Crew Chatter: NASCAR Media Tour
Fire up the scanners. It is time for Crew Chatter in 2017. In this weeks edition, Speedway Digest Staff tackles the question, “What are your thoughts on NASCAR’s Big Announcement?”
I think the new format will bring a lot of excitement to the sport. Drivers, as Steve O'Donnell emphasized, will have to battle all throughout the season for the grand-prize at the end of the year. It is no longer a win at Daytona in February and a test n' tune till the beginning of the Chase at Chicagoland Speedway like in the past.
The fans have wanted something that awards drivers all throughout the year and they got it. I think this will be very fun and exciting.
Although I went into Monday's announcement with great skepticism and nerves, I came out of it with clarity and happiness. Although everyone (drivers, fans, media members, etc) are still trying to wrap their heads around this new staged-race format, I think that it would be wildly successful. NASCAR might've hit the jackpot.
I myself don't quite yet understand all the nuances of the format, but that will come to me (and all of us) in due time. The segments act as debris cautions, but points are awarded. And the fact that points will be awarded make drivers race harder, because early portions of the race actually mean something, which they haven't in years.
Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin said it themselves. We are going to see the best racing that we have in years. And gosh, I hope they're right. I'm looking forward to seeing how this new format plays out in 2017. If it goes well, Monday January 23, 2017 will go down in history as the day NASCAR changed forever, for the better.
NASCAR couldn't please everyone but a change was needed. Things were getting dull. Fans, especially old-school fans, just don't like change.
I don't think the 'stage' format is a bad one by any means but I have to see it in motion to understand it a little better. One thing, for the drivers, there will be no more laying back and every race will count, no more 'We're in the Chase (playoffs), we can go into testing mode'. This might also mean more pressure on them but who knows.
There are still a few things I'm fuzzy on but it's only day one of this news. What if one of the stages ends up in a 'big one'? We all remember the scoring fiasco during Martinsville last fall. I'm not saying it will happen but it could. We'll just see how this all pans out. After Daytona, hopefully, things will be more clear.
No more 'Chase'. I'm fine with calling it the 'playoffs'. On the other hand, the word 'Chase' was unique because all stick-and-ball sports, even my other sport of rodeo, called it the 'playoffs'.
I welcome the change. Motorsports had to roll with the times and if this was the way to do it, so be it.
The fans spoke and NASCAR listened with this new format. Sitting in the room when the announcement was made, I was frustrated and confused with this format. After the hustle and bustle of the announcement, I found clarity with why the decisions were made, to make the on-track product better.
Mr. O’Donnell said it best to not get into the muck and mire of trying to figure out the points. Bonus points are gone. The only bonus points awarded will be “playoff points” for wins in segments and the overall wins.
At the end of the day fans win! TV experts and researches have determined that fans will be able to see 20 percent more “green-flag” laps. This will also allow fans who are at the track to know that at Lap X, there will be a break in the action so they will not miss the racing product. Every single lap will mean something.
Change is not something that many people are receptive to. If motorsports foes not evolve, it will become extinct. This was not a Monster Energy decision, but an industry decision. You have to change in order to stay relevant. If this change works, January 23, 2017, will be on for the NASCAR history book.
I am 19 years old from Atlanta, GA. I have been following motorsports since I was born. Motorsports has been "passed down" in my family. I am named after NASCAR Hall of Famer, William Caleb Yarborough, also known as Cale. Growing up in the southeast, racing was something that was a Sunday tradition after church. What an honor it is to share that passion with others.
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