Can (and Should) NASCAR's Culture Of Cheating Change?

LewTheShoe

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Not a fan of total spec racing....
I'm not either. When the mostly-spec character of the Next Gen car first became known, I posted here about my opposition. I relish the small, mostly invisible differences that make a Penske Ford race better (sometimes) than an SHR Ford, or a Hendrick Chevy vs. a Childress or vs. a Gibbs TRD Toyota.

Incredible as it seems, Nascar ignored my protests, listening instead to Roger and Rick and Chip and Andy, etc.

And then an amazing thing happened... Justin Marks established Trackhouse; Matt Kaulig expanded into Cup; GMS expanded into Cup; Michael Freakin' Jordan plus Hambone established 23XI... and they have all been competitive, all race winners except GMS so far... and Dale Jr. is on the sidelines with sweaty palms just itching for the right time to jump in too. The new business model is fueling all this.

So I'm willing to accept that the revolutionary Next Gen business model is good for the sport... but only if the teams allow it to work. If the culture is to be, the richest teams employ the most engineers to cheat in ever-more creative ways that can't be detected... if that culture wins out, then we'll soon be back to two or maybe three competitive teams. And they will be spending more than ever.
 

LewTheShoe

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NASCAR struggles to find a balance between spec racing and some innovation on behalf of the manufacturers. Without some freedom, why the hell would the manufacturers even be there?
How about this... the manufacturers are satisfied to build the best racecar they can within the rules, and to associate with skilled teams to set it up within the degrees of freedom they all have, and to strive for flawless execution each week, and then leave it to their highly-skilled badass race car drivers to bring home the trophy.

I fully understand that no one is willing to be the only one who isn't cheating. But if no one is cheating, what's wrong with that competitive scenario I outlined above?

I do think that the Next Gen concept is solid. The ONLY way it works is if NASCAR busts everything, but is that even reasonable? Can they find EVERYTHING? If they can't, NASCAR is what it always was, and those that have will win, and those who don't will get their asses handed to them eventually. It will be a never ending game of cat and mouse....
Once again, you are describing a culture of serial cheating... where the recipe for success is for the richest teams to spend endless sums of money to stay ahead of the Nascar inspectors, and when they get caught, pay the penalty, handle the PR, take the medicine this week, and then cheat somewhere else next week. Never ending game of cat and mouse, as you said.

That's old Nascar. New Nascar needs to be different... and Trackhouse and Kaulig and 23XI and GMS and RFK (and others) are betting that it *can* be different. If they didn't think so, they wouldn't be making those huge investments just to be the next Front Row Motorsports or JTG-Daugherty.
 

StandOnIt

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The same thing to a certain extent has happened in the truck series. The haves used to spend tons on engines. Spending more than they could possibly make racing. The spec motor took much of that advantage away and it allowed more teams to be competitive. In fact a small single truck team is leading the series and a number of smaller teams are in the playoffs.
 

StandOnIt

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Another thing that is/was an expensive item in the cup series that hasn't been mentioned is the engine rule. No longer can the richer teams bust out a new motor for every race and be able to out money and horsepower the others who have less to spend. They all have the same rules and engines have to be used more than once. Considering engines are one of the most expensive expenditures a team can have it has been a game changer also.
 

Spotter22

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I'm not either. When the mostly-spec character of the Next Gen car first became known, I posted here about my opposition. I relish the small, mostly invisible differences that make a Penske Ford race better (sometimes) than an SHR Ford, or a Hendrick Chevy vs. a Childress or vs. a Gibbs TRD Toyota.

Incredible as it seems, Nascar ignored my protests, listening instead to Roger and Rick and Chip and Andy, etc.

And then an amazing thing happened... Justin Marks established Trackhouse; Matt Kaulig expanded into Cup; GMS expanded into Cup; Michael Freakin' Jordan plus Hambone established 23XI... and they have all been competitive, all race winners except GMS so far... and Dale Jr. is on the sidelines with sweaty palms just itching for the right time to jump in too. The new business model is fueling all this.

