Over the past few years, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has gone through a period of sea change.
Rather than become a mainstay for traditional short-tracks around the nation, the series has devolved from a special attraction to just another minor league stock car series such as ARCA.
Gone are the days of Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Inc., and Roush Fenway Racing from the series – only Richard Childress Racing and Germain Racing maintain an additional presence in the Sprint Cup Series.
This season seems to be the “low point” for the youngest of NASCAR’s three national touring series. Todd Bodine is well on his way to a second career Truck title, maintaining a 236-point advantage over Aric Almirola with eight races to go.
While Bodine has won the battle, Kyle Busch is almost a lock to win any of the 25 wars on the schedule. In nine starts, Busch has four wins and seven top-10 finishes with one DNF in the season-opening race at Daytona.
Speaking of Busch, his startup Kyle Busch Motorsports ran into sponsorship issues almost immediately, as deals for both of his trucks fell through before the start of the season. In mid-May, Busch cut driver Tayler Malsam loose from his contract and shut down the No.56 Toyota, leaving only Busch’s No. 18 machine.
In addition, both Randy Moss Motorsports and Billy Ballew Motorsports have cut back their efforts throughout the summer.
However, a concept for the struggling series allegedly being proposed by NASCAR may provide a last-ditch effort to revive interest of both teams and fans alike.
According to The Daly Planet, members of NASCAR’s fan council were asked to give their thoughts regarding a dual-heat format for each event.
Under the concept, qualifying would be thrown out, as the entry list would split up into two heats of equal length.
An undetermined number of trucks from each heat would advance to the “main event,” likely longer than the heat races.
However, there were no real changes to the 2011 schedule that added tracks that would best fit such a format.
Fans will not show up to watch heat races at cookie-cutter tracks on companion weekends. Instead, hold every event at a ¾ mile or shorter track on a Saturday night.
Encourage local talent to show up and get their time in the spotlight against the young up-and-comers and wily veterans.
At this point, there’s really nothing to lose for a slowly-dying series.