When my first book, Trading Paint: 101 Great NASCAR Debates (still available at Wiley.com), came out in 2010, one of the most popular of its 101 chapters was "What Would I Change If I Ran NASCAR?"
I heard from countless numbers of fans via email and in person at public appearances that I made in support of the book. Almost everyone who had bought and read the book pointed to that particular chapter as one that NASCAR should take heed of if the sport was to bounce back from the doldrums that it had sunk into when the economy started going bad in 2007.
Some of those problems continue today, but to its credit, NASCAR has embraced its core group of fans and has listened more to those same fans than perhaps at any other time in its 60-plus year history.
We've seen significant improvements, from several races being shortened (such as at Pocono), to the advent of the new so-called Generation 6 version of the Car of Tomorrow, which makes its debut in less than two months in the Daytona 500.
But more work and more improvement still needs to be done to keep NASCAR's casual fans still watching races on TV and attending them in person at race tracks from Loudon to Fontana.
In addition, outreach needs to continue to attract more new fan, as well.
It's those two particular groups that will help lead NASCAR back to the kind of popularity levels it enjoyed back in the early to mid-part of the last decade.
The true diehard fans will always be there, and they will continue to support the sport. But for it to grow, some of the positive and forward-thinking change that has already taken place will have to continue and grow.
That leads us to today's topic: five radical ideas to make NASCAR better for casual fans. We're reprising some of the ideas in my book, as well as a few new ones. And, as always, we're always open to your ideas too (leave them in the comments section).
So, without further ado, here's five of our radical ideas to make the sport better.