There is a saying that goes, “Don’t fix it unless it’s broke.” While the grammar of the statement may be well off the message behind remains strong today. The last seven years in NASCAR have had a really dormant appearance on growth. The sport simply isn’t attracting new fans to the race track and the people running the sport don’t either which is really making the situation consistently poor.
The first two generations of NASCAR race cars combined were on the race track for over 31 years. The first generation was on the track from 1948-1966, and the second generation was on the track from 1967-1980. The third generation lasted until 1991 and the best car ever made (in my opinion) started in 1992 and officially left the sport at the end of the 2007 season.
NASCAR made the decision that both the 4th generation car and the COT would split the schedule in 2007 with the COT taking over the entire schedule in 2008. Initially, NASCAR wanted to wait until 2009 for the entire schedule to be taken over by the new car. Now, do you notice one of the problems with this? We now run the Gen-6. While the Car of Tomorrow certainly made the racing lackluster, I think that the rush to get the Gen-6 on the race track will end up hurting NASCAR. We didn’t give the Car of Tomorrow the same amount of time like the previous generations of race cars. Maybe the product was such a complete bomb that the change needed to be made. I know that many drivers were very unhappy with the Gen-5, but learning an entirely new product takes time and that takes time away from actually racing.
The move to the Generation 5 car has changed NASCAR racing forever and in a very bad way. I will continue to love and cherish this sport the same way because I just love racing, but this isn’t the same racing that I grew up with. NASCAR wants to make the competition as tight as possible to level the playing field. NASCAR shouldn’t have to do that if they had a good racing product. The Generation 6 car is an improvement from the Generation 5 doesn’t get me wrong. We are seeing faster speeds than ever before, but that doesn’t define good races from bad ones. We have seen Camping World Truck Series races that were much more exciting than what the Sprint Cup Series has to offer and they don’t go as fast. Sometimes, I watch Indy Car and they have boring races. They go really fast.
The past is done, but we can learn from our mistakes. What would I do if I ran NASCAR? There is going to be a whole list of things here that include: 1. Do what you have to do to make your car go fasts. Do whatever you want to the car and see what happens. 2. Race back to the caution unless track conditions are deemed too dangerous by NASCAR, then the field will be frozen. 3. No more lucky dog or wave around rule. 4 Restarts will be single file unless there are lapped cars, then you will have lapped cars starting on the inside lane. 5. No more yellow line rule. If you think it’ll help you, then race there. 6. No more Chase. The man or woman with the most points will be crowned champion. 7. Boys Have At It!! TV conduct will be regulated though. Drivers will be fined for cursing. We have children that tune into the broadcasts and that to me is detrimental to the sport. We are adults and we need to at like it.
Do I like the Generation 6 car? I do. There are pros and cons about this new car and it will take a while to get used to the car and determine what changes need to be made, but we need to use this car for at least 10 years. We can’t be switching designs every 5 years, but there are some things to the car that I would welcome a change to. Imagine if Ford wanted to change from the Fusion to the Escape design. I would allow that. If Dodge were to come back into the sport and wanted the Avenger instead of the Charger, then I would accommodate that change as well. What would you change to NASCAR?