Saturday, April 19, 2008

A fine idea that will never happen

A guy named Jerry who listens to “The Morning Drive” on Sirius NASCAR Radio emailed Friday morning with a suggestion for the Sprint All-Star Race. His idea will never happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.

Here’s his suggestion. Once you have your group of eligible teams for the all-star event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, you introduce them before the race on a stage with three doors.

Behind the first door, you line up the pit crews based on a random draw. Behind the second door, you line up the crew chiefs, again in random order. Then it’s drivers, again in the order their names are drawn by random, behind the third door.

Each door opens and you’ve got a team for that night’s race. It might be the No. 16 with Chad Knaus as the crew chief and Ryan Newman as the driver. For the all-star event, those guys work together and try to win.

It’d never work, of course, because of all of the sponsorship issues. You couldn’t have Kurt Busch driving the Budweiser car, or a Ford crew working on a Toyota during pit stops. Maybe that’s one of the things wrong with the sport these days – it’s so complicated from a business and financial standpoint that a fun idea like that has no shot.

But it sure is intriguing to think about, isn’t it?

* * *

I suppose that some might consider it my duty to inform you that voting to select the driver who will get a spot in this year’s all-star event through a fan vote is now open. Since, however, I vehemently oppose the existence of this “pity pass,” I will leave it at that.

Besides, any day now some driver with access to fans via television will start some sort of cockamamie campaign to secure this spot and you’ll find out how to vote for him soon enough.

* * *

Let me go ahead and get out in front on this one.

Somebody who qualifies among the 10 fastest cars might very well miss the race next weekend at Talladega.

It’s an impound race so the go-or-go-home cars will put in qualifying set-ups and most of them will be faster for a single lap than any of the cars exempt under the top 35 rule, which all will be in race trim.

This does not mean that the top 35 rule is wrong. If there was a rule that said the fastest 43 cars made the race, there’s about a 2 percent chance anybody who’s not in the top 35 right now would be among the 25 fastest cars in a do-or-die qualifying situation.

The goal should be to have the BEST 43 cars in the race, and that’s what will happen next week at Talladega, just like every week.

* * *

You know, for years people have been suggesting that NASCAR should divide its teams into two divisions and run two races each week, one at one track and one at another. Then, at the end of the year, you’d bring the top teams from each division together for some kind of championship series.

This, of course, is a spectacularly bad idea.

Don’t think so? Tell me, then, how much sense does what’s happening in open-wheel racing this weekend make? The teams from the Indy Racing League are in Japan, racing at Honda’s home track at Motegi. Meanwhile, the teams from the soon-to-be-history Champ Car World Series are in Long Beach, racing among themselves.

Points for the re-unified open-wheel series will be paid for both races. This came about because the IRL didn’t want to disappoint Honda and Champ Car wanted one last fling at Long Beach, which was the one successful race it had left on its schedule. Next year the schedules will be worked so the two events don’t conflict.

As a one-year stopgap, the Motegi-Long Beach double-dip isn’t the worst thing in the world. But the idea of having half of your best teams one place and half in another just doesn’t make any kind of long-term sense.

It took open-wheel racing more than a decade to figure that out, and let’s hope NASCAR is never dumb enough to fall in such an obvious trap.


Anonymous said...

1: If the spirit of the All Star race is to really have fun, than the idea of having mixed up teams should work. The NHL, NBA and MLB all have all start games in which teams are completely mixed up. Two hockey players whose only goal in life is to hit each other suddenly find themselves in the same team and.. oh my God... they're having fun!

2: My favorite driver is Kyle Petty... and only one thing kept me from being offended when he was voted into the All Star race a couple of years ago: the million dollars that would be donated to the camp. In my view, NOBODY should get voted in. If you suck, why should you play in the All Star Game? Kyle hasn't raced in the last 3 weeks because the team wasn't good enough. Martin Truex got voted into the All Star Race and if memory serves me right, he hadn't even completed a single race yet... he'd run a couple of Cup races, but I think he DNF'd. That ain't right.

