Red Zone's Blog

I just e-mailed this letter to the editor of the Charlotte Observer.  We'll see if they print it.  I thought this would be a good weekend for them to print it with the sport's big shots in the town that hosts the sport's Hall of Fame and the same area that hosts the majority of the sports teams.  We'll see if it gets any ink.

Dear Editor,

    This is more of an open letter to the
powers that be in Nascar and race fans. I am just an simple fan that became
passionate about the sport in the early 1990's.  Over the last five years or so,
myself along with other fans I talk to on a daily basis in online forums through
Facebook and Fannation have noticed how boring the races have become.  Nascar
has turned into fast paced NBA game where the first few laps and final 20 laps
are the ones we tune in for.   The middle of the races are now reserved for fans
mowing their lawns or taking naps. 
    This past
weekend's All Star race, which is usually filled with excitement and drama, was
boring for the most part.  I'm sure Nascar and track owners have noticed the
empty seats and lower tv ratings.  I have come up with some ideas to bring back
excitement to the sport that I became very passionate ,but have seen that
passion dwindle over time.
    First of all, why not make Sprint Cup and Nationwide
races more like a Saturday night short track race?  Reduce the overall length of
the current Cup and Nationwide races by at least 100 to 150 laps/miles.  The
only exception to these races would be the Daytona 500, Coke 600, Southern 500
and Brickyard 400.   Since the length of the races would be reduced, the ticket
prices would need to be reduced by the proportionate amount.   Cheaper ticket
prices would mean more people in the seats.   You would be surprised by how many
more fans would come to a race with a simple $15 to $20 reduction in price. 
Sometimes that is all that is keeping a fan from being able to afford to go to a
    Here's where we think
outside the box.   Why not go back to the original Nascar Truck Series races and
put a half time in?  Reward the drivers with halftime points, then spin a wheel
and go for a partial field inversion (or no inversion depending on where the
wheel stops).  Fans would love the inversion.  Reward the second half finishers
with an increase in points.  This would prevent sandbagging by some drivers. 
The inversion would also force the crew chiefs to alter their car adjustments
and give put an intangible in on how well the crews do a pit stop.  The
drivers would be forced to try to improve their position each lap rather than
just ride around and log laps til the end,  We are tired of the 180 mph parade
each week. 
    One thing Nascar is already doing is making the race
cars resemble the showroom version of their nameplate.  While the newer model
car has drastically improved driver safety, it lacks any connection to the
automotive industry and the fans.  It's bland.  Race fans don't like bland. 

    Let's try going to
tracks that aren't cookie cutters.  Let's take a hard look at taking a Cup and
Nationwide race back to Rockingham and other short tracks.  We also need to look
at reducing the number of races each year.  We got to the current 36 race
schedule because the sports popularity was at it's peak several years ago.   Too
much of the product doesn't create the burning desire of fans to catch each lap
of each race.  I'm sure the teams would like the extra time off. 

    The basic formula is simple.  Cheaper ticket prices
plus better racing (undpredictability of the half time and possible field
inversion) equals more people in the seats (which the track owners will love)
and better TV ratings (which everyone in the sport will enjoy). 

    While we're at it, I
have a little something for Bruton Smith.  Why not put a boxing or MMA ring in
the garage area at your tracks?  If a couple of drivers have a little on track
disagreement, they can go take care of it between the ropes.  Drivers that want
to go duke it out can have the avenue to do so without Nascar gettting involved
in it. 
    Sometimes we try to tweak things thinking it will
improve something, when what we really need is to just sit back and enjoy what
we already have. 


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