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Steve Phelps on NASCAR: "We lost our way.."

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I wish they would put there money where there mouth is and dump the play off. That would be a significant sign that they are willing to admit where they went wrong .
Give each race equal importance and people may once again find a reason to tune in every week.
 

Formerjackman

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What fans want: More horsepower and less downforce.
What fans get: Less horsepower and more downforce.
The ONLY race fans I hear talk like that (if you can still find a race fan) are geeks like us that hang out on internet forums. In the REAL world, fans want more excitement, closer finishes and drivers they can get excited about. The average fans I talk to could CARE LESS how the results are obtained, they just want a more compelling product. As a group, a lot of us uber-fans have to get over ourselves. I have no idea if the 2019 rules will help ANY of that, but at least they aren't sitting on their ass in Daytona Beach hoping something might go their way.
 

Formerjackman

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My point is, that fans like us that hang out here get too caught up in the minutiae that 90% of the people that call themselves race fans are not the least bit interested in. Most fans want results, they care little about the methods. It's fine for us to sit around here argue about this crap, but we should be careful about projecting that to the fanbase as a whole. As I keep saying, I keep seeing people here tell us how great last year's racing was, but I'm not hearing that point of view ANYWHERE but here and places like it. It simply does not resister with the vast majority of the fanbase.
 

IanMcVittie

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My point is, that fans like us that hang out here get too caught up in the minutiae that 90% of the people that call themselves race fans are not the least bit interested in. Most fans want results, they care little about the methods. It's fine for us to sit around here argue about this crap, but we should be careful about projecting that to the fanbase as a whole. As I keep saying, I keep seeing people here tell us how great last year's racing was, but I'm not hearing that point of view ANYWHERE but here and places like it. It simply does not resister with the vast majority of the fanbase.
I can’t speak to what Nascar fans want or don’t want as there is they seem to be all over the place in terms of likes and dislikes.

The people that are telling you how great last year’s racing was are just expressing an opinion.
So we move onto 2019 and in reasonably short order we will find out If people like the racing and if it has done anything to stop the exodus of fans.

Regardless of how I feel about the 2019 rules I hope they succeed. I don’t feel chasing the casual fan is NASCAR’s best play though.
 

Formerjackman

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The people that are telling you how great last year’s racing was are just expressing an opinion.
Yes, and they have every right to. All I'm saying is that opinion seems to only be coming from a very narrow slice of the race fan pie. What I'm cautioning about is thinking that what matters to people that hang out on a racing forum every day represents the fanbase as a whole. The people that will likely make the difference as to whether NASCAR ratings go up or down in the broader sense probably couldn't define high and low downforce setups or the difference between restrictor plates and tapered spacers if you held a gun to their head. All they care about is whether the product catches their interest or not.
 

MikeInIllinois

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To get the people they're searching for, most of them could careless about the nuts and bolts of the sport. Just like most NFL fans don't understand the blocking schemes, the defensive schemes and so on, but still watch the sport. But the reason it's so popular is because to the eye, it's something that's simple to follow. They know a touchdown counts for 6 points, 10 yards equals a first down, etc. Also, fantasy football leagues haven't hurt either.

Keep it simple. If NASCAR did that, it would help a ton. A simple point system that is easy to understand would be a nice start. This playoff system, with the playoff points, makes it difficult for people to follow.

I think this is the year they get the nuts and bolts part of it in place, and I'm encouraged to see where things go starting with next season (2020). Definitely look forward to see what they have in store.
 

StandOnIt

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To get the people they're searching for, most of them could careless about the nuts and bolts of the sport. Just like most NFL fans don't understand the blocking schemes, the defensive schemes and so on, but still watch the sport. But the reason it's so popular is because to the eye, it's something that's simple to follow. They know a touchdown counts for 6 points, 10 yards equals a first down, etc. Also, fantasy football leagues haven't hurt either.

Keep it simple. If NASCAR did that, it would help a ton. A simple point system that is easy to understand would be a nice start. This playoff system, with the playoff points, makes it difficult for people to follow.

I think this is the year they get the nuts and bolts part of it in place, and I'm encouraged to see where things go starting with next season (2020). Definitely look forward to see what they have in store.
It would be simple to lose the playoffs and continue to keep the stage points. A fan can keep up with that type of scoring. Cut offs, points carrying over blah blah eliminations. So much B.S. Keep it simple.
 

NASCAR Apologist

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Go to the local sports bar and ask your neighbor what drag is and they'll tell you it's slang for cross-dressing. The casual sports fan couldn't give a rat's patoot about downforce counts, trail braking, tire management, or raw horsepower. Throw a bunch of cars under a blanket and make it a test of hand-to-hand combat and now you've got their attention. Find a new slant.
 

