out what people liked and disliked Nascar moved in their own direction. Some tracks were essentially replaced due to reconfiguration and others were eliminated and replaced with tracks more suited for housing people instead of promoting good racing. A lot of oldtimers became indignant and left and a lot of the newcomers became bored and left. This is by no means meant to be scientific but has been gleaned from talking with former fans of all stripes and reading various articles.

Another killer for the newbies was that a boatload of them were both Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr fans and they were happy when Jeff was winning races and championships and when Junior was a relevant player. When the bloom fell off the rose for those 2 the vibe I got was that many of the newbies decided to exit as they were never really fans of racing but fans of seeing Jeff and Junior doing well.

Do I think that the majority of newbies could have been retained? Absolutely not but I believe with a proper plan and the proper execution of the plan Nascar could have retained a meaningful amount of them.
 

Charlie Spencer

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... On that note, could somebody tell me why the hell NASCAR doesn't give these guys some leash in adjusting the rear spoiler?
I suspect it's the same reason they don't let chiefs adjust many other parts of the car. Doing so would eliminate manufacturer parity.

:sarcasm: Can't have that. :sarcasm:
 
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Skoalbandit33

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NASCAR Radio when a caller suggests working on improving the car: "....at some point the drivers need to drive the car, and given the right incentives, the racing will be better."--Pete Pistone.....who has never engineered a race car to my knowledge. SMDH.

On that note, could somebody tell me why the hell NASCAR doesn't give these guys some leash in adjusting the rear spoiler?
I think it stems from Nascar believing that they know what is best for the drivers, teams and fans despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
 

Revman

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Everyone rips on Moody (and rightly so), but I really think Pistone is the biggest jackass in NASCAR media.

And as for the spoiler thing, I've wondered that myself, as it would be a very interesting part of the car to work on for the teams.
Is there even a production staff at NASCAR Radio? Those guys are off the leash, and there doesn't seem to be any push back. I've got 20 minutes on my lunch hour to listen to Moody, but the first 20 minutes of his show is a joke....so is the rest of the show largely.

Want to improve the car? Let the manufacturers out of the box a bit. However, the RTA will **** themselves over increased development costs. Make no mistake, the RTA has their hands all over this. Screwing with the format is cheap.
 

Revman

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I suspect it's the same reason they don't let chiefs adjust many other parts of the car. Doing so would eliminate manufacturer parity.

:sarcasm: Can't have that. :sarcasm:
They start with the same baseline, now let them adjust the things! Some drivers can handle little downforce, maybe others can't. Want the drivers to be the stars, let them tune the cars to their preferences!
 

2 Sweet

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I don't hate it. Yet.

I'll give it a fair shake before I judge. Honestly I thought the changes would be a lot worse. This has potential to be good, even though it's nothing close to what I would prefer.

Look, I would love to see NASCAR structured exactly how it was 20 years ago, but that's not gonna happen. For several reasons, I don't think it'll ever get back to that level of greatness. I didn't stop caring when Dale died in '01, I didn't stop caring when they introduced the Chase in '04, I didn't stop caring when the COT debuted in '07, and I didn't stop caring when my lifelong favorite driver retired after '15.

Yes the sport has rapidly declined but at this point, as long as there is a NASCAR, I'll continue to follow along and hope for the best. I still find entertainment in NASCAR despite its many flaws. More than anything, I just want to see the sport succeed.
 

Acs

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They start with the same baseline, now let them adjust the things! Some drivers can handle little downforce, maybe others can't. Want the drivers to be the stars, let them tune the cars to their preferences!
Agreed. People rightfully complain when we see a car like Truex's at the Coke 600 obliterate the field from the word go. That race was won in January when they built that chassis and tested it. No amount of more "trying" from the other drivers could have given him a challenge. The best way to counteract that is to allow more in-race adjustments, like the spoiler angle as suggested, or go further and allow adjustable sway bars, and dog ear flaps. It's not like the crew chiefs and teams from the rest of the field are stupid people, far from it. They can watch the race and cue off Cole Pearn to see what needs to be done, they just can't make enough adjustments to get there and overcome the inherent setup advantages some teams have.
 

Team Penske

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Look, I would love to see NASCAR structured exactly how it was 20 years ago, but that's not gonna happen. For several reasons, I don't think it'll ever get back to that level of greatness.
Not the same people involved, fans or drivers. If they ran 10 races the same cars etc as 1980 their would be no one watching race 10. If I am wrong then You Tube must be busy as all get out showing those races.
 

