2016 Yahoo Fantasy R-F Champion
- May 20, 2012
- Fort Worth, Texas
Editor's Note:. . . . . I had to type a position paper essay for my English Composition class, so I chose this topic. I just turned this essay in this morning. Since many of you care about this topic, I figure I might as well post it on here as well. Just beware this essay does have a few weaknesses. This is really long so it takes a while to read, I typed up much of this paper before looking up citations for my facts (so some things do not have very good citations), I only have quotes from one person, and I do not have many literary devices / figures of speech. I should have worked on this essay longer.
. . . . . One other thing I should mention is that this forum software has terrible editing and formatting capabilities. There is no way for me to get this into full MLA format (like double spacing), and indents are a bunch of little spaces since I can not indent the first line of a paragraph on here. Formatting would not copy over from Word. And for everyone's convenience, I made the text bigger.
Sprint Cup Regulars Invading Lower-Tier Series. . . . . Should NASCAR continue to allow full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers to move down and race against drivers in a lower-tier series? There is good reason that NASCAR should place limits on Sprint Cup drivers moving down to compete in the two main lower-tier series. Full-time Sprint Cup drivers who invade the two main lower-tier series occupy rides that should go to drivers who are trying to work their way up, occupy finishing positions that would otherwise go to drivers competing full-time in that series (thus affecting points and standings), and have an unfair advantage against drivers with less experience (thus overshadowing drivers trying to make a name for themselves).
. . . . . NASCAR is the sanctioning body of many racing series in the United States, as well as a few other countries. Most of these are relatively small and regional. However, there are three primary series that race throughout the United States: the Sprint Cup Series (NASCAR’s highest series), the Nationwide Series (second highest series), and the Camping World Truck Series (third highest series) (“NASCAR for Dummies”). Most race car drivers race in regional series (some sanctioned by NASCAR, many not), and never make it to one of NASCAR’s top three series. If a driver does make it to one of the top three series, they typically start at the Truck Series or Nationwide Series and try to make their way up to the Sprint Cup Series. Each of the three series has its own point system, based on finishing position and laps led, that determine the standings and the champion at the end of each season (Noterman). Drivers can compete in any series they want (as long as they can get a ride), but have to choose one series to earn points in - typically the highest series they have a full-time ride in (assuming they have one).
. . . . . Full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers (also known as Sprint Cup regulars) moving down to compete in the two lower series is nothing new. Up until the 2011 season, NASCAR awarded points to any driver in any series (Noterman). But as a result of Sprint Cup regulars invading and dominating in the Nationwide Series, the most frequently invaded series, NASCAR took a step in the right direction and announced that drivers must pick one series that they want to earn points in, and would not earn points in any other series they race in (Noterman). This new rule was intended to discourage drivers from racing in series that they did not earn points in (drivers typically choose the highest series they race in), but drivers continued to move down to race in the two lower series anyway. Now, it is time to think of a different solution to keep Sprint Cup regulars out of the two lower series and causing problems. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees. There are some people who believe that sponsors would flee or that nobody would watch the two lower series if Sprint Cup regulars did not race in the lower series. And believe it or not, there are some opponents who simply believe that drivers who have earned a ride in the Sprint Cup Series have also earned the right to invade the two lower series.
. . . . . One big problem with Sprint Cup regulars competing in the two lower series is that they occupy rides. And a ride that is occupied by a Sprint Cup regular in one of the lower series is a ride not available to a driver wanting to compete for points in one of the lower series. Most of the time, Sprint Cup regulars race for the best teams when they race in a lower series. In other words, it is not average rides that up-and-comers are kept out of, it is quality rides that they are kept out of. That is part of the reason why Sprint Cup regulars invading the Nationwide Series is such a big problem even though there are three or less invaders in most Nationwide Series races. Although this happens in the Truck Series as well, it is not as big of a problem in that series since it is not invaded by Sprint Cup regulars as often. There is an example of a Nationwide Series driver being kept out of a good ride next year. Sam Hornish had a full-time ride in 2013, but he may be out of a ride in 2014 because his ride is losing sponsorship (Long). Yet, the team he races for, Penske Racing, fields another full-time car in the Nationwide Series, and fills the seat with two different Sprint Cup regulars for most races. The current plan is to continue letting Sprint Cup regulars race in that car instead of letting Hornish have a full-time ride. Bah humbug! Some people who support Sprint Cup regulars invading the two lower series worry that sponsors may leave rides (thus reducing the number of rides) if Sprint Cup invaders leave on the assumption that some sponsors are there specifically to sponsor Sprint Cup regulars at a discount. However, opponents do not consider that sponsors may be more willing to sponsor drivers in the lower series if they do not have to worry about attention being taken away by Sprint Cup regulars.
