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Interest builds around possible changes to NASCAR schedule

Discussion in 'NASCAR chat' started by FLRacingFan, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Conover

    Conover Team Owner

    I see the schedule modification as a way to focus on quality tracks that are in demand, while gaining some added short track options. If they run fewer races (say 28 like some speculation) that reduces payouts and expense for the race teams. Helps to reign in costs during a time when sponsor money is weakening. Not sure what that does to TV money but seriously doubt they get the same amount.

    If a couple of mid-week events were desired, I’d hope they were exhibitions at short tracks staged like the LMS local series are, with heats and a feature. That makes the prep time manageable while keeping expenses low.
  2. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    Fans have been voicing their opinions for a long while about Nascar having more short tracks and road courses in the schedule. Nobody from Nascar but reporter Stern and his "industry rumblings" have said anything about the number, time or type of racing. BTW he was caught flat footed about all of these latest changes like the rest of us..besides one guy Roger Penske hinting about them. Moving fast with the changes was an understatement.
  3. IanMcVittie

    IanMcVittie Team Owner

    I am surprised that there hasnt been more pushback against the idea of cutting 8 races from the schedule from some of the fans here.

    If they could get rid of the playoffs and go back to having a full season matter plus get rid of the stages life could be good.
    Yogisd1 and Charlie Spencer like this.
  4. IanMcVittie

    IanMcVittie Team Owner

    I have heard members here say the don’t want shorter races or see the schedule cut but maybe things have changed or they haven’t weighed in.

    My question to you is you have spoken before about all the “profit” Nascar makes and part of that profit would come from races. Why would Nascar slice off nearly a quarter of the schedule if they were making money on those races?
  5. gnomesayin

    gnomesayin Team Owner

    I don't think it's one guy pulling all of these strings as a mastermind. There are many invested parties and a lot of long-simmering factors at work. I read it more as the industry was stalled due to having an utterly incompetent buffoon at the very top, and one that was progressively worsening year after year. Some changes were occurring, but there was a culture of complacency due to absent leadership. Now that Jim France has stepped in and is intent on being an active presence at the top, others feel empowered to evolve the sport. I don't agree with everything that is happening, but the direction is one of decisive and substantial action after many years of uncertainty.
    Yogisd1, Turtle84, LewTheShoe and 3 others like this.
  6. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    I’d honestly be fine with 28-30 races. The only question I have is how do the networks feel about cutting down the schedule? Second question is how will schedule contraction impact the playoffs? You figure they’d have 18 races to make it with a 10 race playoff? Not sure if I agree with that math. So many interesting combinations, who loses a race who keeps a race?
  7. Formerjackman

    Formerjackman Team Owner

    I'm not saying all of the ideas are Jim France's, but ultimately, the buck stops with him and Lesa. Ideas that move forward from this point are surely with their blessing.
    gnomesayin likes this.
  8. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    Good point. They'd almost have to amend the TV contracts because that's a lot of lost inventory across practice/qualifying/race, and you can't just cut off a bunch of NBC races in the second half of the year without taking away from FOX.
    IanMcVittie and Snappy D like this.
  9. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    Considering Nascar has been rudderless during the reign of Brian, there is no telling the direction Nascar is going in the future, but today they hit a lick.
    Charlie Spencer likes this.
  10. IanMcVittie

    IanMcVittie Team Owner

    Even though I am not on board with things like the 2019 rules (unless it really surprises me) it just feels good to have Nascar deal with its current situation and have some plans in place for the future.

    I like the fact that they see the need to sell the series by setting aside marketing dollars plus reducing the number of race dates makes sense. IDK what they have in store to try and entice other manufacturers but Nascar today seems more believable than it did 6 months ago.

    It is refreshing to see they are not behaving like a frog in a pot of water on the stove anymore. IDK if this is all for naught due to the changing car culture but it is nice to see they are going to exhaust every effort to find out.
    Charlie Spencer likes this.
  11. gnomesayin

    gnomesayin Team Owner

    I get the impression that Fox is relatively happy with the structure and length of their portion of the schedule, and that the potential for substantial calendar change has much to do with how Comcast / NBC thinks it can maximize its investment. What that entails, I don't know. I find it odd that either actually desire fewer events in the short term with those sports nets needing content.

