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Lessons learned in NASCAR 2009: NASCAR can do some good things

By admin | December 16, 2009

By Richard Allen


I spend a great deal of time on this website criticizing NASCAR’s leadership and questioning the direction in which that organization is taking its product. I do not do that because I dislike the sport or even because I have some personal vendetta against NASCAR’s hierarchy. I criticize because I deeply care about racing and want the sport to be all it can be. My hope is that in some small way my writing, along with those far more known and talented than myself, can indeed reach the powers that be and cause change to be enacted.

I believe that when NASCAR reacts to the suggestions of others in a positive way they should be praised, just as they are called out when they do things to bring about the perceived detriment of the sport.

This year, NASCAR did indeed prove they were capable of listening to the concerns of those who matter most, the fans. About midway through the 2009 season NASCAR broke with a long tradition of having lead lap cars line up on the outside for a restart while lapped cars lined up on the inside. Now, all lead lap cars line up at the front of the field in a double-file manner.

This was something the media and fans campaigned for and NASCAR responded.

There is no doubt the new style of restart added to the competitive level of racing at most tracks. While there could be some negative points brought out here, this is meant to be a more positive piece. So, this column will simply offer praise to the sanctioning body for its willingness to change an age old policy for the betterment of the sport.

Another positive to reaction from NASCAR and its television partners will go into effect in 2010. The start times of most races will be more uniform and will be earlier than has been the case in recent years. For some time fans have complained that inconsistent start times made it difficult to known when the green flag would drop on most races. And, there has long been the issue of later start times causing people to get back home far later than they would like on the night before a workday.

Again, if NASCAR can be criticized, they ought to be praised. This is a positive step in the right direction. The earlier and more consistent start times will benefit those who matter most, the fans.

These steps by NASCAR show they are willing to listen. Now, if they would only listen when it comes to the Car of Tomorrow, the points system and Chase for the Championship, and a multitude of other issues. For now, let’s take what we can get and hope more positive reform is on the way.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

2 Responses to “Lessons learned in NASCAR 2009: NASCAR can do some good things”

  1. Bill B Says:
    December 17th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    What really baffles me is why the obstinance regarding Darlington and the Southern 500. On the surface that would seem like an easy hit with few repercussions that would pay huge dividends from fans.

    I gue$$ there i$ more to it that that.

  2. Joe in Pittsburgh Says:
    December 17th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Can it (NASCAR) really be praised for switching the start times back after the TV ratings tanked and it was an obvious choice? I wont give them credit for that—double file restarts maybe. Only since their pocketbook is getting negatively affected are they even doing baby steps in considering a few items. But there is much more to do…..