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Old 05-08-2020, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,014 posts, read 586,487 times
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I was completely obsessed with NASCAR for about 15 years, from 1995-2010. It starts with the personalities I grew up with being forced out or sanitized to where their personalities were gone.

NASCAR also moved away from the varied scheduled of short tracks and other interesting configurations to cookie cutters (1.5 mile and 2 mile ovals). Even in the Busch Series where they used to run a bunch of small tracks and historic tracks (Milwaukee Mile, Pikes Peak), they just switched to running shorter races on the new Cup tracks.

Then the complete death knell for me was this switch to stage racing. Can’t stand it. Again, it’s just a move away from the roots. In an effort to attract new fans, NASCAR has alienated its base. Also, I feel now like I can’t even have a rooting interest for a veteran driver. Who wants to buy a bunch of Kenseth, Bowyer, Harvick merch, knowing sometime soon they’ll get replaced with a 20 yr old at the drop of a hat?
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:58 AM
 
Location: western NY
1,634 posts, read 422,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STL2006 View Post
.....Then the complete death knell for me was this switch to stage racing. Can’t stand it. Again, it’s just a move away from the roots. In an effort to attract new fans, NASCAR has alienated its base. Also, I feel now like I can’t even have a rooting interest for a veteran driver. Who wants to buy a bunch of Kenseth, Bowyer, Harvick merch, knowing sometime soon they’ll get replaced with a 20 yr old at the drop of a hat?
As someone who has been a NASCAR fan since the 1960s, let me offer a different point of view.....not criticizing, just offering some background information.....

NASCAR racing originated in the late 1940s, and began to get "organized" in the early 1950s. The initial theme was to decide who was a good driver, as well as who was a good at "car preparation", as the cars back then were fairly "stock". It was partly a race, partly an endurance contest. Indy thought that 500 miles was a magic number, and NASCAR joined in on it.

Over time, the cars got better, as raw material, and over more time, as the energy crisis stepped in, cars regressed, in terms of being "raw material" for race cars. By the late 70s, "stock cars" had evolved into "stock appearing" cars, but at least at that point, the "Big 3" were still making front engine, rear wheel drive cars, so the race cars weren't all that big a stretch. When Detroit went FWD, the charade went into high gear, as all semblance of a "stock" car went out the window.

At this juncture in time, a subtle change crept in, as NASCAR began to promote the driver, rather than the car, as the point of interest, much like professional "stick and ball" sports. I think they did this, as a means of survival. They also went to "stage racing" at this time, also, as a means to liven up the middle portion of the races. Too many people had said that the 500 mile races had become boring, with the middle 400 miles being run just to tally up laps.

In my opinion, the races should be shortened to 300 miles, to keep the competitive nature of the race a constant. With respect to the "20 year old" replacing your favorite hero, there's not a lot that can be done about that. As I outlined in a previous post, the "minor leagues" of oval track racing, what used to be the training ground for drivers, is being forced out of business, by home owners associations chewing up rural land, where the tracks have operated for the last 50-60 years. The "stars of today", in some instances, go from a go-kart, on a track that has managed to stay afloat, to a simulator in their home's basement......

Just my $0.02 worth.....
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,014 posts, read 586,487 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadfoot4 View Post
As someone who has been a NASCAR fan since the 1960s, let me offer a different point of view.....not criticizing, just offering some background information.....

NASCAR racing originated in the late 1940s, and began to get "organized" in the early 1950s. The initial theme was to decide who was a good driver, as well as who was a good at "car preparation", as the cars back then were fairly "stock". It was partly a race, partly an endurance contest. Indy thought that 500 miles was a magic number, and NASCAR joined in on it.

Over time, the cars got better, as raw material, and over more time, as the energy crisis stepped in, cars regressed, in terms of being "raw material" for race cars. By the late 70s, "stock cars" had evolved into "stock appearing" cars, but at least at that point, the "Big 3" were still making front engine, rear wheel drive cars, so the race cars weren't all that big a stretch. When Detroit went FWD, the charade went into high gear, as all semblance of a "stock" car went out the window.

At this juncture in time, a subtle change crept in, as NASCAR began to promote the driver, rather than the car, as the point of interest, much like professional "stick and ball" sports. I think they did this, as a means of survival. They also went to "stage racing" at this time, also, as a means to liven up the middle portion of the races. Too many people had said that the 500 mile races had become boring, with the middle 400 miles being run just to tally up laps.

In my opinion, the races should be shortened to 300 miles, to keep the competitive nature of the race a constant. With respect to the "20 year old" replacing your favorite hero, there's not a lot that can be done about that. As I outlined in a previous post, the "minor leagues" of oval track racing, what used to be the training ground for drivers, is being forced out of business, by home owners associations chewing up rural land, where the tracks have operated for the last 50-60 years. The "stars of today", in some instances, go from a go-kart, on a track that has managed to stay afloat, to a simulator in their home's basement......

