Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Take: What if NASCAR qualifying is cancelled and what about the 2009 All-Star race changes?

Whether it’s NASCAR, Motorsports, Automobiles or more entertainment here on RaceDriven.com, I bring you my opinion (because that is what blogging is – someone’s take on any subject) in style, so let’s get started.

In NASCAR, just about every day even in the off season, there seems to be a new discussion on just about any topic in NASCAR from on-track action to the off-track action and today is no different. As a blogger, writer and NASCAR fan, there are always issues facing NASCAR, every decision NASCAR makes is going to be meant with both positive and negative reaction and the latest discussions are just the tip of the iceberg from this past month.

1. How to set the grid if NASCAR qualifying is cancelled or washed out.

As a NASCAR fan, I hate to see qualifying get washed out due to weather or cancelled for any reason, right now, if qualifying is cancelled, NASCAR will set the starting lineup by owner’s points and for some drivers who are currently not in the top 35 and are go or go home drivers that is a real problem. Those drivers are sent home without even being able to even make an attempt to qualify and at the same time, it puts the points leader on the pole, which isn’t always the best either (depending upon speed, not driver).

Last month on NASCAR.com, an article touched on this very topic and suggested that the starting lineup could be set by either practice speeds or qualifying order.

In my opinion, I can’t imagine NASCAR setting the starting lineup by the luck of the draw, that’s not going to work for them, nor is it going to work for NASCAR drivers, teams, owners, media or the fans (including this fan), so how then?

First, if qualifying is awash, set the top 35 by practice speeds. The practice speeds are normally a good indication of who is going to be up front anywhere.

Second, for the go or go home drivers, NASCAR should make another attempt to have qualifying for just those go or go home drivers providing that there are 44 drivers or more going for 43 spots, but if that qualifying is awash too, then set it by the practice speeds too and your all set, that way the fast cars are in the race and then continue with the remainder of the weekend schedule.

2. The NASCAR Sprint All-star race changes.

Unbelievable isn’t it, another year, another change to the all-star race as if the major changes to the Budweiser Shootout wasn’t enough, well at least the All-Star race isn’t set by the which manufacturers banner your favorite driver is under. So, what are the changes to next month’s NASCAR Sprint All-star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway?

Of course NASCAR will have the pit crew challenge and qualifying leading up to the big Saturday night event, however while Saturday night will still have the Sprint Showdown with two 20 lap races, with each winner advancing to the All-star race and NASCAR will keep the fan vote, good choice to keep the fan vote, keep the fans involved.

However here’s where the changes begin, the All-star race itself will now consist of four segments. The 1st segment will be 50 laps (mandatory pit stop on Lap 25 at which time teams must pit and take four tire). The 2nd Segment will be 20 laps with an optional pit stops.

The 3rd Segment will also be 20 laps with an optional pit stop, but here's where the big and right changes is made, 4th segment, this segment will be a 10 lap sprint for the cash. Cars will start this segment the way they finished the 3rd segment. Only green flag laps will count and $1 Million Dollars to win. sweet! There’s your 100 lap all-star race.

In my opinion, it works for me, I can’t wait to see the all-star race next month, however NASCAR, no more changes to the All-star race for awhile, that’s where the negative reaction mainly comes from.