    I'm usually not the one to bring up the NFL, but in this case...there are increasing rumblings that NBC will pursue Sunday afternoon NFL in that league's next round of TV deals, which I believe would begin in fall of 2022. There is even talk that NFL Sunday afternoons could be divided between three networks rather than two. That behemoth will do whatever it can to maximize revenue and take over more TV space, so why wouldn't they? If that is in the works, it could potentially affect NASCAR's positioning in the fall months.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    FLRacingFan and LewTheShoe like this.
  12. IanMcVittie

    IanMcVittie Team Owner

    I think the networks would be on board as the losses in viewership they have been sustaining can’t continue. I see it as a less is more proposition for them.

    It would be great if the playoffs were flushed but if there are 28 race dates and one is an ASR maybe they could go 18 regular season races and a 9 round playoff
  13. Formerjackman

    Formerjackman Team Owner

    Since NBC is the new home of IMSA, run IMSA races on off NASCAR weekends, or do some Sunday Xfinity/Truck double headers.
    LouieLouie likes this.
  14. Speedbowl14

    Speedbowl14 Ryan Preece and short tracks

    It'd be real hard to get to under 32 races. Dover and Pocono losing a date each would almost assuredly be the first on the chopping block, since they are independent tracks. I can see ISC and SMI each parting with one race, but beyond that their shareholders would almost certainly revolt.

    From an economics standpoint the whole situation sucks for NASCAR and the tracks. The demand for 36 races is not there. But less races and you have more properties that are literally empty and deteriorating 360 days of the year.
  15. gnomesayin

    gnomesayin Team Owner

    NASCAR is in the process of buying up outstanding ISC stock, effectively merging and going private. A more officially combined NASCAR / ISC leaves SMI with less bargaining power once the current sanctioning agreements end after 2020. I'm not rooting for major contraction, but the potential is there more than it has been.
    LewTheShoe, Snappy D and IanMcVittie like this.
  16. DUN24

    DUN24 Skeptical of the Spectacle

    The only SMI track I'd like to lose is Texas, and it is never gonna happen.
  17. Hard to have a 10 race playoff format in 28 races, too.
    PeopleAreStrange and FLRacingFan like this.
  18. Ventisca

    Ventisca Team Owner

  19. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    I'd call it 23 tracks, since the oval and roval occupy the same physical facility. But SMI doesn't care how we count it, as long as they have three weekends in the building.
  20. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    Most of the profit is from TV money. Maybe NASCAR is looking a couple of years down the road (for once), acknowledging that the next TV contracts won't be as big, and that the profit per race will be reduced. Maybe they figure a shorter schedule that doesn't overlap as much with football will generate more profit and ratings per race, maybe even more overall profit than the current schedule would with a smaller contract.
  21. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    I dunno about mid-week races. That works in other sports where teams have five times as many events on the annual schedule, or the league has 15 times as many events on a weekend. It works when the facility has no expectation of selling out every event, has a build-in home crowd, and has season tickets as its primary form of admission.