Team Penske

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Really? Breaks in the middle of races? What the **** is that?
No difference than Nascar throwing a bogus caution to do the same thing. At least now we know when those breaks are going to happen AND we know when the majority of commercials will be shown. Gives you time to fill the popcorn bowl and get more soda pop.
 
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Skoalbandit33

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Agreed. People rightfully complain when we see a car like Truex's at the Coke 600 obliterate the field from the word go. That race was won in January when they built that chassis and tested it. No amount of more "trying" from the other drivers could have given him a challenge. The best way to counteract that is to allow more in-race adjustments, like the spoiler angle as suggested, or go further and allow adjustable sway bars, and dog ear flaps. It's not like the crew chiefs and teams from the rest of the field are stupid people, far from it. They can watch the race and cue off Cole Pearn to see what needs to be done, they just can't make enough adjustments to get there and overcome the inherent setup advantages some teams have.
We are on the same page as I do not believe drivers are purposely driving around in 8th place at Texas or Charlotte if they had a horse that could take them to the front. Most of the drivers are pushing both their abilities and that of the car most of the time because if they were not no one would ever blow R/F tires and hit the wall. I liked the variety of how some cars were set up in that Kyle Busch and Martin Truex may have short run cars and Jimmie Johnson and BKez may have long run cars. I guess all the cars will be short run now.
 

Team Penske

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You have got to be kidding me.

Us fans bitch NON STOP that the TV networks cut to commercial too much under green and we miss some action. So the TV networks agree to air a bunch of the commercials under yellow, guaranteed AFTER the pit stops so we don't miss the battle on pit road, and we complain about it?? The networks have to make money. Commercials have to happen either way. They just threw us a bone and we're gonna complain about that as if we'd prefer to take those commercials under green or something. Holy crap, what CAN they do right?
There is no way anyone can make changes to satisfy those that live to complain.
 

Team Penske

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We are on the same page as I do not believe drivers are purposely driving around in 8th place at Texas or Charlotte if they had a horse that could take them to the front. Most of the drivers are pushing both their abilities and that of the car most of the time because if they were not no one would ever blow R/F tires and hit the wall. I liked the variety of how some cars were set up in that Kyle Busch and Martin Truex may have short run cars and Jimmie Johnson and BKez may have long run cars. I guess all the cars will be short run now.
Won't do you any good in the final segment. Especially now that Nascar isn't going to use bogus cautions.
 

Team Penske

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Somebody tipped Carl Edwards off & he said f*ck it. I dont blame him.
I think we got these changes because Carl said that after losing Homestead and the championship.
These changes will will really keep the spot light on NASCAR's stupid officiating.
 
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Skoalbandit33

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Somebody has to pay for it. I read here some people don't want to pay extra on their cable bill.
You pay for what you want or do without.
I pay extra to watch my beloved Maple Leafs play. Go Leafs Go.
 

Team Penske

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Dale Jr......what a freakin idiot.....guy has taken one to many hits on the noggin.
When you next look at your bank balance and net worth, compare what an idiot can do with no education.
Junior fights the whole 500 race to be up front while the JGR cars are riding in the back. Regardless who wins, guess who gets the most points?

These changes are great, take off those rose colored glasses with the #33 stamped on them and enjoy the changes.
 
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Skoalbandit33

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There is no way anyone can make changes to satisfy those that live to complain.
With today's technology no one should complain about commercials as the only reason people are agitated by them is because they have made that choice. If I want to watch a race I record it and begin watching it no earlier than 90 minutes after the drop of the green so I can fast forward through all the commercials, all the useless camera angles, the worthless talking heads plus in race commercials and promo's. The scary thing is that I am not the sharpest turnip on the wagon and I figured this out all by myself!!!
 

Team Penske

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Whelp, time to put my money where my mouth is. The very basis of what NASCAR has represented from the first race in 1949 has been destroyed. I will be finding a new way to spend my Sunday afternoons. Been nice knowing you guys over the past few years. Maybe I'll turn up on the IndyCar or F1 board sometime. Never thought I'd see the day where those series are more representative of pure competition.
They still aren't. Watch F1 and see who leads after turn one and you have the winner.
 
