Proposed changes to NASCAR's Chase won't accomplish much

Jul 15, 2010 Full story: Al.com - Everything Alabama 6

Is there a more irrelevant race on the entire NASCAR schedule than Homestead? You'd think that the last race of the year would be packed with all the drama and tension you'd get from a Yankees-Red Sox series in late September.

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Thom frrom Baltimore

Ellicott City, MD

#1 Jul 16, 2010
Open Letter to NASCAR

As a NASCAR web blogger and long time NASCAR fan, I canít help but read the numerous articles on how the current Chase is still almost as boring as in pre-Chase years. You may disagree with me, but please hear me out. Many real infield NASCAR fans that I have talked to over the years at tracks do agree. The reason you went to the Chase format, I assume, was to allow for more competition to continue longer, a yearly Champion to be crowned at the latest point in the season, and allow for a higher climax leading to the eventual winner. Keeping the TV, radio audience and sponsors more enthusiastic in NASCAR racing longer during its season probably didnít hurt either. The racing season overlaps numerous other competitive sports. The Chase idea is was a noble effort, but I feel, it needs a bit of help.
I know NASCAR has and will continue to adjust the Chase format, I have read and heard you outline some ideas on popular racing websites. Adding a few drivers or using different tracks for the Chase wonít fix your problem. Itís really as simple as looking at all the other sports in the US and using the same formulas. All their Championships come down to a single game or a single event, one effort to win it all. Thatís what will make the Ďnewí NASCAR Championship the talk of sports. A ĎSuper Raceí if you will,(Just like the Piston Cup race-off in the movie Cars !!)
Hereís my suggestions to get there (with options)
1. Increase the number of drivers qualifying by 2 to 14.(based on yearly points, but, more on this later)
2. Keep the Chase determination races (Race-offs) to the last 10 on the schedule (you can change the tracks if you want)
3. Eliminate the 1 lowest driver every week
4. At the end of the 10 weeks you will have 5 drivers left. No more point counting from here on.
End the season for everyone else now !!
5. Take a week (or two) to hype the Championship Chase race for these 5 drivers. Big media events, big racing events, TV, radio etc, just like the hype time between the regular NFL season and the Superbowl.
6. Run the winner-take-all race !! NASCAR will have picked a track for this race previously, my choice is Daytona. Thatís where NASCAR started and itís where NASCAR will re-invent itself. It would be a great 1st Championship Race track. Having the sporting world focus on a single race to determine the Champion is the way NASCAR should be.
7. All eyes will be NASCARís Super Championship Race !!
Boing

Baltimore, MD

#2 Jul 16, 2010
ok
hUh

AOL

#3 Jul 16, 2010
oops
acrim

Manhattan Beach, CA

#4 Jul 16, 2010
The solution is simple - a few pointers for the idiots that have run NA$CRAP into the ground:

1. forget about the chase and all the other silly "stick-and-ball" rules that have helped ruin this "sport".
2. take away the plates - plain and simple
3. stop regulating everything, including, the racing and the personalities (ie. let people run into each other both on and off the track)

In the end, less NA$CRAP will result in better racing and more fans.

“IN GOD WE TRUST”

Since: Jun 07

Raleigh

#5 Jul 17, 2010
Instead of starting the season with their biggest race of the year, NASCAR should end their season with biggest and crown their champion at that event. Daytona has not always been the first race of the year. Years ago the Riverside race was. Swap the Daytona and Homestead dates and let Homestead open the season. Speed weeks can be done just as easily at Homestead. Some new events can be started to accompany the final race at Daytona, possibly make it the final race for all three series with an entire week of competition.
Do as the previous person mentioned, increase to 14 the number of chase contenders but still have the championship race with all 43 cars involved. Or, have two races on the same day, a two hundred miler for the others cars to decide their final position the season and a separate two hundred miler just for the chase contenders.
The Fat and the Furious

United States

#6 Jul 19, 2010
You can't have racing championships decided in a single race, period. Unlike other sports, the equipment in racing is subject to failure. I'm all for seeing guys battle it out, but I'm in no way all for seeing a guy lose a championship because of an equipment failure or crash. That's exactly what we could expect to see if everything came down to a single race. It will never be similar to basketball, football, hockey, etc. If equipment fails there, they stop the game until it's repaired. There's a reason for that. People don't want to see any team/individual lose from a simple failure not under their control. I know that I don't.

I know that there are some examples of equipment failing in other sports, for instance, a hockey stick breaking and that player/team being at a disadvantage for a short time. In the end though, there's a stick waiting to be handed to him as soon as possible. Very few people would want to see a hockey team lose because a player or 2 had to play stickless throughout the game or a football team lose because the goal post fell down and they had no opportunity to kick a field goal/pat or a baseball player coming up to the plate without a bat. That's the difference between racing and these sports. The equipment and failure of that equipment, has far more of an effect than in your stick & ball sports.

I also don't agree with putting just the chase drivers on the track without the rest of the regular field. Once again, I think when compared to stick & ball sports, there is no real comparison. Part of racing is a competition to move your way through the field and deal with the traffic. Why have that for 35 races and than take it away for 1? Baseball, football, hockey, soccer, etc. is all about playing a single team at a time, so it's business as usual when the playoffs come around. I'm of the belief that it should be business as usual for Nascar also.

I don't have a problem with tweaking the format some, but it has to be within reason. I think some of the ideas I've read here and have heard elsewhere would be the beginning of the end for Nascar if they were implemented. It may find a completely new fan base and go on, who knows, but the racing fan base would be even more disgusted than they currently are and I think they would get their racing fix elsewhere. I know I would.

Maybe it's just that I have an old school mentality when it comes to Nascar. I'm still a believer in the old system and certainly wouldn't mind if it went back to and entire season of points deciding the championship. I'm also a realist and realize this may never happen. I can accept that as long as the new system seems to have some modicum of, wins+consistency=championship.
It has that with the chase format, not as much as I may like, but to an acceptable degree at least. I do firmly believe that we need some tweaking if we're going to keep a chase format, but not a complete overhaul. Things like, award drivers points for where they stood in the standings after 26 races. We always talk about the leader getting something for leading the series in points, but I'm for everyone getting some bonus, whether they were 2nd, 3rd, etc. I like the bonus for wins, after all, at the end of the day everyone out there should be trying to win. Sure, you can't always pull it off, but everyone should be doing all that can to. I was, am and will always be against awarding points for poles. I've never seen the logic in that and never will.

Anyway. I'm sure there's some great ideas out there about how to tweak this thing. I have many, some probably good, some probably dumb as dog**it. Nascar's mission should be to weed out the good from the dog**it. You have to take what the fans want into account, but you have to also realize that the fans are idiots at times. We like to complain and nothing will ever make us 100% happy. We'll complain sometimes even if you grant us are every wish, that's just the nature of the beast.

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