Race Weekend Central

Happy Hour: Why Has the 2023 NASCAR Season Been Such a Bummer?

On the debut edition of Frontstretch‘s Happy Hour Podcast, Bryan Nolen, Michael Massie, Dalton Hopkins and host Trey Lyle dive into why the 2023 NASCAR season has been such a bummer so far.

They also discuss Chase Elliott returning to the NASCAR Cup Series after injury and the coverage surrounding it, the Kaulig Racing penalties, as well as Carson Hocevar and his rough driving.

See also
2-Headed Monster: Does NASCAR Need Big Package Changes Before North Wilkesboro?

Listen on your favorite platforms.

About the author

Dalton Hopkins began writing for Frontstretch in April 2021. Currently, he is the lead writer for the weekly Thinkin' Out Loud column and one of our lead reporters. Beforehand, he wrote for IMSA shortly after graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2019. Simultaneously, he also serves as a First Lieutenant in the US Army.

Follow Dalton on Twitter @PitLaneLT

Michael Massie is a writer for Frontstretch. Massie, a Richmond, Va. native, has been a NASCAR superfan since childhood, when he frequented races at Richmond International Raceway. Massie is a lover of short track racing and travels around to the ones in his region. Outside of motorsports, the Virginia Tech grad can be seen cheering on his beloved Hokies.

Bryan Nolen is the Podcast Manager for Frontstretch.com. He also hosts the Frontstretch Podcast with Bryan Nolen and occasionally makes appearances on The Happy Hour Podcast. He has a Sportscasting degree from the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. He resides in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two rabbits.

Follow him on Twitter @TheBryanNolen

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Kurt Smith

I thought 2022 was an awful season. There were a number of different winners partly because of a spec car but also because of the crapshoot nature of 12 races on the schedule. Who was good last year? Logano and his team were great last year, for one race. They ended up champions.

Meanwhile, Martin Truex scored the 7th most points of any driver all season and wasn’t even eligible for a championship because the rules stipulated that Austin Cindric was more worthy. It was a glowing statement on how the NASCAR championship has very little to do with merit.

This year is a continuation of the same, and as someone who was a huge fan in 2003, I can still point to how damaging the Chase has been to this sport.

NASCAR should want to go back to when the grandstands were packed and the ratings were through the roof and soaring.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kurt Smith
Bill B

You mean admit that they made a mistake? Fat chance. LOL

Kurt Smith

I’m old enough to remember New Coke…NASCAR is the equivalent of Coca-Cola saying in 1985, “screw what the customers want, we’re sticking with this new formula”. It’s too late to go to Classic NASCAR now, they’ve doubled down so many times on this PoS playoff system, including designing it so that Danica had a chance to be in it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kurt Smith

NASCAR screwed the pooch in 2007 with the COT. The experiment is still ongoing and the results have been pathetic.

Who introduces an innovative, state of the art product that after 15+ years is still “under construction” and worse than the previous product? NASCAR does.

You gotta build a car that races well on the tracks that exist. Blaming the tracks for 15+ years is getting old. NASCAR needlessly ruined several tracks, when all along it’s been the darn car.

Meanwhile, the smoke blowers keep on blowing that smoke up the collective rearends of what we call NASCAR.

Kurt Smith



Summer Bummer? Just wait until Nascar goes to Chicago of all places. If they offered me free tickets and free hotel I would immediately decline. Definitely seeing disaster on the horizon due to out of control crime in that dump not to mention a probable lack of passing opportunities for the drivers.

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