Sunday, May 22, 2011

Grass Roots Racing's Conection to NASCAR: How the All Star Race Shows The Links Loud and Clear!

As continues to connect every race fan with any racer, anywhere and any track across the United States, we seldom engage in discussion about major motorsports series like NASCAR, IZOD IndyCar, World of Outlaws, or the NHRA. is simply the Switzerland of the motorsports world seeking to connect more fans with more fast. However, today seems a good day to step into the debate and offer our thoughts on the state of the continuum from local racers all across the United States to the pinnacles of their particularly format of individual racing.

Thinking about last night's race, some say the format of the All Star Race creates 'manufactured' racing highlights. Some love it because it's shorter and 'made for TV' in the excitement it creates with the broadcast. Personally, it reminds me of the roots of racing at countless tracks all across the United States. Now, before you call me crazy, let's look at how the different pieces of the All Star weekend actually mirror what happens at nearly 1,000 local short tracks every weekend.

First off, Qualifying... Timed laps to determine starting position (with the added kink of the pit change for the All Star Race) reminds me of qualifying heats at local tracks. Yeah, some local tracks do actual heat races and others do qualifying laps, but qualifying is a part of the fabric of racing at all levels.

The B-Main... AKA, The Sprint Showdown... Seriously! Doesn't this almost feel like it's the 'B-Main' of the All Star weekend? After all, for those not already in the All Star Race (The A-Main), they had to qualify for their starting position in the Showdown, too and if they finished in the Top 2, they made the All Star Race... The A-Main

The A-Main... The All Star Race, itself. An extremely LARGE PORTION of the overall purse for the winner and very little money (comparatively) for the rest of the field, down through the finishing order. Yes, the purse they are running for is HUGE and incomprehensible to most short-track racers, but the structure of ALOT for the winner and little or none for the rest of the field sure is familiar!

Now, where am I going with this? It seems many core NASCAR fans feel like too-long races, drawn out green-flag runs and cookie-cutter tracks have taken the sizzle out of the overall feel of NASCAR. Has the racing seen changes in the past few years? Absolutely... especially as teams have worked to figure out the current car... But maybe, JUST MAYBE, NASCAR has something here that could enliven the excitement not just one time a year, but 3 or 4, intermittently throughout the season.

Fans of Fast, let me present the NASCAR All Star Series!

Race #1... Bristol in the Spring! A short-track shootout just like at small tracks across the United States! What better way to bring back more edge of your seat excitement AND a shorter event, to a track at a time where the weather sometimes plays a big factor in whether people are going to go or not. Think about it... The second race at Bristol is under the lights... it's got sizzle, it's in prime time! And in the present economy, many people simply can't afford the double dip of Bristol x 2 each year.

Race #2... Charlotte... The home of the All Star Race deserves to keep it there... but we might suggest spreading it out a bit.. Yeah, it's like a 2-week home vacation for the teams, but the same track 2 weeks in a row? They can probably do more with having things spread out a bit more

Race #3... California... WHAT!? California? I know, most loyalists think NASCAR doesn't belong in Los Angeles and the attendance may be the biggest reinforcer, but think about it! LA is the home of new entertainment headlines every 15 seconds and in a place with a very short attention span, maybe a segmented All Star race will actually create more fans of the sport because they'll be able to absorb it in smaller pieces. Yes, this would mean sending California back to the back half of the season, but maybe it's just the solution?

Race #4... Return To The Roots For the All Star Series Finale! How about Rockingham or North Wilkesboro? Race it the week before the final race of the chase! Give the Chasers 1 extra week to be ready for the final race, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, make winning a race during the chase worth something more than an entry into NEXT YEAR's All Star Race. Maybe, just maybe, this would replace the 'fear of messing up someone's chase' with the desire to run for one last 'Super Purse' THIS SEASON instead of having to wait for next year.

Now, we realize this is bold... we realize it's different... but if you go back to the beginning of this article, it's really not. Like it or not the All Star Race truly seems to be the closest thing NASCAR has to mirroring short track racing all across the United States... and if somewhere around 1,000,000 Fans of Fast go to their local tracks every weekend to see this form of racing, maybe it should have a presence more than once a year at NASCAR's highest levels.

Your thoughts? We'd love to hear them! You can CLICK HERE to comment!

1 comment:

  1. I Like it BUT.... Race #4 Martinsville doesnt the oldest track in NASCAR deserve something? I mean Martinsville is kind of an All-Star itself.

    And lets lengthen the "All-star Series" out just a lil bit to include Darlington and and Daytona or Talladega 40 lap shootout. Spread it out over the season and set it up like the old Winston Million when they paid drivers $1 Million to win 3 out of 4 of the Crown Jewels except the All Star series be 6 diffrent races and pay and Extra Million at the end of the season to any driver that can win 4 out of 6. and With the All-Star race included (do not change the format of it) that's like a cool extra $2mil on top of normal winnings.

    Do the shootouts on Regular race weekends. Race winners only. With a Shootout showdown on qualifying night (non-racewinners) top 5 make it in.

    If any cars get wrecked in the shootout teams are still allowed to enter backup cars in the points races providing they pass tech.