NASCAR officials are changing the rules of racing in an attempt to turn around a growing loss of fans and a significant drop in television ratings.
They’ve got the right idea, but their changes just aren’t extreme enough to capture the attention and imagination of today’s over-served sports fan.
What stock-car officials have to do is put an “X” in NASCAR. Here are some extreme suggestions, along with the pros and cons for each...
500 miles? How about one quarter-mile?
Extreme quarter-mile tracks would essentially be straightaways with long run-off areas. You could race the cars two at a time in a series of round robin eliminations.
Think of the extreme excitement. You’d be narrowing down the event to just thrilling starts and wheel-to-wheel finishes. No more boring single file parades.
And since there’d be no turns, teams wouldn’t have to worry about the crappy suspensions on their Cars of Tomorrow.
Pro: Would save a lot of Sunoco racing fuel.
Con: Lawyers for the National Hot Rod Association are already licking their chops.
This is what it would look like under a rule that would require that every driver change his name to a more recognizable brand:.
99 Carl Earnhardt
48 Jimmie Earnhardt
29 Kevin Earnhardt
9 Aric Earnhardt
43 A.J. Earnhardt
83 Kasey Earnhardt
39 Ryan Earnhardt
14 Tony Earnhardt
17 Matt Earnhardt
16 Greg Earnhardt
56 Martin Earnhardt
33 Clint Earnhardt
12 Brad Earnhardt
11 Denny Earnhardt
21 Bill Earnhardt
5 Mark Earnhardt
78 Regan Earnhardt
2 Kurt Earnhardt
98 Paul Earnhardt
6 David Earnhardt
1 Jamie Earnhardt
9 Bobby Earnhardt
37 David Earnhardt
47 Marcos Earnhardt
88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
19 Elliott Earnhardt
71 Andy Earnhardt
7 Kevin Earnhardt
31 Jeff Earnhardt
18 Kyle Earnhardt
13 Casey Earnhardt
34 Travis Earnhardt
42 Juan Earnhardt
38 Dave Earnhardt
24 Jeff Earnhardt
0 David Earnhardt
20 Joey Earnhardt
164 Landon Earnhardt
87 Joe Earnhardt
Pro: If you call them Earnhardt, maybe they’ll drive like Earnhardt.
Con: Junior would be uncomfortable dealing with so many new cousins.
You’d have to start all over again designing a replacement for COT, which means finding a way to get rid of the current inventory of cars.
That can be done quickly and extremely by changing some racing events into demolition derbies (of course, in many cases, it would be hard to see the difference).
Pro: Inventory of Cars of Tomorrow would be quickly turned into junk.
Con: The replacement car NASCAR comes up with could be even worse.
Madoff may be a convicted felon, but he knows how to work the numbers in a way that attracts lots of takers.
After he develops the new extreme points system for the Sprint Cup, perhaps he can balance NASCAR’s books.
Just look what he did for the New York Mets.
Pro: NASCAR would be helping to rehabilitate a hardened criminal.
Con: 6 to 10 years with no possibility of parole, if caught.
Sure there is lots of exciting bumping and grinding on NASCAR’s shorter tracks, but extreme racing demands more.
Solution: take the haulers out of the infield and turn the short tracks into figure 8 arenas. There’ll be plenty of action where X marks the spot.
Pro: Excellent demonstration of how safe these cars can be.
Con: Sudden spike in hospital insurance costs could bankrupt NASCAR.
Strap a Bleacher Report correspondent to a shotgun seat installed in each competing race car. Set them up with a keyboard to blog live to the NASCAR nation while the race is in progress.
Connect the in-car blogger with some NASCAR forums, and fans will be able to continue their inane arguments while catching every race.
Pro: Extra dead weight would help even out tire wear.
Con: Bleacher Report has a limited Dramamine budget.