So I'm willing to accept that the revolutionary Next Gen business model is good for the sport... but only if the teams allow it to work. If the culture is to be, the richest teams employ the most engineers to cheat in ever-more creative ways that can't be detected... if that culture wins out, then we'll soon be back to two or maybe three competitive teams. And they will be spending more than ever.
I remember Bobby Allison saying the trouble with NASCAR tech is you have $200,000 a year crew chiefs( this was in the 80's) matching wits with $30,000 a year inspectors. NASCAR heard him loud and clear and eventually hired his former crew chief to head up the inspection process, Mr Gary Nelson. I remember Waddell Wilson's comment when the news broke that Gary was gonna be the head of Tech inspection, he said " if you wanna catch a crook, you hire a crook". NASCAR now employs some of the best in the business at catching things that just a few years ago the teams could slip by. They still get things to slip through but they WILL get caught and with the strict limitations of this car I dont see a few teams winning the majority of the races anytime soon
 

Revman

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How about this... the manufacturers are satisfied to build the best racecar they can within the rules, and to associate with skilled teams to set it up within the degrees of freedom they all have, and to strive for flawless execution each week, and then leave it to their highly-skilled badass race car drivers to bring home the trophy.

I fully understand that no one is willing to be the only one who isn't cheating. But if no one is cheating, what's wrong with that competitive scenario I outlined above?


Once again, you are describing a culture of serial cheating... where the recipe for success is for the richest teams to spend endless sums of money to stay ahead of the Nascar inspectors, and when they get caught, pay the penalty, handle the PR, take the medicine this week, and then cheat somewhere else next week. Never ending game of cat and mouse, as you said.

That's old Nascar. New Nascar needs to be different... and Trackhouse and Kaulig and 23XI and GMS and RFK (and others) are betting that it *can* be different. If they didn't think so, they wouldn't be making those huge investments just to be the next Front Row Motorsports or JTG-Daugherty.
I hear you on this, but I think that sometimes the conversation boils down to this....Is the car and all of its associated engineering part of this equation? Think F1. You build a better car, and it doesn't matter how great your driver is (kind of). Or, do we level the playing field, and let the drivers and teams duke it out. If #2 is the preference, then the question for the OEMs becomes....Is there a better place for us to be? Look at SRX.....Many love it, but I have no interest because I don't even know what the hell the cars are. The thing that separates our athletes from other sports are the chariots they drive, and those pieces need to be interesting. Spec everything takes the car out of the equation.

I like the IndyCar formula....OEM specific engines incorporating relevant tech on spec chassis, and the freedom to manage the aero and mechanical grip. I think that is the sweet spot. NASCAR is confused with the car, but it is getting better. We have digital dashes that don't incorporate tire pressure sensors.....Common technology on today's cars. NASCAR is behind on the hybrid thing. We still want a bunch of guys over the wall when racing has way moved on from that--What other single lug formula runs pits stops the way NASCAR does, and we can't figure out why wheels are falling off? We have those digital dashes, but fuel gauges would be a no-no? Why? Then, of course, we have the SMT data so that Crew Chiefs can tell their drivers exactly how to drive the ****** car. Do you see the hypocrisy here? Get it figured out. Just what in the actual **** is NASCAR trying to be?
 

StandOnIt

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Pretty much what i said earlier, the difference was an L-1 vs an L-2
We all knew it was an L1 and an L2, knew tape was used on the yotas, but on McDowell's car we were led to believe that bondo(filler) was used. Not a word about the wheel tub being modified.
 

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While I enjoy hearing the Smokey Yunick and other innovative stories of NASCAR past, as a fan I want a level playing field. I’ve watched other race series where a dominate team hurts the series by producing less competition.

I'm glad that NASCAR tries to keep the series fair.
 

LJ7201

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I think the cat and mouse game is in a good place right now. This season especially. Parity has been great and the state of the inspectors vs the garage arms race plays in to that.
 

