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.
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.
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?