Toyota Ruins NASCAR: What Needs to Change
Watching yet another Toyota win in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona was the final straw. Toyota has taken NASCAR's top series by force with no hope for the other manufacturers.
Clint Bowyer said it best in the Nationwide race, yet another series dominated this year by the foreign manufacturer. Bowyer said that the Toyotas just have too much power.
What I want to know is what NASCAR will do. This sport was built by great American auto manufacturers.
Toyota came into NASCAR's top two series in 2007. Toyota spent TOO much money and hired all of the sports brightest minds, just ask team owner Jack Roush. In 2007, NASCAR introduced the Car of Tomorrow (COT) with hopes of lowering the cost for owners. Instead, due to NASCAR's partial schedule with the new car, it left teams spending even more money to gather data on the new car.
This led to one of the most lopsided seasons in recent years, giving Hendrick Motorsports almost half of NASCAR's 36 Wins. This year, through 18 races, Toyota has won seven times, Chevy four times, Dodge four times, and Ford three times. Looking at these stats is not all that bad until you break it down by driver.
Kyle Busch leads the series with six wins, the next closest is Carl Edwards with three wins. NASCAR shouldn't have to scratch their head to hard to see that TOYOTA is the difference maker.
I don't blame Joe Gibbs Racing for making the switch, after all they will probably lose the only championship driver they have to Haas CNC. But NASCAR needs to take a look at their campaign slogan for 2008, "Back to Basics", and do something about Toyota's dominance in the sport.
Now it is hard to fully blame Toyota, that is why the second place to lay blame is with the economy of the United States. To put it quite simply, Toyota came into the sport with nothing to lose. While being a foreign manufacturer somewhat invulnerable to the current status of this ever looming moneyless pit that we have the privilege of calling our economy, it is no wonder why they seem to run up front.
What NASCAR needs to do is even the playing field. They did it back in 2002 when they gave Chevy a chance by giving them more front valance. So, if I were NASCAR Chairman Brian France for a day here is a list of five things I would do.
1. Adopt the usage of Ethanol. It just makes sense, NASCAR should really be taking the lead in new and cleaner forms of fuel.
2. Limit the money that sponsors spend on teams. Sponsors could be seen as the blame. Sponsors like Dupont, Lowes, and AMP/National Guard, as well as others pour more money into teams than sponsors like Napa, or the US Army can. By putting a cap, yes a CAP, on the amount that sponsors can spend, then teams like Red Bull Racing, Waltrip Racing, and Yates can win again.
3. It is speculated that NASCAR will delay the transition for Nationwide owners to the new COT by one year....and then phase it in...DUH! Did NASCAR not listen to the cup owners trying to compete in both cars?! Do it for the start of '09 and get it over with. Who knows the economy might even be worse by 2010!
4. Expand NASCAR's market. Place races in Washington and Iowa Speedway, tracks built by Rusty Wallace. They have received many great praises by Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress, and Kasey Khane.
5. Remember competition means everything. If the sport becomes a monopoly of just a few teams, will fans really go to the race or tune in to see yet another win for Toyota and Kyle Busch?
THANKS FOR READING MORE TO COME.
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