Just my $0.02 worth.....
Never in a million years would I call someone who drives race cars on a Sunday afternoon my hero.

I don’t disagree with your points, but also think they illustrate exactly why NASCAR is in and will remain in a ratings and attendance free fall.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:58 PM
 
11,854 posts, read 9,242,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadfoot4 View Post
I agree, well said. However I'll toss in one other thing that I find critical. We "boomers" were able to see drivers work their way up through the ranks, starting on the local "bullrings', and eventually up to the NASCAR Cup series. You don't see that today, for a number of reasons.

First of all, many of the tracks that were the "training grounds" for the drivers we grew up knowing, have been shut down, due to intense pressure from home owners who, ironically moved within earshot of a track that had been in operation for DECADES. Suddenly, they find the race track an issue!!

In my case, on a weekly basis, I could see future NASCAR stars Geoff Bodine and Jimmy Spencer, race at my local track, every Friday night. And along with them, I could also see regional superstars Richie Evans, Maynard Troyer, Jerry Cook and future NASCAR Cup crew chief Doug Hewitt, giving Bodine and Spencer a run for their money. We looked forward to turning on the TV, on Sunday afternoon, and see drivers competing, that we actually knew.

Secondly, the cost of racing has gotten "stupid costly". I remember back in the late 60s-early 70s, when Richard Petty was criticized for being the Chrysler "big bucks, factory guy". When Petty hit the road, he had a cube van and a trailer. The trailer held the car, and the cube van had a spare engine, as well as other spare stuff, and a complete selection of tools. As we all know, today, most teams show up with 2 complete cars, spare engines, and a small army of crewmen.

With the increased cost, it drew in a number of "rich kids" who bought their way into the driver's seats. That's fine, sort of, but from a spectator's standpoint, who knows who these kids are? As I said from the outset, part of the attraction of the racing was going out to cheer for the "local guys". The younger drivers didn't establish that following, so the crowds suffer.

And of course, the REAL race fans know that the cars are all alike, which killed the "brand association" factor.


Just my $0.02 worth.....

So.. To speak to your first point.. I think we can all pretty much say that Gordon was the impetus for the youth movement. I mean, Earnhardt's rookie season was '79, when he was 28. Gordon's was '93, when he was 22. That 6 years is pretty big.


We've had, after that.. Kyle Busch.. Chase Elliott.. Others who entered at 18.

Busch cut his teeth out at the bullring in Vegas. (Remember that Kurt actually got Chris Trickle's ride after he was killed/wounded).. Chase spent several years in Xfinity.


Even Gordon did a year in Busch.

So.. While, yes, the entry age has gone down some.. Really.. So has the exit age. Earnhardt.. Anyone want to guess when he would have retired on his own? I'm thinking.. He'd have retired full time in 2003 to 2004. Pending on how competitive he was. And seeing as Childress kinda started creeping downhill at that time.. he would have been.. 51-52. I figure he still would have run races, but.. Not full time.

Gordon retired at.. What was it? 45 or 46.

Kenseth is looked at as an old man now at 49.

The days of the Schraders and guys like Morgan Shepard are over. Mid 40's and then make way for the next 18 year old.

So.. let's say that things were like they were in the past. Gordon would have probably spent from his 22 to 25 ages running for Bill Davis. Maybe moves to Hendrick in 1996 or 1997. Is he a 4 time champ if he gets his start in quality equipment in 1997 vs 1993?


My view on this.. What you gain in one area, you lose in another.


Quote:
Originally Posted by STL2006 View Post
I was completely obsessed with NASCAR for about 15 years, from 1995-2010. It starts with the personalities I grew up with being forced out or sanitized to where their personalities were gone.

NASCAR also moved away from the varied scheduled of short tracks and other interesting configurations to cookie cutters (1.5 mile and 2 mile ovals). Even in the Busch Series where they used to run a bunch of small tracks and historic tracks (Milwaukee Mile, Pikes Peak), they just switched to running shorter races on the new Cup tracks.

Then the complete death knell for me was this switch to stage racing. Can’t stand it. Again, it’s just a move away from the roots. In an effort to attract new fans, NASCAR has alienated its base. Also, I feel now like I can’t even have a rooting interest for a veteran driver. Who wants to buy a bunch of Kenseth, Bowyer, Harvick merch, knowing sometime soon they’ll get replaced with a 20 yr old at the drop of a hat?

I agree with you on the tracks. But.. 1.5 mile tracks could fit the fans in.. Remember how gung-ho NASCAR was to build a track on Staten Island, I believe it was?

The loss of Wilkesboro and Rockingham.. Look.. Wilkesboro.. The lament there is that it was a unique short track that was lost. Rockingham was the superior track for racing, IMO.


Stage racing.. I'd rather not see it, but it adds a wrinkle that's not totally bad.

Not a fan of the chase, myself. At the end of the day, it really comes down to one race. And I think a champion should be a whole season..

