Some NCR ideas from JR.
From the thatsracing.com site
Jumior likes shorter race weekends
By DALE EARNHARDT JR.
Nextel Cup driver
In reading this column, you should know that the opinions expressed here are that of the author and not of a friendly PR crony. While most of you would expect the topics to linger over the happenings of the 10-race shootout, I chose to have a one-sided debate about a few things on my mind. The topics will vary, so try to keep pace as I daydream about what I would do if I were NASCAR President for a day.
This sport is truly awesome, but I think I'd make a few changes, starting with the schedule. It keeps growing and growing, and it's very tough to have any sort of life away from the track, especially for the crew members who rarely see their families. Understandably new venues want a piece of the action and rightfully so. Lowering the actual amount of races per year is not an option with the growing demand.
As a compromise, I would cut most race events from three days to two. This could be achieved by shortening the practice session before qualifying or, maybe even better, do one long practice session Saturday morning, qualify the cars, then impound them until right before the race. Right now, we spend two hours each weekend practicing for a one or two-lap qualifying run, while we only have an hour and a half for race practice. Besides, adding another night in your own bed each week is worth its weight in gold. I would also lessen the number of test sessions allowed for each team. Maybe have only 4 one-day tests for most teams with rookies getting 7.
There is a lot of talk about NASCAR cutting the size of the rear spoilers on the cars. Seriously though, there has been 'aero-push' since the day the second stock car ever built ran behind the first one. I understand the principles behind the idea to cut the spoilers, but I don't believe you'll ever eliminate the problem entirely. As long as a racecar is cutting a hole through the air, it will leave a wake behind it.
My solution? Allow other tire manufacturers to enter the sport. Now, Goodyear is doing a great job, but since they are the only manufacturer involved, they have little incentive to improve the design or more importantly the consistency of their tires. Although durability is usually not a problem with our Goodyear tires, competition is good for business. Let's add new ideas and improve the grip, durability and consistency.
I would cut 75 percent of the races to a distance of 300 miles. It would improve the racing, and give it more of a sprint atmosphere. No chance to take it easy: it's all-out, all-the-time. It would make a better, more compact television broadcast and it would give the races the hard-charging urgency that some of them dearly need.
I would restrict access to the working areas of the garage only to NASCAR hard-card holders. (The hard card is season-long credential). The garage is a workplace, and it remains dangerous for fans. From my point of view, it's tough for my crew to get their work done without making their way through and around large crowds. I worry about the blind spots and confusing traffic patterns in some of the smaller garages. Maybe we could offer in-depth tours for fans and sponsor execs at certain times, but the garage needs to be a more controlled atmosphere.
In line with this idea, I would make it mandatory for all tracks to have adequate garage facilities. A NEXTEL Cup race date is a valuable thing, and it should be used as leverage to improve the garages to make them safer and better working environments. Now, we go to a handful of tracks with garages more crowded than a Virginia State Gun Show. My high school gym locker had more room.
I would drop the 43-car field to 38 cars. This would make the racing more competitive and leave more room for the top cars to race. All cars must meet a minimum speed in practice before they can qualify. Do away with the current provisional program by taking the fastest 30 cars in qualifying, and then the final eight cars based upon the point standings. Reward the pole-winner with 10 bonus points, and maybe even give points to the top-10 qualifiers: second place gets nine points, and so on.
I would give all of the teams and drivers who finish 25th or worse the same number of points. This would prevent the current situation where a damaged car is taped together and goes back on the track to gain only one or two positions. By giving the same amount of points, it eliminates this practice, making it safer for everyone and letting the leaders race for the victory. It also will tighten the point standings. In other words, a blown motor or early crash wouldn't be as devastating.
As a car owner and sometimes-driver in the NASCAR Busch Series, I would put in a rule that limits Nextel Cup drivers from entering more than five Busch Series or Truck Series races each season.
The final decision I would make before clocking out that day would be to move the July Daytona race to the end of the season. Teams would have the July 4th weekend with there families, the racing schedule would continue the following week at Sonoma, and still leave Homestead as a vital "chase for the cup" race. We start our season with the Daytona 500, the great American race. Why not end there on a note that comparable?
This entire column is considered by me to be a bunch of "what ifs", merely considerations that probably have been considered long before. Y’all take it easy. I’m out of here … been told I need a haircut.
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I like some of his ideas, especially the race length to 300 laps or miles and the same points for anyone finishing 25th or worse.
remember when on the short tracks they only fielded 38 cars instead of the 43 now. and why 43, why not 44 and even the lines up. some one probly got a raise for thinking of that one
It used to be 42 cars but they added a previous champions provisional when Richard Petty was having a hard time making the field late in his career. :nod
and no one remembers that the engine in his 200th win was illegal and taken away from him after the race and he was fined by NASCAR.
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