    But even the NFL pretty much plays everything on Sunday. Thursday nights aren't pulling the TV numbers they did initially. The stadiums sell tickets for the entire season so they don't much care if three games out of ten (two pre-season and a Thursday) are under-attended. When a track has only one or two weekends a year, it's goal is to sell every frickin' seat; midweeks aren't much good when the locals mostly don't care and you have to draw people from larger radius. How many times have we heard people complain about rain delay Mondays because they didn't / couldn't plan on a vacation day? Put a race in the middle of the week and now you're looking at a minimum of two days off, three if you're going to plan on a rain delay. And on a Wednesday? Who wants to work on the Monday before and the Friday after? Running on a Tuesday or Thursday would permit combining the days off with a weekend, but the teams couldn't turn the car around fast enough from the previous / next race.
    IanMcVittie likes this.
  22. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    This is all so interesting, I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff the business/scheduling side of the sport. I’d like to see maybe one or two mid week Summer time night races (weds night) but the catch is there’d have to be an off week after to make logistics work...I don’t see how you do could do a weds then Sunday race unless it was a back to back short track race that’s close to Charlotte so the teams don’t have much travel. The day after ( I think that’s a weds) the MLB All Star Game in July has zero going on, it’d be nice if NASCAR could find a way to capitalize on that one. It’s not out of bounds to speculate who’d lose a race I guess they’d unfortunately have to start at one from Pocono, Dover and Michigan ( I find these tracks an their races unique and exciting, shame they’d be the first to go it seems) so your down to 33....then I’d vote for one from Kansas, spring Vegas, ax New Hampshire all together and figure it out among one from Texas, Chicagoland, Indy or Atlanta ( seems like they’ve wanted to ax that track for a while with its horrible February date). I have zero idea how this all would work and how NASCAR can prevent getting their ass sued, too many people have their hands in the scheduling cookie jar it seems.
    FLRacingFan and RacerrecaR like this.
  23. joe h

    joe h Team Owner

    The cars no longer have the untamed horsepower that made the short tracks and road courses fun. And the aero ruined the triovals. No sane individual wants a concussion or die racing, and would rather pussy foot around Daytona and talladega and move on, which has turned what was once 4 thrilling spectacles into maybe one. And why would someone take risks when the payoff is same, and your car still runs all 36 regardless where it finishes. Pocono has had a few flashes of excitement, Indy has only produced one must watch race, and that was the first one.

    So in my opinion, both sides are to blame. The track owners kept building 1.5s for a car that was built for <1. NASCAR kept tweaking the car to produce better racing on the 1.5s, but ended up wrecking the racing everywhere else, and in my opinion is still miles away from finding the right aero/hp combination to make the intermediates worth watching.
  24. IanMcVittie

    IanMcVittie Team Owner

    What you say makes perfect sense as I think Nascar realizes the chance of hitting the lottery twice with broadcast money is slim at best. It is shocking to see Nascar be proactive instead of careening around in reactive mode.
  25. AdoubleU24

    AdoubleU24 Team Owner

    Not a fan of a shorter season. I'm honestly just tired of the tinkering. I can't quite figure out why NASCAR messes with things to the degree that they do compared to other sports leagues.

    In the last 2 days we've heard hints of electric cars in the future and now shortening the schedule/eliminating tracks. These aren't things that excite me personally, but to each their own I guess.

    I don't want less of my favorite thing, I'd like it to remain as-is.
    TG5611 and Johali like this.
  26. IanMcVittie

    IanMcVittie Team Owner

    I think that Nascar would sacrifice fans in the stands for ratings. Maybe something like a midweek race in the Central Time Zone (Chicago-Kansas) would put 30-35k in the stands which would be a good crowd midweek, IMO.
  27. LouieLouie

    LouieLouie Team Owner

    I like the current length of the schedule, but understand why people want it shorter. My only suggestion would be to make sure that tracks with more than one date run two different formats, i.e. 400 miles with stages, and 500 without. NASCAR needs to get back to making each event unique rather than having the same show at each track in a different city. If they really want to shed the cookie cutter label, then start making those events different from one another.

    Also, my vote is for Thursday night Cup races followed by Xfinity/Trucks/IMSA on Saturdays and or Sundays. Again, unique events make NASCAR worth watching. i.e. Eldora.
    FLRacingFan and Ventisca like this.
  28. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    Oh, NASCAR certainly would. Would the tracks? Would they make enough money on a Wednesday to make it worthwhile, especially with a smaller TV contract clearly on the horizon? What about the supporting race? Will anybody burn vacation days to show up for those? Will there even be a supporting race for a mid-week event?
    IanMcVittie likes this.
  29. IanMcVittie

    IanMcVittie Team Owner

    Good points as the tracks are big beneficiaries of the TV overpayment and will likely become gate driven when the deal expires. When Nascar becomes a gate driven league again it may give the track promoters some incentive to actually promote.
    Ventisca likes this.
  30. LewTheShoe