Spotter22

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We all knew it was an L1 and an L2, knew tape was used on the yotas, but on McDowell's car we were led to believe that bondo(filler) was used. Not a word about the wheel tub being modified.
No, not in the early stage when it first happened nobody knew but I had heard it was. I had that discussion with Lew
 

cheesepuffs

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Instead of going on one of you age old indignant yota rants, you should fact check what you are having a problem with


The screen you keep referring to is an option per the rules that has been available to all teams since day one of the next-gen cars. Teams early in the year were experimenting with it and found out the hard way that it was creating cooling issues. It's explained in the following article:

https://m.nascar.com/news-media/202...ong-data-on-repairs-adjustments-before-vegas/

The way that teams can control how much air passes through the radiator now is with a blocker plate that can be installed behind the radiator to throttle some of that airflow. If a team chooses to use a radiator blocker plate then it must use a piece that is 0.062 inches thick with identical circular holes to allow the air to pass through. Teams can tune how much air passes by the size of these holes if the blocker plate is installed.
 

Revman

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The screen you keep referring to is an option per the rules that has been available to all teams since day one of the next-gen cars. Teams early in the year were experimenting with it and found out the hard way that it was creating cooling issues. It's explained in the following article:

https://m.nascar.com/news-media/202...ong-data-on-repairs-adjustments-before-vegas/

The way that teams can control how much air passes through the radiator now is with a blocker plate that can be installed behind the radiator to throttle some of that airflow. If a team chooses to use a radiator blocker plate then it must use a piece that is 0.062 inches thick with identical circular holes to allow the air to pass through. Teams can tune how much air passes by the size of these holes if the blocker plate is installed.
See @StandOnIt....This is a statement of fact.
 

Revman

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The owners said " save us from ourselves". They and the manufacturers along with NASCAR created the car that would do it but evidently the word didnt trickle down to the Engineers and Crew Chiefs. The owners really meant rules for thee but not for me with a wink and a nod. If they truly wanted it they would start canning anyone who purposely disobeyed the rules, they are complicit.
This....Such bull****. They don't want to be saved from themselves. They want to win everything. That is how they got to where they are. Nobody wants to be saved. Everybody wants to win.
 

LewTheShoe

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Believe it or not it's possible to want to win without breaking the bank.

Damn right. In 2016, Gene Haas gave several interviews where he discussed budget numbers candidly. I've lost the links due to a computer crash, but he said a championship-caliber cup team cost about $15 million annually per car EXCLUDING the cost of the driver.

2016 was Old Nascar. Most top-tier teams were racing 15-20+ different chassis per car number. The four SHR entries were supported by 400+ employees, including 180 (!) who traveled to each race. Mostly three-day shows. Engines lasted one race.

Next Gen Nascar: The fleet is capped at seven chassis max, mostly assembled from spec parts, not in-house designed and fabricated parts. Same chassis used at every type of track, from super speedway to road course to short track. The engine bill has been cut by half. Two-day shows. Nascar limits on traveling headcount. Total headcount has gotta be a lot lower. I don't have any data, but what would all the people do all day?

What used to cost $15 million per car excluding cost of the driver... maybe $8-10 million now (after some start-up costs)?? I'm guessing, have no reliable data, but it's gotta be a sizable reduction. Not all is due to the Next Gen spec parts, but most of it is. This is what's fueling the new owners establishing new cup teams. It's good for the sport, and it's just gotta work.
 

StandOnIt

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Damn right. In 2016, Gene Haas gave several interviews where he discussed budget numbers candidly. I've lost the links due to a computer crash, but he said a championship-caliber cup team cost about $15 million annually per car EXCLUDING the cost of the driver.

2016 was Old Nascar. Most top-tier teams were racing 15-20+ different chassis per car number. The four SHR entries were supported by 400+ employees, including 180 (!) who traveled to each race. Mostly three-day shows. Engines lasted one race.