But.. We gain something from the Chase. The fact that Kyle Busch missed 11 races from injury and still won a championship. I think that's a good thing. Maybe not 11 races, but the ability for a driver to be hurt and not knocked out of the championship. you can't say that Davey shouldn't have sat out MULTIPLE races back in 1991/1992.

I waffle a bit on the new points system as well.. I mean, I rather liked the old 5-4-3 point differential. new system is far simpler, but..


FWIW.. I got REALLY invested in NASCAR the same time you did. 1995. I started following it in 1992 when Gibbs entered.. But 1995 was the first real year I watched every race. It probably lost me a little earlier. I started waning in 2004 with the chase. Of course.. I used to thing the road courses were the worst races on the schedule.. Now I think they're the best.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:20 AM
 
Location: South of Cakalaki
4,295 posts, read 2,621,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
FWIW.. I got REALLY invested in NASCAR the same time you did. 1995. I started following it in 1992 when Gibbs entered.. But 1995 was the first real year I watched every race. It probably lost me a little earlier. I started waning in 2004 with the chase. Of course.. I used to thing the road courses were the worst races on the schedule.. Now I think they're the best.
I got into NASCAR in the 70's. Big David Pearson and Cale Yarborough fan. I actually went the opposite of you. In the 70's and early 80's it was mostly a radio or in person experience and that was OK with me.

As it's changed, and we get all these 1 1/2 mile tracks where passing is minimal, it just got boring. They play up Indy as if it's a big deal and can't fill even half the seats. They made Bristol into that ridiculous coliseum and now there is one groove there and not much passing.

Today's driver's are so boring. They're mostly good friends who are making absolutely ridiculous amounts of money and don't dare upset the powers that be.

And the winner take all final race? Horse manure. No reward for a great season.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:04 AM
 
11,854 posts, read 9,242,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1a1mg View Post
They made Bristol into that ridiculous coliseum and now there is one groove there and not much passing.

They did.. But honestly, I think they've fixed it now.



1995 to.. 2008 or so Bristol was only good because of the bump and run and being a demolition derby.

Now, there is an outside groove.. There's no disadvantage to pitting on the backstretch.



And, look.. Remember back in the 70's.. People were still winning races by laps. That's not all that exciting.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:01 AM
 
Location: South of Cakalaki
4,295 posts, read 2,621,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
They did.. But honestly, I think they've fixed it now.

1995 to.. 2008 or so Bristol was only good because of the bump and run and being a demolition derby.

Now, there is an outside groove.. There's no disadvantage to pitting on the backstretch.

And, look.. Remember back in the 70's.. People were still winning races by laps. That's not all that exciting.
We'll just have to disagree on the "fixed" idea.



There are certainly trade-offs between now and the old days. Since Darlington is today, I'm reminded of the most lopsided win in NASCAR history. the 65 race was won by Ned Jarret who was 14 laps ahead. But in those days attrition was the hallmark of racing. More cars finish today, but now passing is an issue on a lot of tracks.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,014 posts, read 586,487 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1a1mg View Post
I got into NASCAR in the 70's. Big David Pearson and Cale Yarborough fan. I actually went the opposite of you. In the 70's and early 80's it was mostly a radio or in person experience and that was OK with me.

As it's changed, and we get all these 1 1/2 mile tracks where passing is minimal, it just got boring. They play up Indy as if it's a big deal and can't fill even half the seats. They made Bristol into that ridiculous coliseum and now there is one groove there and not much passing.

Today's driver's are so boring. They're mostly good friends who are making absolutely ridiculous amounts of money and don't dare upset the powers that be.

And the winner take all final race? Horse manure. No reward for a great season.
I lived in Indianapolis for seven years, about 15 mins from the track. We went to the 500 and the 400 every year...because how can you not go?

That being said, the track was made for open-wheel. The Brickyard 400 (historically) is just a pretty boring race. It’s too narrow for the wide stock cars to pass. Of all the really memorable races I attended there, they were almost all the 500. The 2006 Indy 500 will probably never be topped for me. Most exciting race I’ve ever attended. Had seats at the exit of turn 3. Watching Hornish pass Andretti at the line was magical. The ride home wasn’t (I was a huge Hornish fan, my wife took a liking to young Marco).
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:00 AM
 
Location: South of Cakalaki
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Originally Posted by STL2006 View Post
I lived in Indianapolis for seven years, about 15 mins from the track. We went to the 500 and the 400 every year...because how can you not go?
I did the 500 once. Just happened to be the 100th running. Open wheel is not my favorite, but I'll watch damn near anything race.
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Old 10-23-2020, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
2,571 posts, read 853,825 times
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"Passing" IS racing.

If no passing occurs, it becomes boring very quickly.

You want passing? Watch AFT sometime. (If you can find it, that is.)

And if you attend a flat track event, try to sit back in your seat.

But don't be surprised, if you're on the edge of your seat for the races. Yes, they are THAT exciting.

Tips~
Bring bino's
Bring ear plugs
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