    LewTheShoe Team Owner

    This is the first I've heard that makes any sense out of Nascar not racing in the fall. I'm still not on board with the idea, but at least something to think about. When all three Nascar series are racing, that provides 18-20 hours of live sports programming. That's a big hole to fill with Stephen A. Smith, bowling for dollars, and cornhole tournaments. How many Stephen A. Smith clones does it take to fill 20 hours per week of sports TV?
  31. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    I dunno, but I guaran-damn-tee you I'd rather watch bowling for dollars and cornhole than Stephen A Smith, Colin Cowherd, or any other self-important gasbag. A broadcast of any sport is better than one of anyone talking about sports. Even a tape-delay of the Lithuanian junior varsity shuffleboard quarterfinals beats another round of draft speculation, trade wild guesses, and the umpteenth round of 'MJ vs. LeBron'. Competition trumps conversation every time.
    IanMcVittie, LewTheShoe and Johali like this.
  32. AdoubleU24

    AdoubleU24 Team Owner

    I love sports convo if done correctly. The debate shows are ridiculous because one guy is forced to take the unpopular opinion and try to spin it as his own truth no matter how ludicrous it is. Shows like Racehub and NASCAR America work because they kick the tires on certain topics, they aren't often debating things and when they are it's a Elliott vs. Hamlin or Logano vs. Truex type of discussion.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  33. IanMcVittie

    IanMcVittie Team Owner

    Live sports programming is desirable but the product has to bring something to the table too. IDK what it costs to produce a Nascar race but it can’t be cheap. Having 20 hours a week of live programming primarily watched by old men isn’t going to get the juices flowing within the advertising community.

    Nascar and anyone else paying attention understands Nascar has a glut of product. NASCAR is not talking about getting rid of almost 25% of its cup races just for shytes and grins. Quite simply Nascar needs to match supply with demand and it doesn’t matter whether you or I or anyone else is on board with it because the train has left the station.

    Some people (maybe you are one of them) thought that the severe downturn in NASCAR’s fortunes would happen without ramifications. You can’t lose half or more of your business and expect to operate like it hasn’t happened.
  34. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    I haven't heard a peep out of the fact that the TV runs thru 24. ;)
  35. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    I thought NBC had more than one channel last time I looked. I would think it would be better to have both myself. Nascar had like the top sporting event of the weekend like 14 or 16 times. It would seem like a pretty stupid business to replace that with another sports gossip show or whatever cliff diving, corn hole championship
  36. Yogisd1

    Yogisd1 Resident Retard

    Mid week racing is not the way to go. Everybody gets excited about the mid week race at Eldora. Has anybody ever asked why that race is so popular? It's not because it's a mid week race, It's because it's a dirt track. If You were to schedule a mid week race at any track you pick, against a one mile dirt track on a weekend, Which one do you think would get more interest? NASCAR made the mistake of thinking the day of the week is more important, than the surface they race on.
  37. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    Either way, you'd be looking at no more than four or five tracks with second dates, and that's before we consider the possibility of another track or two entering the Cup scene. I'd say Daytona and Talladega would be pretty safe bets, almost certainly Charlotte. Then do you visit Bristol twice or Martinsville? I'd hate to be the guy to make that decision, or to tell Eddie Gossage he's losing a weekend. The second Las Vegas race was made possible by a seven-year sponsorship deal passed by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority for $2.5M annually, so good luck getting rid of that. 32 seems possible; I don't see how you get to 28.
  38. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    this will fit right in around here

  39. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    North Wilkesboro didn’t stand a chance since the late 80’s that’s humorous to me for those I see on social media that want it brought back to Cup. As for today I really believe the more I read that it will be hard for NASCAR to make any big schedule changes until the tv deal is up in 2024.
  40. nitetrain

    nitetrain Crew Chief

    Nascar/ISC/France are all one. They are the same people!!
    The schedule will not change from the tracks being run now till the TV money in 2024 is done.

    75% of $8 billion will not be shared with anyone.
    LouieLouie likes this.

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