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Skoalbandit33

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I pay extra for the Pens and I get my monies worth.
I didn't get my monies worth with the Eagles on NFL Sunday Ticket this year! Actually it was all good and it was good being able to see them and lots of other out of market games.
 
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Skoalbandit33

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Hockey is by far the least commercialized and most continuous of the major sports and it's f*&king awesome because of it. Lets go Wild!
Bruce Boudreau has the boys playing well and Devin Dubnyk is a wall in goal. For me it is a shame that Nascar has tried so hard to pattern itself after stick and ball instead of celebrating all the differences.
 

Charlie Spencer

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I think we got these changes because Carl said that after losing Homestead and the championship.
These changes will will really keep the spot light on NASCAR's stupid officiating.
I haven't talked to him lately :D but I also suspect the vagaries of Homestead played a part in Carl's decision.
 
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How many of you actually watch the races live? If I have something fun or planned to do during them I just dvr the races and watch whenever I get to it. I can then fly through the races cause I can fast forward all the commercials and the caution laps plus all the bs pre show stuff. Even when I have nothing to do I still usually watch a movie or two or a bunch of tv shows and then go to the dvr to watch the race. This is how I basically watch all season minus a few races that I actually care about watching live.

To me one of the biggest things that I think hurts NASCAR is all the bland and boring personalities these drivers have. The majority of them come across as corporate clones.
 

BobbyFord

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If anyone is interested, I got a seat for both days at LVMS with Neon Garage pass and two Fontana seats, both says with garage passes.
Make an offer.
 

Charlie Spencer

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How many of you actually watch the races live? If I have something fun or planned to do during them I just dvr the races and watch whenever I get to it. I can then fly through the races cause I can fast forward all the commercials and the caution laps plus all the bs pre show stuff. Even when I have nothing to do I still usually watch a movie or two or a bunch of tv shows and then go to the dvr to watch the race. This is how I basically watch all season minus a few races that I actually care about watching live.

To me one of the biggest things that I think hurts NASCAR is all the bland and boring personalities these drivers have. The majority of them come across as corporate clones.
I probably watch 80% of Cup races live, likely more than that. For X and Trucks, probably at least 60%. I record IndyCar and IMSA when they conflict with NASCAR or each other, but if there's no conflict then I watch them live too. Auto racing is about the only sport I watch for most of the year.

Whether in the house or in the garage, I get up at the commercials and do some kind of productive work. It's amazing how much you can get done that way. I've been doing that for so many years that I've developed an internal clock and 'know' when it's time to head back to my seat. (I suspect the new format will force me to develop a new set of timings.)

I can't see a driver's personality when he's in the car, just his driving style. I don't much care about his personality when he's out. Just me.
 

Charlie Spencer

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If anyone is interested, I got a seat for both days at LVMS with Neon Garage pass and two Fontana seats, both says with garage passes.
Make an offer.
Yeah, this definitely caught a lot of ticket holders flat footed. They said in the conference that they'd been working on it for months, but this is another change in an off-season that will long be noted for last-minute announcements.
 
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Skoalbandit33

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How many of you actually watch the races live? If I have something fun or planned to do during them I just dvr the races and watch whenever I get to it. I can then fly through the races cause I can fast forward all the commercials and the caution laps plus all the bs pre show stuff. Even when I have nothing to do I still usually watch a movie or two or a bunch of tv shows and then go to the dvr to watch the race. This is how I basically watch all season minus a few races that I actually care about watching live.

To me one of the biggest things that I think hurts NASCAR is all the bland and boring personalities these drivers have. The majority of them come across as corporate clones.
I admit I must be out of touch with wanting to see the personalities of drivers and athletes as unless they are being stupid I am not interested. The only reason I am interested in if they are being stupid is for the damage they are doing. My favorite football team had over 50 people on its roster this year and I bet I could identify about 5 of them by face and I may have heard 2-3 give a brief interview.I have watched my favorite hockey team play 40 times this year and could probably identify about 5 players and I have only heard a couple interviewed. For me it is all about how they play the players play and execute as none of them are my personal friends and never will be so I don't care if they are married, like to go hunting, are articulate, wear braces or look like dorks. I want to enjoy them doing their jobs well and that is it.
 
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Skoalbandit33

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Yeah, this definitely caught a lot of ticket holders flat footed. They said in the conference that they'd been working on it for months, but this is another change in an off-season that will long be noted for last-minute announcements.
I bet there had been no serious work done on this until after Christmas.
 
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