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Do the words ‘Schedule Shuffling’ and ‘Chase Tweaking’ scare anyone else?

By admin | August 5, 2010

By Richard Allen

Over the last few days there have been words like ‘Schedule Shuffling’ and ‘Chase Tweaking’ coming from the powers that be in the world of NASCAR. Considering the string of changes having been made over the past decade or so I have to wonder what sort of thoughts are being conjured up inside the offices of the sport’s major decision makers.

Now bear in mind, there are a number of changes I have advocated for a while now. If getting rid of the Chase can be considered a tweak then that would be one. Moving Darlington to a night race on Labor Day weekend would be another. Taking one of California’s dates and the homestead date would be others. However, my guess is that at best one of those things might happen. My fear is, the changes that are going to come about will be the exact opposite of what many ‘old fans’ would like to see take place.

The same people who will deciding the new direction for NASCAR are the same people who have devised such ideas as the Chase for the Championship, the Car of Tomorrow, two dates for California Speedway, a date for Homestead and leaving the sport’s Southern roots. And that is not to mention ’Lucky Dogs’, the wave around, etc… So yes, there is reason to be concerned for the future of this sport when the idea of change is brought up.

In my mind, I can envision something like a Chase tweak in which a driver is kicked off during each week of the final ten races, unless the fans vote to allow that driver to stay. Or, I can envision that after a few Chase races the leading non-Chase driver standing on the front stretch of some track being asked to spin a wheel and if the wheel lands on a certain space he will be allowed into the Chase at that point.

Hopefully those visions are only the product of an always suspicious mind and far from actual reality.

The schedule shuffling is just as worrisome as the Chase tweaking. This is an organization that gave two dates to the track in Fontana which seemingly does not get enough people at both its races to equal one full house under the guise of opening a previously untapped market.

It is a poorly kept secret that Kansas is going to pick up a second date. If that comes at the expense of California then it will probably be a good move on NASCAR’s part. If it comes at the expense of Martinsville then many of the remaining ‘old fans’ may very well throw in the towel.

Atlanta, one of the sport’s traditional venues, has already lost one of its races when Speedway Motorsports, Inc. decided to shift one of their given dates to their track in Kentucky which did not previously have a place on the Sprint Cup schedule. In fairness, Atlanta often had scores of empty seats while Kentucky appears to be very excited over the prospect of hosting NASCAR’s top division.

Still, I am waiting to see the finished product of the ‘Schedule Scuffling’ and ‘Chase Tweaking’. Until then my mind is cooking a number of possible scenarios, most of which are quite scary.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “Do the words ‘Schedule Shuffling’ and ‘Chase Tweaking’ scare anyone else?”

  1. midasmicah Says:
    August 6th, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Under Brian France no decision comes based on common sense. I think this chase tweaking and schedule shuffling will do nothing more then make the sport I love even more convoluted. Some of these decisions will alienate even more fans. If self destruction is what nas$car is seeking then they’re going about it the right way.

  2. Keith Says:
    August 6th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Been scared since BF took over and said he is going to make quick decisions and not go slow like his Dad. Bill Jr thought his decisions through and even if you did not agree they did not create 5 more to every one he tried to fix.

  3. Sue Rarick Says:
    August 6th, 2010 at 8:43 am

    The powers to be in NASCAR seem to be following a fairly recent trend of trying to attract the young, hip and trendy. That has proven to be a disaster for a lot of places. Look at what it did for such a seemingly cash cow industry like the casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. They have both seen dramatic drops since they started catering to them. And so has NASCAR. The key word is TRENDY… At some point they wander off to the next trendy activity (Underwater rock climbing?).

    My suggestions would be to get rid of the chase so all 36 races count. Change the points to get rid of some drivers settling for a 6-12 finish and rack up points. make the top 5 spots worth racing for and make it really worthwhile to win as far as points go.

    And finally I would reduce the front air dam (delete the splitter completely) to something between the front wheels and no lower than 1″ off the ground with the suspension bottomed out. It would reduce downforce but it would make the cars less aero sensitive and being more of a handful to drive would test the drivers so that a champion really did earn it.

  4. jerseygirl Says:
    August 6th, 2010 at 10:51 am

    yeah, they scare me too, only because NASCAR hasn’t got 2 brain cells to rub together so as usual they will screw it all up. As you said, the only tweak I want to see if to dump the chase altogether. Then maybe the powers that be could take a look at the weather map and figure out the schedule based on climate and potential wintry/nasty weather for their spring dates. Heck, it can’t be THAT hard. They might also considering doing one race at each track, so they could add “new” tracks to the schedule rather than the “it belongs to us and has a casino” so therefore deserves a 2nd date. Please. If I go to the track, its to watch a race, not gamble in the casino — I know because I go to Dover -

  5. Ritchie Says:
    August 6th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    nascar should fine its self for being detrimental

  6. Racertainment Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    How about going back to what it was when it wasn’t broken before ‘04? If it ain’t broke don’t f@&kin’ fix it Brainless idiot France. I can’t take it anymore. I’m pretty much done. Oh well football season is here. Bye bye NA$CRAP. My time and money are going to them. The NFL are certainly happy with Brainless Drunken Brian France. HA HA. I know you have people who read all of these sites NASCRAP, so take your “racing” and stick it where the sun don’t shine.