Archive for January, 2011
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
I told you all NASCAR needed to do was award more points for a win!
They didn’t need the chase! It was like killing a fly with an atomic bomb!
But here we go!
NASCAR announced Wednesday that it has added a wild card element to setting the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field and it has simplified its points system for 2011, making it easier for fans, competitors and the industry to understand. While the 12-driver Chase field remains intact, the final two spots will be determined by the number of wins during the first 26 races.
The top 10 in points following Race No. 26 – the “cutoff” race – continue to earn Chase berths. Positions 11 and 12 are “wild card” qualifiers and will go to non-top-10-ranked drivers with the most wins, as long as they’re ranked in the top 20 in points. The top-10 Chase drivers will continue to be seeded based on wins during the first 26 races, with each win worth three bonus points. The wild card drivers will not receive bonus points for wins and will be seeded 11th and 12th, respectively. It’s a move aimed towards rewarding winning and consistency during the regular season.
Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, made the announcements at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during NASCAR’s annual media event as part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour. “The fans tell us that winning matters the most with them, so we’re combining the tradition of consistency in our sport with the excitement that comes along with winning,” said France. “This makes every race count leading into the 26th race of the season at Richmond, when we set the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
The new points system – which applies to all NASCAR national series – will award points in one-point increments. As an example, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, race winners will earn 43 points, plus three bonus points for the win. Winners also can earn an extra point for leading a lap and leading the most laps, bringing their total to a possible maximum of 48 points.
All other drivers in a finishing order will be separated by one-point increments. A second-place finisher will earn 42 points, a third-place driver 41 points, and so on. A last-place finisher – 43rd place – earns one point. In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the last-place finisher receives eight points, to account for that series’ 36-driver race field.
“Many of our most loyal fans don’t fully understand the points system we have used to date,” said France, referencing the system that has been in use since 1975. “So, we are simplifying the points system to one that is much easier to understand. Conceptually, it is comparable to our previous system, but it is easier to follow.”
Other competitive enhancements announced:
Pick a Series – Drivers in all three national series now must select the series where they’ll compete for a driver championship. Drivers still may compete in multiple series and help their teams win owner titles in series where they’re not competing for a driver title. The move helps spotlight young talent in the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
New Qualifying Procedure – The qualifying order will be set based upon slowest to fastest practice speeds.
Inclement Weather Qualifying – If bad weather cancels qualifying, the final starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds. The same rule book procedures will be used to determine eligibility to start a race. If weather cancels practice sessions, then the starting lineup will be set by points, per the rule book.
Tire Rules Revision – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams now are allowed five sets of tires for practice and qualifying instead of six. They must return four of those sets to Goodyear in order to receive their race allotment, and may keep one set of practice/qualifying tires. Tire allotments for race weekends will vary according to historical performance data.
Closed Loop Fueling System – Introduced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, this goes into effect for all three national series in 2011. It combines a more efficient fueling system with the elimination of the catch-can man, considered the most “vulnerable” pit-crew member. Teams now will use six, rather than seven, over-the-wall pit-crew members.
You know, there isn’t one change on this list I don’t like!
Let me know what you think.
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
How long have I flogged my “NASCAR races are too long” horse?
I’m not the only one…
Fox Sports chairman David Hill believes NASCAR races need to be shortened to fit into a three-hour broadcast window.
Hill says the length of races — many stretch well into 4 hours or more, is one of the problems that’s contributed to NASCAR’s sinking television ratings.
“I think the racing is far too long,” Hill said during Charlotte Motor Speedway’s annual media tour. “There is more diversion, more opportunities for stuff than any other time in man’s history.”
Hill said the ideal for Fox would be a four-hour broadcast window, with 40 minutes of pre-race coverage and 20 minutes of post-race coverage. Asked if he’d push NASCAR to shorten any of its races, Hill didn’t miss a beat.
“NASCAR doesn’t negotiate,” he deadpanned.
The 38-race schedule is divided by three networks, and Fox holds the rights to the first 13 events of the season. The network’s deal with NASCAR, a partnership that began in 2001, runs through 2014, and Hill said it’s too soon to speculate on if the relationship will continue past the current deal.
Personally, Hill said, he’d like to continue airing NASCAR on Fox. But because it’s a business decision, the next few seasons will determine how aggressively Fox pursues a new contract.
Hill strongly defended the efforts of NASCAR chairman Brian France to stop the slide in both attendance and ratings.
“I really think they are trying,” he said. “I like them all, they are fantastic. They do know they have problems, and they are trying very hard to fix them. It’s tough.”
Hill said Fox is content with the consistent start times NASCAR instituted last season to simplify the television schedule for viewers. But NASCAR president Mike Helton said during testing last week that the start times needed to be reconsidered because the season is so long.
Once again, I point to last year’s Daytona 500. They screwed around trying to fix holes in the track and the telecast stretched to a mind-numbing 6 hours.
That’s longer than the NFL Superbowl, and NOTHING on sports Television is bigger or more important than the S-Bowl, and they had their biggest show done in less than 4 hours.
Take the hint NASCAR, please!
You want better TV ratings again?
Shorten your shows!
Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
Back to live and brand new shows this weekend and next week to mark the 19th season of Raceline on the Raceline Radio Network!
Show # 1: Show founder and GM GLENN BUTT is back on with the latest guest driver line up at the Canadian Motorsports Expo January 21st, 22nd, and 23rd at the Intentional Center on Airport Road! Come and bench race with us as Raceline Radio will be there all 3 days, with live reports from the Expo Saturday The 22nd from 10 AM to 2 PM. I’ll also be taking part once again in the CME Media Forum at 3 PM that Saturday!
JAMIE MCMURRAY, last year’s Daytona 500 winner, and sage BOBBY LABONTE will also be on Raceline Radio as well talking about their pre-Christmas tire test and test of the badly needed new pavement at Daytona, in preparation for the 500 that was a 6 hour-plus mess last February.
The LIVE Raceline Radio Network feed is 8 PM Eastern Sunday night January the 9th from AM 900 CHML, and on The FAN 590 Monday night the 10th, at 7:06 PM.
Can’t wait to get started! Thanks EVERYONE for your loyal support and listenership!