. . . . . Another big problem with Sprint Cup regulars invading the two lower series (particularly the Nationwide Series) is that they occupy finishing positions. Sprint Cup invaders occupying finishing positions may not seem like a big problem since there are only a few in any given Nationwide race (and do not race in many Truck Series races), but it is a huge problem in the Nationwide Series, where the vast majority of races are won by Sprint Cup invaders. In fact, in the 2013 season, twenty-six out of thirty-three Nationwide Series races were won by Sprint Cup regulars (“2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Results”). Even the 2013 Nationwide Series champion, Austin Dillon, failed to win a race. Points that determine the standings and the champion are mostly awarded by finishing position, and the winner gets the most points if they earn points in that series (Noterman). In other words, drivers competing for points in the Nationwide Series are not only kept from winning by Sprint Cup invaders, they are also kept from getting the extra points that come with winning. Thus, Sprint Cup regulars competing in the two lower series affect the standings of the two lower series (particularly the Nationwide Series), and even affect who becomes the champion in those series. Incidents and on-track battles between Sprint Cup regulars and point contenders can also affect standings by affecting the outcome of races. Sprint Cup regulars who do not earn points in the two lower series are more willing to make risky moves than drivers who earn points in the lower series knowing there is less to lose if something ends up going wrong.
. . . . . Arguably the biggest problem with Sprint Cup regulars competing in the two lower series is that they have an unfair advantage. Obviously, if a driver has made it to the top, they are going to have more experience than a driver trying to work their way up. This statement is backed up by results. As stated in the previous paragraph, twenty-six out of thirty-three Nationwide Series races in 2013 were won by Sprint Cup regulars (“2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Results”). That is more than three quarters of all Nationwide Series races, and that is despite there being around three or less Sprint Cup regulars in most Nationwide Series races. As a result, drivers who belong in the two lower series (drivers competing for points in one of the two lower series) are being deprived of wins. Yet there are people who fail to see how Sprint Cup regulars reduce competition at the front of the field in lower-tier races. NASCAR president Mike Helton recently stated: “…the battle between Sam Hornish and Austin Dillon is example of how competitive that series [Nationwide] still is and has become” (Engle). 2013 Nationwide Series champion Austin Dillon did not win any races, and runner-up Sam Hornish only won one race (“NASCAR Nationwide Standings for 2013”). Talk about competitive! With how much Sprint Cup regulars dominate whenever they race in a lower-tier series, they get much more media attention than those who belong in one of the two lower series. Many racing fans want the two lower series to stand on their own and for the drivers who earn points in those series to be the stars of those series. People who side with the opposition worry that nobody would watch the two lower series if Sprint Cup regulars did not invade and dominate them, implying that Sprint Cup regulars draw people in. The opposition likes to forget that people have quit watching or do not watch the two lower series because of the reduced competition as a result of Sprint Cup invaders dominating against drivers who belong in the series.
. . . . . With all of the problems that come with Sprint Cup regulars racing in the two lower series, NASCAR should limit Sprint Cup regulars moving down to compete in the two lower series. A potential solution would be to limit drivers from racing in series that they do not collect points in to only five or six races a year. That allows drivers to race in other series for just a few races for whatever reason. A couple of examples could include (but should not be limited to) a driver substituting for another driver in another series or a driver wanting to race at a track that his series does not race at. It would not be a total end to drivers invading a lower series, but would prevent any particular driver from dominating in a lower series throughout most of a season. Unfortunately, NASCAR president Mike Helton appears to be in opposition of placing limits on Sprint Cup regulars invading the two lower series, as indicated by what he said at a pre-race press conference: “We believe it’s in NASCAR’s best interest currently to have an open model for its three national series and not restrict who participates in them” (Engle). Based on this statement, it appears that drivers who compete for points in the two lower series will continue to be restricted by Sprint Cup regulars invading their series until there is a change in mindset from NASCAR’s leaders.
Works Cited:Engle, Greg. “NASCAR at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 2013: Mike Helton Part 1.” YouTube. YouTube, 15 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
Long, Mark. “Penske, Hornish Part Ways After Decade Together.” Associated Press. AP.org, 17 Nov. 2013. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.
“NASCAR for Dummies.” Dummies. Dummies.com, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.
Noterman, Ryan. “NASCAR Rule Changes: 2011 Changes to the Points System and More.” Bleacher Report. BleacherReport.com, 27 Jan. 2011. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.
“2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Results.” Racing-Reference. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.
“NASCAR Nationwide Standings for 2013.” Racing-Reference. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.