The Slow Death of the Nationwide Series

There was an alarming sight while watching the Nationwide race on Saturday. It’s a sight that’s become all too familiar with the series and no one is at more fault than NASCAR and Joe Balash the Nationwide Series director.

[media-credit name=”nascar.com” align=”alignright” width=”255″][/media-credit]At first I thought I was the only one who noticed it. Then I heard someone say “Wow, there are 13 cars out already?”

I shook my head, looked at the cars and realized all the cars that were listed as “out,” were what the NASCAR world knows as “start and park” teams.

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I then thought about the Nationwide Series from 2 years ago. Since Homestead 2009, the Nationwide Series has lost several full time teams, including: Baker-Curb Racing, Rensi Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Phoenix Racing, Germain Racing, Specialty Racing, JTG- Daugherty Racing, K-Automotive Motorsports and Wayne Day Racing.

Several things have affected why most of these teams have left. One of the major reasons is the economy. Sponsorships have left the smaller organizations to go to bigger, powerful organizations in a minority role to get more recognition for a similar price. The economy is a good excuse but it’s only part of the problem.

One thing that hurt the series was NASCAR decided run the Nationwide Series new C.O.T. full time in 2011, forcing teams to spend a lot of money building new race cars. Many people felt this was a good idea for the series because in the long run it will cost less to make the cars. The C.O.T. is also a safer car as well and that is always a good thing.

But then NASCAR  got the brilliant idea that hurt many NASCAR Nationwide teams the most. They cut the purses by 20% effective for the 2011 season.

Huh? Teams have to build several new race cars, in a rough economy, and NASCAR cuts the purses? And that’s looking out for the “best interest of the sport.” NASCAR still makes money and yet they cut the purse?

And yet the so called “start and park” teams constantly get ripped apart for starting and parking. Maybe the teams are not the problem after all. Maybe the Rick Ware and the Curtis Key’s of the world are hanging on for dear life after a horrible call by the the Sanctioning Body.

Maybe NASCAR should put some more money back into the Nationwide Series.

I mean they are here for the best interest of the sport? Aren’t they?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I feel the same way and its also hard for the teams to be full time because of power house teams like Joe gibbs and roush. Mainly Kyle and carl. The come in these lower ranked races, and what do they prove? That they can beat drivers that are in a lower rank then them? I mean Carl is in every race and Kyle is in most of them to and they just dominate. Ok I don’t mind them stepping down a rank to run like 5 or so races but come on? Kyle doing 20 something and Carl doing all of them? That’s what i think is killing the series. If nascar would make a rule saying cup drivers can only run 5 or less races in the nationwide and the truck series to then i think the racing would be better viewership would be up and smaller teams would have a chance. Am I the only one who thinks that?

  2. I agree with the theory, especially in this economy, that NA$CAR has caused the demise of the Busch series. Busch brings good thoughts, Nationwide doesn’t. How can the suits penalize the guys who want to run in a top series and try and improve to compete when they have to spend hundreds of thousands on a car that can do nothing to improve good racing on the track and do nothing but put money in the “Boys and Girls of Daytona’s” pockets?

    You want good racing, go back to the 60’s and stop penalizing the guys who put you there, NA$CAR.

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