IanMcVittie

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Yes, and they have every right to. All I'm saying is that opinion seems to only be coming from a very narrow slice of the race fan pie. What I'm cautioning about is thinking that what matters to people that hang out on a racing forum every day represents the fanbase as a whole. The people that will likely make the difference as to whether NASCAR ratings go up or down in the broader sense probably couldn't define high and low downforce setups or the difference between restrictor plates and tapered spacers if you held a gun to their head. All they care about is whether the product catches their interest or not.
I hear what you are saying and believe it as I’m not plugged into the Nascar community other than what happens here. Obviously this place is wafer thin slice of the greater Nascar community.

I’m not talking about a huge sample size here but the only casuals I have ever heard comment on Nascar are fans of plate races. In particular they like the wrecks and the prospect of wrecks and anything that can be construed as payback or physical violence.

They like that the cars are all bunched up together too so if the 2019 rules can duplicate some of that sort of there is an audience for it. By no way am I suggesting that all people that look forward to the new rules like the stuff I’ve described.
 

IanMcVittie

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Go to the local sports bar and ask your neighbor what drag is and they'll tell you it's slang for cross-dressing. The casual sports fan couldn't give a rat's patoot about downforce counts, trail braking, tire management, or raw horsepower. Throw a bunch of cars under a blanket and make it a test of hand-to-hand combat and now you've got their attention. Find a new slant.
Yeah I think you are only the second person that I ever recall speaking of trail braking.

The casual fan doesn’t care about stages or stage points, fuel mileage, uncontrolled tires or whether a car is in tolerance. They want action!
 

NASCAR Apologist

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Yeah I think you are only the second person that I ever recall speaking of trail braking.

The casual fan doesn’t care about stages or stage points, fuel mileage, uncontrolled tires or whether a car is in tolerance. They want action!
Stages and stage points help break up the monotony and fuel mileage is not something that can ever be eradicated outside of making a race out of a bunch of 40-lap sprint stages. Pit road and tech infractions are cleaned up now so there doesn't seem to be anything to worry about to me.
 

IanMcVittie

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Stages and stage points help break up the monotony and fuel mileage is not something that can ever be eradicated outside of making a race out of a bunch of 40-lap sprint stages. Pit road and tech infractions are cleaned up now so there doesn't seem to be anything to worry about to me.
I can’t wait to see it unfold!
 

superchuck500

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Stages and stage points help break up the monotony and fuel mileage is not something that can ever be eradicated outside of making a race out of a bunch of 40-lap sprint stages. Pit road and tech infractions are cleaned up now so there doesn't seem to be anything to worry about to me.
I was very unsure about stages at the beginning. But it didn't take long to come around to like them. The points really matter so the drivers and teams are hustling to get them - it doesn't always translate into meaningful action that you otherwise don't get in the first half of a race, but it often does. Sometimes the race for the green checkers is pretty intense. I'm all good with it.
 

StandOnIt

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I was very unsure about stages at the beginning. But it didn't take long to come around to like them. The points really matter so the drivers and teams are hustling to get them - it doesn't always translate into meaningful action that you otherwise don't get in the first half of a race, but it often does. Sometimes the race for the green checkers is pretty intense. I'm all good with it.
they went 4 wide in one race trying to get them, only way I would like to see the stages go is if they shorten the races. the playoffs? today would work.
 

DIDIT

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Mispeedway15

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Great article. Fans are dumb as **** for wanting absurd horsepower though on 1.5 mile and longer tracks. High horsepower works on short tracks and road courses because the emphasis is so great on the drivers handling.

While pack racing isn’t ideal, the dirty aero parade is terrible to watch
 

StandOnIt

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Great article. Fans are dumb as sh!t for wanting absurd horsepower though on 1.5 mile and longer tracks. High horsepower works on short tracks and road courses because the emphasis is so great on the drivers handling.

While pack racing isn’t ideal, the dirty aero parade is terrible to watch
I don't think anybody is dumb on either side, but we all have been using some not so great words to describe what we are feeling. I don't think Nascar is going to lose anybody here on this forum because of the package, we are all pretty much lifers. Frankly if they do attract a bunch of casuals it won't affect how most of us watch or like or dislike the racing anyway when it comes right down to it.
 

IanMcVittie

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I don't think anybody is dumb on either side, but we all have been using some not so great words to describe what we are feeling. I don't think Nascar is going to lose anybody here on this forum because of the package, we are all pretty much lifers. Frankly if they do attract a bunch of casuals it won't affect how most of us watch or like or dislike the racing anyway when it comes right down to it.
I also agree that no one is dumb but I think some of the rules Nascar had implemented are not the smartest thing. I agree that for the most part the viewing habits of the members here won’t change this year.
 

StandOnIt

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Most of the article was old news, I didn't find much of anything that hasn't been said for years, some of it is a bit current, stars are gone, hotel prices are high, TV entertainment is different, niche sport, mass media consumption. Hell I could write one. Even the thread title isn't what he said. whatever.

