Some NASCAR fans just need to chill
I realize that NASCAR could never possibly please anybody. After all, not all fans want to see that same things. And, quite frankly, some people live to complain; no matter what is done, there are those out there who will find something wrong with it. When it comes to criticism of the new stage format; people just need to chill. Give it a chance, for crying out loud.
Of course, there are some fans who were critical as soon as the announcement of the new format came down from NASCAR, without even seeing it in play. How about seeing something in play before proclaiming that the sky is falling. Or in the case of some gloom-and-doom NASCAR fans who like to believe the sport is on life support.
Yeah, I get that the tendency is for the disgruntled to be more vocal; the happy people have better things to do that b**** and moan. Hey, maybe that’s why they’re not so bitter. It’s refreshing to hear from fans who just enjoy racing and don’t make a hobby of whining, moaning and complaining, every now and again.
To those who like to find something wrong with everything NASCAR does, seemingly, for the sake of being so angry and bitter like it’s some kind of badge of honor, give the new format a chance. Is that too much to ask?
And Daytona, alone, is not a fair chance. Plate racing is a beast all its own and it’s only on display four times a year. The Cup Series runs more races per year and more plate races per year, so I’ll use its numbers to emphasize my point. Do we want a format for a 36-race season that is best suited to only one-ninth of the races? I don’t think so. Besides, restrictor-plate racing is such an odd bird that it can’t reasonably be considered indicative of what will happen elsewhere.
That being said, I don’t think a lot of the criticisms of the format at Daytona last weekend are really valid, anyway.
First of all, what makes these critics so sure the format caused any of the attrition on Friday night, Saturday or Sunday? I’m not convinced. Haven’t we seen wreck-fests at Daytona before? I’m pretty sure we have. I chalk what we witnessed last weekend to driver errors, not a disaster of a format.
While I’m at it, I want to touch on some of the specific criticisms, so here it goes:
Yes, the format does make for some extra cautions — two a race, as a matter-of-fact. Wait a minute; does it really? At times this weekend, if you consider all three national series races, there were multiple times when the respective race was already under caution when a stage ended and a new stage began. Extra cautions, then? I think not. As for the cautions that came out, simply, to end one stage and start a new one, that’s just two extra cautions a race, people. Over the course of a race, that’s not really a lot.
Besides, these two known cautions help NASCAR give fans what they want, judging by some loud complaints over the recent years. Remember the gripes about missing so much racing because of commercials? I do. So, isn’t providing TV folks chances to show their commercials when nothing is going on a good thing? News flash, you see more racing that way.
That brings up another fan gripe I’ve heard the last few days. Those cautions between stages are just too darn long. Really!?! Yeah, going back to racing sooner so more commercials have to be shown during green-flag racing is what we really want. Not!
Then there are the folks who claim the new format would be better if the laps between stages didn’t count toward the race-distance total. Wasn’t there an outcry not long ago about races needing shortening? If laps of yellow between stages don’t count, wouldn’t that add laps to the total race distance, lengthening the race? Isn’t that the opposite of what some of you people were asking for not long ago? You can’t have it both ways, folks.
Some of the criticisms of the new stage format has shown me this: maybe NASCAR isn’t its own worst enemy after all. If the sport is really dying, maybe the blame is misplaced. Critics of, seemingly, everything NASCAR does like to blame Brian France. Sure, France has made decisions and done things in ways I don’t agree with, but he may not, really, be the sport’s biggest enemy. It’s looking more and more to me, the biggest enemy NASCAR faces in this day and age is a group of people who claim to be fans. After all, to these people, every decision and/or action is bad, even when it gives them what they claim they want.
The 2017 Daytona 500 was a sell-out and TV viewership for the season-opener was up. Chew on that, folks who contend the sport’s days are numbered. How about using all that time you’ve spent whining in a more productive manner — coming up with a system that makes the racing exciting on lap 50, on lap 100, and so on. Boring racing is, after all, one of your complaints, isn’t it? The stage format cuts down on that, but hey, some of you people are going to complain about getting exactly what you want, so maybe the ball should be in your hands. Apparently, that’s the only way some of you are going to be happy. Heck, you’d probably even complain about your own decisions. Wouldn’t surprise me anymore.