Next Gen Nascar: The fleet is capped at seven chassis max, mostly assembled from spec parts, not in-house designed and fabricated parts. Same chassis used at every type of track, from super speedway to road course to short track. The engine bill has been cut by half. Two-day shows. Nascar limits on traveling headcount. Total headcount has gotta be a lot lower. I don't have any data, but what would all the people do all day?

What used to cost $15 million per car excluding cost of the driver... maybe $8-10 million now (after some start-up costs)?? I'm guessing, have no reliable data, but it's gotta be a sizable reduction. Not all is due to the Next Gen spec parts, but most of it is. This is what's fueling the new owners establishing new cup teams. It's good for the sport, and it's just gotta work.
Also with reduced costs the series is more attractive to sponsors.
 

Spotter22

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This....Such bull****. They don't want to be saved from themselves. They want to win everything. That is how they got to where they are. Nobody wants to be saved. Everybody wants to win.
Maybe your reading comprehension was off when you wrote this about my post
 

Revman

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Maybe your reading comprehension was off when you wrote this about my post
I think you are taking my comments the wrong way. I am agreeing with you.....Hence, the "This....."
 

AuzGrams

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Damn right. In 2016, Gene Haas gave several interviews where he discussed budget numbers candidly. I've lost the links due to a computer crash, but he said a championship-caliber cup team cost about $15 million annually per car EXCLUDING the cost of the driver.

2016 was Old Nascar. Most top-tier teams were racing 15-20+ different chassis per car number. The four SHR entries were supported by 400+ employees, including 180 (!) who traveled to each race. Mostly three-day shows. Engines lasted one race.

Next Gen Nascar: The fleet is capped at seven chassis max, mostly assembled from spec parts, not in-house designed and fabricated parts. Same chassis used at every type of track, from super speedway to road course to short track. The engine bill has been cut by half. Two-day shows. Nascar limits on traveling headcount. Total headcount has gotta be a lot lower. I don't have any data, but what would all the people do all day?

What used to cost $15 million per car excluding cost of the driver... maybe $8-10 million now (after some start-up costs)?? I'm guessing, have no reliable data, but it's gotta be a sizable reduction. Not all is due to the Next Gen spec parts, but most of it is. This is what's fueling the new owners establishing new cup teams. It's good for the sport, and it's just gotta work.

Enough with this “new NASCAR”, Kevin Harvick just won another one after you said he lost a step lol. it’s been the same thing it always has been.
 

Revman

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Damn right. In 2016, Gene Haas gave several interviews where he discussed budget numbers candidly. I've lost the links due to a computer crash, but he said a championship-caliber cup team cost about $15 million annually per car EXCLUDING the cost of the driver.

2016 was Old Nascar. Most top-tier teams were racing 15-20+ different chassis per car number. The four SHR entries were supported by 400+ employees, including 180 (!) who traveled to each race. Mostly three-day shows. Engines lasted one race.

Next Gen Nascar: The fleet is capped at seven chassis max, mostly assembled from spec parts, not in-house designed and fabricated parts. Same chassis used at every type of track, from super speedway to road course to short track. The engine bill has been cut by half. Two-day shows. Nascar limits on traveling headcount. Total headcount has gotta be a lot lower. I don't have any data, but what would all the people do all day?

What used to cost $15 million per car excluding cost of the driver... maybe $8-10 million now (after some start-up costs)?? I'm guessing, have no reliable data, but it's gotta be a sizable reduction. Not all is due to the Next Gen spec parts, but most of it is. This is what's fueling the new owners establishing new cup teams. It's good for the sport, and it's just gotta work.
I agree with this.
 

sdj

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That isn't entirely true. IROC racing cars were built by the same people in the same shop and used the same body, engine and drivetrain and setup.

The Next Gen uses a different engine and body, has numerous suspension changes for adjustments for balance using caster, camber, toe in or out and that is apparent watching cars get faster and slower as the race wears on and the track changes.

That is why I wrote "basically" at the start of my opinion.
 
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