“probably lost our way,” he says
 

IanMcVittie

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Most of the article was old news, I didn't find much of anything that hasn't been said for years, some of it is a bit current, stars are gone, hotel prices are high, TV entertainment is different, niche sport, mass media consumption. Hell I could write one. Even the thread title isn't what he said. whatever.

“probably lost our way,” he says
I think that all indicators confirm that Nascar lost its way. No probably about it but let the turnaround begin.
 

carolinabuff

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This is a huge first step by NASCAR in admitting the errors of their ways even though Jim and Lesa declined to comment for this article. The Gen7 car is on the horizon for 2021 and we all know this rules package is a stop-gap in hopes of making the racing better on the 1.5 mile tracks until then. And if it makes the racing better and more intriguing on the intermediate tracks then I'm all for it. It'll be interesting to see if they decide to do anything with the playoff format, maybe that was the item Phelps said he was playing close to the vest.

But I still think the biggest wildcard remains the schedule and how aggressive they are with changing it for 2020. There's already been rumblings of Nashville getting back on the schedule but will that include the Cup series or just the lower series? Will they be bold enough to make drastic changes like adding a 2nd race back to Darlington or going as far as putting Rockingham and/or North Wilkesboro back on the schedule? Those are the fascinating questions that remain to be answered regarding the new schedule.
 

hidesert cowboy

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Seems like a lot of excitement from team owners too. Could this be because they got rid of Brian France? I always thought it was weird Brian France often didn’t even go to the races. Certainly never walked the garage area
 

IanMcVittie

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This is a huge first step by NASCAR in admitting the errors of their ways even though Jim and Lesa declined to comment for this article. The Gen7 car is on the horizon for 2021 and we all know this rules package is a stop-gap in hopes of making the racing better on the 1.5 mile tracks until then. And if it makes the racing better and more intriguing on the intermediate tracks then I'm all for it. It'll be interesting to see if they decide to do anything with the playoff format, maybe that was the item Phelps said he was playing close to the vest.

But I still think the biggest wildcard remains the schedule and how aggressive they are with changing it for 2020. There's already been rumblings of Nashville getting back on the schedule but will that include the Cup series or just the lower series? Will they be bold enough to make drastic changes like adding a 2nd race back to Darlington or going as far as putting Rockingham and/or North Wilkesboro back on the schedule? Those are the fascinating questions that remain to be answered regarding the new schedule.
North Wikesboro is only suitable for carpet bombing now as to say it has gone to pot is being kind. I think Rockingham should be left in the past as going back is a great thought but likely impractical.

Nascar has floated the idea of a 28 race season so different tracks on the cup schedule may not be possible.
 

StandOnIt

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This is a huge first step by NASCAR in admitting the errors of their ways even though Jim and Lesa declined to comment for this article. The Gen7 car is on the horizon for 2021 and we all know this rules package is a stop-gap in hopes of making the racing better on the 1.5 mile tracks until then. And if it makes the racing better and more intriguing on the intermediate tracks then I'm all for it. It'll be interesting to see if they decide to do anything with the playoff format, maybe that was the item Phelps said he was playing close to the vest.

But I still think the biggest wildcard remains the schedule and how aggressive they are with changing it for 2020. There's already been rumblings of Nashville getting back on the schedule but will that include the Cup series or just the lower series? Will they be bold enough to make drastic changes like adding a 2nd race back to Darlington or going as far as putting Rockingham and/or North Wilkesboro back on the schedule? Those are the fascinating questions that remain to be answered regarding the new schedule.
About the only things I have heard concrete from sources in the business and not reporters reported in all of these articles lately is that the new cars are going to be closer to their street counterparts than ever before and they say the year after that they are coming up with a different engine package. The Ford people have said they would like changes under the car, but haven't said what those changes would be, but nobody else has said anything about that so far.
 

carolinabuff

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North Wikesboro is only suitable for carpet bombing now as to say it has gone to pot is being kind. I think Rockingham should be left in the past as going back is a great thought but likely impractical.

Nascar has floated the idea of a 28 race season so different tracks on the cup schedule may not be possible.
I realize it's a long shot but I think if NASCAR committed to going back to NW then somebody would step with the financial commitment. The All Star race would be a perfect candidate and I think going back to NW would do wonders for bringing some of the fans back. The single best move that NASCAR has made over the past decade is bringing the Southern 500 back to Labor Day weekend and look what a huge success that has been.

As for Rockingham, it sounds like that place is closer to being cup-ready than NW from what I understand. I know they have SAFER barriers on parts of the track.
 

MikeInIllinois

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It's in such bad shape, you'd have to start from scratch on North Wilkesboro, and last I looked, no one's been building any new racetracks recently.
 

StandOnIt

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And again, about the only new track news is a non contract so far at Nashville, and they are talking about either the trucks and or Xfinity races there. It's a bit too soon IMO to see where they are trying to head with all of it in the future.
 
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