NASCAR: Were These Changes Done Only To Cover-Up the Real Problem?

Sal Sigala Jr.Senior Analyst IJanuary 27, 2010

CONCORD, NC - JANUARY 21:  NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France (R) speaks with the media, as NASCAR President Mike Helton (L) looks on, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the NASCAR Research and Development Center on January 21, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

Will the changes that NASCAR just recently announced to the Sprint cup series, have any real affect to the problems that the series has been facing in the past?

Or are these changes just a temporary fix, kind of like trying to put a band-aid over a gushing wound?

By allowing the drivers to bump draft again is not the solution, and neither is replacing the wing or allowing the teams to utilize a bigger restrictor plate.

They all sound good, but in reality it is echoing more like a cover-up to keep the fans from seeking entertainment through another venue, instead of treating the problems as an epidemic which is almost where the current state of the series is at today.

NASCAR will say and do anything to entice the fans to stay around even if it means making changes, which technically are not where the root of the problem lies.

Maybe for the novice fan these changes will get them through the season, and the reason I say novice is because of all the remarks around the various NASCAR social sites, that these changes were done only to help Dale Earnhardt Jr. win some races this season.

As for the older fan, it will take a lot more than these few alterations to bring NASCAR back to where it used to be, which can never be done unless they reconfigure the product which is the COT.

It wasn’t until 2008 when the COT became a full-time fixture in the series, that all the excitement that was known as NASCAR racing was slowly being robbed of its true identity by a car that had no character of its own.

The parity that was promised, that this car was supposed bring back to the sport, never once came close to materializing but instead put the sport in a deeper state of instability.

It didn’t take long for the fans to begin complaining about NASCAR’s newest toy, and along with the complaining came the usual criticism, as well as the everyday protests that something needed to be done to save the series.

The NASCAR social boards lit up; especially after the 2008 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, when the drivers were only able to run 10 to 12 laps at a time before tire wear became another issue that was overlooked while the COT was being invented.

Why wasn’t something done before that fateful day in July of 2008? Now had the COT been properly tested, and brought into the series once all the bugs were worked out of it like it was supposed to, a lot of what is going on today could have possibly been avoided.

The product that NASCAR had before 2008 was doing just fine, and all it needed were a few minor tweaks here and there to keep it running like a fine tuned instrument.

With safety being the biggest issue, NASCAR has some of the best engineers in the motorsports world at their disposal that could have taken the old car, and made it safer than what it was at a lot cheaper price than building a whole new car?

Now, two years later, NASCAR is giving the teams back the spoiler, along with bigger restrictor plates, which don’t necessarily mean faster speeds or lap times.

Bump drafting was only taken away for one race last season, and before that how many times did NASCAR actually penalize a driver for rough driving?

If NASCAR is willing to tease the fans with these few changes, what’s wrong with digging a little deeper and really giving the fans something to talk about?

Give the cars back their own identity, by permitting the manufacturers to utilize their respective nose pieces.

By allowing the crew chiefs more freedom with chassis adjustments that they once had with the old car, this also can bring back some of the excitement that has been lost.

Until the product itself is examined a little more intensely, these few changes are just cosmetic and in reality will have no affect on the outcome of the season.

Instead the series could very well have another season reminiscent of the last couple of years, the enthusiasm that played a major role in the lives of the fans, will continue to slowly wither away.