Race Weekend Central

Voices From the Heartland: Why is NASCAR Obvious Always So Hard to See?

I have an extremely low tolerance for “stupid.” Fortunately for me, seeing as how stupid has reached epidemic proportions worldwide, I have a built in antidote. That antidote consists of 50% laughter, 40% wonderment and amazement and 10% humility; as in, there but for the grace of God go I.

When it comes to NASCAR, I have been laughing, shaking my head a lot and thanking the good Lord above almost on a 24/7 schedule lately. Fortunately, my position here at Frontstretch allows me a platform to try and have some influence, or at least offer advice, even if it is mostly ignored. It’s not that it is bad advice or even unpopular – for most of the time, people seem to agree with me – but it is ignored by Daytona Beach none the less.

Stupidly, I keep trying (said the author, laughing silently at himself as he looked pleadingly skyward and shaking his head.) Even though it will probably do no good, I will once again lay it all out there to be ignored once again.

NASCAR: The Organization

For any GOOD change to be effected, a BIG change has to be made at the very top. Brian France simply has got to go. The man is a buffoon. He is as transparent as a politician and is respected about the same. Actually, I take that back – politicians can be trusted infinitely more than Brian France.

Brian’s father and grandfather were respected. They were in the garage all the time and the men respected them. You might not have agreed with what either of them had to say, but you respected it. Both of them reportedly had a way of making you understand their point. Brian France has none of that. He hides behind Mike Helton. It is time for the France family to recognize what Brian has done to this sport, take note of the lagging attendance, the falling ratings and the general disgust of the very people that line their pockets if they want that pocket lining to continue.

Removing Brian France from his position would be one of the biggest glimmers of hope the true fan has seen since it was given to him. It certainly would not harm the sport in any way.

The Rules

Simply put, I want to be able to go to the sporting goods store and buy my own copy of the rulebook if I want to. I can with any other sport, why not NASCAR? If there is nothing to hide and everything is above ground, why can’t the average Joe or Jane have a current copy?

Enforcement of the rules is another easy fix. Simply have independent, highly-trained officials just as there are in other sports. The commissioner of Major League Baseball or the National Football League does not sit in the booth and make the calls, and the same should hold true in NASCAR.

With technology the way it is, there is no reason that ANY dispute cannot be corrected in a timely fashion, just as it is in football. No excuse whatsoever. This simple change too, would do a tremendous, almost unimaginable amount of good in preserving the ‘integrity’ of the sport – to use a phrase so often quoted from the Ivory Tower.

The Chase

Get rid of it! It was a BS idea to start with and was the Rube Goldberg way of fixing a system that needed ONE minor change – simply to award considerably more points for a win than for being the first loser. That was all that had to be done, end of story.

Consider what the championship battle would be like right now if that were the case. How many more drivers would actually have a chance at the Cup? How much more excitement would that generate compared to as it stands now?

If one driver is running away with it by this point in the season, well by goodness, he should be the champion. He earned it. Don’t use this socialistic, re-distribute the wealth crap that we have now; simply make a win worth WAY more than a second place.

Forget all this ‘mulligan’ crap Jack Roush and others have been spouting lately, that is nothing but a Rube Goldberg fix for a Rube Goldberg system.

As much as I (and the rest of the fans as evidenced by last week’s poll) would not have wanted Kyle Busch to be the ’08 Cup champion, he should, by all rights, still have a shot at it. The kid was simply mugged by Brian France’s hokey Chase.


If caught at blatantly trying to cheat the system, you go home. If the cheating is discovered after the race, you lose all positions and points and are not allowed in the NEXT race, no matter WHO you are or WHO your sponsor is.

Once that precedent is set, cheating will virtually cease or at least be done in an extremely more clever manner (until found out.)


Goodyear has been doing this racing gig for how many years now?

I don’t pretend to know anything about the contract NASCAR has with Goodyear, other than I’m sure it is mostly about money. There is probably very little in the actual contract about the quality of the services Goodyear is to provide knowing Brian France.

What needs to be done is for NASCAR to simply tell Goodyear, “Make a tire that works or we will find someone who can.” Don’t make excuses for Goodyear. There are none. This new car had been (by NASCAR’s own hype) on the drawing board for years before it was implemented. There simply is no excuse for the lack of attention to the most important part – where the rubber meets the road.


If NASCAR insists on continuing the Chase format then by God, when it comes to the actual Chase, don’t give the leader an advantage just because of the weather. Having first choice of pit stalls is HUGE advantage.

The fix? During the last 10 races of the year, if qualifying is rained out, the order is set for the Top 35 by drawing out of a hat. You can set the ORDER of the draw by the points, but that is it. Top 35 draw first. The ‘go or go-homers’ then may draw from what is left. No, its not perfect, but it is more fair than what we got now.

Yes, someone is still not going to make it in, or even get a chance to draw, but if you are that far down in the points anyway, chances are you weren’t going to make it in even if you did do a qualifying run.

Folks, the concept of racing is a simple one, and has probably been around since the SECOND caveman made a wheel. Within set parameters, you find out whose wheel is the fastest. It should never have evolved to the archaic entity that is NASCAR now.

Alright, now please excuse me while I get on with some more laughter, head shaking and humble prayer.

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

About the author

 | Website

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via