NASCAR Mid-Week Races Will Happen…When You Sacrifice the Summer Weekends

Denny Hamlin had mentioned that NASCAR is thinking of and probably will implement weekday races soon, which is something people have been clamoring about since the ratings and attendances have been down. However, there’s only one way that this works and it isn’t something that current race track owners in ISC are going to like.

NASCAR needs to scrap the schedule from the July Daytona Race until mid-August and runs weekly weekday races…in NON-TRADITIONAL NASCAR MARKETS AND TRACKS. You want to have that “NASCAR is about America and small-time racing” culture– this is how you do it.

At the end of the July Daytona race, drivers will then have their point positions split up with the top-30 being involved in the Summer Shootout Series. The 15 odd numbered positions drivers will go in one loop, the 15 even numbered position drivers in another loop. They will only race for bonus points in the bigger series and they will run at smaller track around America in locations that NASCAR doesn’t travel near or cater to. For instance, the upper Midwest and the Pacific Northwest would have great small tracks for these drivers to race on, get locals a chance to see the top drivers, and give a boost to the local tracks and popularity of NASCAR. Hell, with the gimmick as it is– and how short the races would be– the TV ratings could see a bump, too.

The racing would work as drivers roll in on a Tuesday, practice Tuesday night, then at about 5pm local time, they’ll qualify the 15 drivers; then race for 100 laps. It’ll take maybe an hour tops, but last no longer than two hours. It would give the fans at home a nice compact race to watch, while also seeing drivers a little out of their element and going into their old school mentality of short-track racing again. All killer, no filler– which NASCAR has forgotten about.

Not only would it be great for the small markets and small tracks, but it would give more exposure to the drivers in areas they wouldn’t get exposure, since their racing for bonus points, it will shake up the standings possibly when they all get back together, and it would give drivers, crews, and fans the weekends in the summer to enjoy summer rather than be at the track or in front of the TV– which is probably the reason people aren’t watching now.

Of course, the thing is that NASCAR wouldn’t do it because it’s too smart. Why would you want to move away from the big tracks who only fill maybe 50% of the stands and leave the ratings that are marginal at best for the local tracks that will probably be 90% capacity and the ratings would see a bump because people will be at home after work to watch the race itself happen and know it’ll end at a reasonable hour for them to go to sleep??

This is what needs to be done NASCAR. You need to swallow your pride and realize that the way to get more people into the sport is to get more people into the stands. That’s by going to them rather than them coming to you.

NASCAR: Xfinity Championship Four is What’s Wrong With the Series


As we get ready to roll into Championship Week at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the biggest thing shouldn’t be whether or not Martin Truex, Jr. can grab his first title or if Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch can get their second title or whomever gets into the final spot can pull off an upset– it really should be about how NASCAR needed to make the decision about the lower levels years ago.

If you hadn’t kept up to date with the Xfinity Series– and I can’t blame you if you haven’t– the Championship Four consist of Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, William Byron, and Daniel Hemric. All four of those drivers are Chevy drivers and three of them drive for the same company– JR Motorsports. It’s always fun when a development series has three drivers from the same team in the final– right?? Plus, in all honesty– Byron and Hemric are really the only development drivers of the four in there.

The point is that while Kyle Busch is being a piss-baby about NASCAR changing the rules to REALLY limit Cup drivers coming down and taking seat time from drivers– it needs to be done in order to save a fledgling series and to ensure the Cup Series sticks around. For those saying the Cup Series would never fold– Monster Energy, the new title sponsor, only is around for one more year and is hemming and hauling at an extension. The sport is in bad shape.

It’s of NASCAR’s own doing, though. They allowed Cup drivers to get into lower division seats and take away seat time for guys who could be developing for the Cup Series. NASCAR thought taking away points from those Cup drivers would be a big deal– but it wasn’t about the points. It was about the money and then maybe putting that money into their own teams. Of course, Kyle Busch proved that wrong when he said he’d pull his teams from the series if he personally couldn’t drive in said series.

Guys like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Brad Keselowski did the right things for the lower series by investing in them thoroughly. Keselowski, sadly, had to shut down his team after the money just wasn’t there in the Camping World Truck Series anymore and it was hidden under the guise of him wanting to be a Cup Series owner. Dale, Jr., however, really had this thing sorted out. That #9 car has been a proving ground guys like Chase Elliott and Byron the past couple seasons, while he’s also had plenty of guys come though his team to help them develop– like Keselowski, Danica Patrick when she made the jump, and lesser known drivers like Shane Huffman and Mark McFarland.

Sure, JR Motorsports did have cars that had Cup drivers in them, but it was only one car– which was designated as such and never took over from one of the four drivers that had every-week spots. Not only that, but JR Motorsports also allowed drivers to try and reclaim their spot in the Cup Series by giving them good cars. You see that now especially with Sadler, Allgaier, and Michael Annett behind the wheel– all former Cup guys looking to get another break in the show.

There are teams out there who have spots for rookie drivers– like Richard Childress Racing has with Hemric, Stewart-Haas Racing has with Cole Custer, and Roush-Fenway Racing has with Ryan Reed– but by and large, it’s Cup drivers taking over seats where younger drivers should be developing– like other RCR cars and the majority of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Xfinity squad.

Not only is it taking away seat time– but it’s taking away sponsorships, as well. It’s already hard enough for young drivers to get noticed when they are in inferior equipment and running against Cup guys in top-of-the-line stuff, but it’s even harder when they have to pay for their seat by getting some sponsorship. It’s hard to get sponsor support when you’re never on TV because you’re only shown wrecking– so a bond and brand can’t be formed. You can say that’s why Roush-Fenway dumped Bubba Wallace.

In the new rules where Cup drivers can only drive in five Xfinity races a season, it actually allows young drivers to develop, it allows drivers to become faces of brands, it allows for fans to see the new faces of NASCAR before they get there….if they get there, rather. In any case, it makes the Xfinity Series stronger in the long run– so long as sponsors believe the vision of what NASCAR is doing and what they should have done years ago to keep the series healthy.

There’s a lot of problems in NASCAR– like….A LOT. But this change is one that is long overdue and probably has set the development of some drivers and teams back a good five years because of the insistence of having Cup drivers go down and steal money and sometimes points away from developing drivers and developing teams.