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« Two wins for Busch, Two years for Junior | Main | Roush Fenway tames The Monster…Almost »

Earnhardt statement should serve as warning to NASCAR

By admin | May 17, 2008

By Richard Allen

 

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was recently asked if he would ever consider moving his JR Motorsports team from the Nationwide Series to the Sprint Cup Series.

“I used to say no way, no way“, Junior said. “But it’s almost as expensive to run in the Nationwide Series. And they’re going to bring a CoT in and we won’t be able to race in the Nationwide Series with the CoT probably. That’ll just be too expensive to switch all that over.”

This comment got some attention but for the wrong reason.

Many immediately focused on the possibility of Earnhardt following in his late father’s footsteps by running a Sprint Cup team while at the same time driving for another team. The real issue is not the fact that Junior may move his team up to the Cup level but rather that he would move his team out of the Nationwide Series.

NASCAR should be concerned that its Nationwide Series could be on the brink of collapse. The series is already having a hard time filling fields. The expense of forcing teams to switch to some version of the Car of Tomorrow could force a number of teams out of business. And more, if Junior, with all his ability to land sponsors, can’t afford the change over then who can?

The Nationwide Series is already too much like a Sprint Cup Light tour. The Cup teams and drivers completely dominate the circuit as it is. Nationwide ‘regulars’ have essentially been eliminated as a viable force. They mostly serve as field fillers for the Cup teams and drivers except for the very few races each year in which the Cup Series is too far away to allow very many drivers to do double duty.

NASCAR needs to seriously consider what they want from this series. They should carefully consider any changes that might force teams out of the series. They should be looking for more ways to include more non Cup teams.

I have been a proponent of the Car of Tomorrow for the most part. I do not care for the fact that NASCAR hands out so many parts but that is a story for another day. The safety aspects of the car are important and necessary. I also believe the car will ultimately provide better competition than the old car. However, if the expense is so great that it would cause the Nationwide Series to conduct races with only 20-25 cars then it needs to be carefully thought out.

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

Topics: Articles |

9 Responses to “Earnhardt statement should serve as warning to NASCAR”

  1. Earnhardt statement should serve as warning to NASCAR Says:
    May 17th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    […] Go to the author’s original blog: Earnhardt statement should serve as warning to NASCAR […]

  2. Another Day Ruined » Earnhardt statement should serve as warning to NASCAR Says:
    May 17th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    […] revinjim wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptNASCAR should be concerned that its Nationwide Series could be on the brink of collapse. The series is already having a hard time filling fields. The expense of forcing teams to switch to some version of the Car of Tomorrow could force … […]

  3. Nascar » Earnhardt statement should serve as warning to NASCAR Says:
    May 17th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    […] admin wrote an interesting post today on Earnhardt statement should serve as warning to NASCARHere’s a quick excerptNASCAR should be concerned that its Nationwide Series could be on the brink of collapse. The series is already having a hard time filling fields. The expense of forcing teams to switch to some version of the Car of Tomorrow could force … […]

  4. John Phelps Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Just because Little E moves his team, you think the Nationwide Series is in trouble? I don’t understand!

  5. Richard Allen Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    No, I do not believe the series is in trouble because Junior may remove his team.

    I believe the fact that the series has become so expensive that someone of his magnitude can no longer afford to run in the series indicates other teams who are lower profile must be in trouble.

    His pulling out is not the cause of the trouble it would be a result of trouble that is already there.

    Richard Allen

  6. Aven Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 11:21 am

    The now renamed Nationwide series has lost its reason for existing. It is now a practice session and hobby for the Cup regulars. I have lost interest in it and don’t care if it continues or not.

    Earnhardt simply has decided that if he is going to spend money on a race team, he might as well spend it on a series that has a following. I don’t blame him.

  7. Chris R Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    I really think that the cup regulars dominating the series is what’s wrecking it. Strict limits on how many races a cup regular can run… Say no more than three per season, would probably reduce the overall field of cup regulars in the nationwide series, and would still give the Nationwide regulars a way to gauge how they compare against the cup guys since they would run against them occasionally.

    As for the cars, the Nationwide series is supposed to operate at a lower cost than the cup series. So mandating such a huge and expensive change to the cars is just insane.

  8. Gregg Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    From Darlington
    win the Busch race win $47,420
    finish last in the Cup race win $83,164

    go figure

  9. gafopr Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 6:48 am

    My personal opinion instead of each owner having a maximum of 4 teams in the Sprint series, they should have 2 in Sprint & 2 in Nationwide. Have the Chase for the Cup from the top 10 in points from each series for the final 10 races.

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