3: The idea of having two NASCAR divisions is srupid beyond belief. How many tickets will go unsold because Junior isn't racing? Or Gordon? You couldn't possibly put both of those guys in the same division. And how much more expensive would it be for the teams? Suddenly Hendrick has to... no, its worse.. Hendrick can probably afford it... How expensive would it be for a team like Petty Enterprises to send one team to California and one to Flordia at the same time? No longer can they have ne engineer at the track. Now they need to send two. Deals on hotels and stuff just got more expensive. Its an all 'round stupid idea. And what about television... which race gets put on your local tv? Are the Junior fans who stayed home because he wasn't racing, going to get to see him on tv at least? There is only one reason to make two divisions: increased ticket sales and tv sales. But there are thousands of reasos not to.

Anonymous said...

Dumbest thing I've ever heard, only thing I agree with is no one should be voted into the All Star race, it's for the Stars. You don't earn it, you don't deserve it.

Anonymous said...

There is only one reason for an all-star race - the fans. Basically the stars are who the fans say are the stars. There is nothing wrong with the fans having a real say-so once a year in a race that is for nothing but entertainment. If it counted for something, then it would be different.

stricklinfan82 said...

Random Draw Idea


The random draw of race teams is an extremely fascinating idea. I would love to see that happen, but of course as you said sponsor, manufacturer, and team owner contracts would never let it happen.

All-Star Race Fan Vote

I also agree that the fan vote should be dumped. For years NASCAR was the one "all-star game" that actually rewarded accomplishments and not popularity. I hated implementing the fan vote in 2004.

Kerry Earnhardt would have won the 2004 vote in a part-time ride because of his famous last name, but mercifully he crashed in the Open and wasn't eligible for the fan vote invitation into the All-Star race. Ken Schrader got that spot instead, and with all do respect he had no business being there in the BAM Racing car that has finished just about last in owner's points among full-time teams every year it has existed. Not to mention his car was already badly damaged in the Open and was already rendered even less competitve than it already was in the first place.

Busch Series driver Martin Truex Jr., still a year away from being a Cup Rookie of the Year candidate, was a 2005 All-Star solely because of his ever-so-popular DEI teammate.

Kyle Petty won the fan vote in '06 because of his charity donation promise. Nice story, nice for the kids, but Kyle and the #45 team had no business being in the race, and proved that on the track.

And of course last year Kenny Wallace and the Furniture Row race team won it, solely because he campaigned heavily on his Speed TV show. Good for Kenny and that team, but again he had no business being there and his on-track performance that night proved that.

If a legitimate threat like Kasey Kahne would win the fan vote that would be one thing. But when the fan vote winner is constantly a back-marker that ends up finishing last every single year, it becomes senseless and not "fun" at all.

"David, help us end the NASCAR fan vote...."

I can only imagine what will happen this year, and which driver will put up a brilliant campaign to get in.

David, before that happens let's be proactive. What can we fans come up that would make a complete mockery of the fan vote this year to force NASCAR to dump it? What driver should we all campaign for?

I think you should come up with a joke of a Vote for ____ Campaign and constantly push it in every story you write. I for one will definitely follow you.

I'm looking at the ballot right now. How about we all vote for someone that doesn't even have a ride right now, like Jeff Green or Tony Raines? How about we vote in a retired driver? We've got one of those on the ballot too - Ricky Rudd. Oh, I've got it! How about either Burney Lamar or Eric McClure?

Yes David, I think you should start a compaign for everyone in the world to vote a thousand times a day to get McClure or Lamar in the All-Star race. Let's get one of these guys into the all-star race. The 08 or 37 teams that haven't made a race yet this year deserve to be all-stars! McClure's never made a Cup start outside of Talladega and Lamar still has never qualified for a Cup race. Let's do it David! Just let us know which one of these potential all-stars we should focus on!

The Talladega Impound Rule

And now the last topic I'll address, the Talladega impound.

I don't understand why NASCAR doesn't dump the impound rule. Assuming Bill Elliott is driving the #21, there will be 36 teams racing and qualifying at Talladega in race trim, and they will be starting 8th-43rd. The first 7 starting positions will all be inhabited by cars that are 36th or lower in owner's points. The front seven positions will be some combination of the 96, 22, 70, 40, 84, 10, 45, 78, 34, 08, 09, or any number of other obscure part-time teams that decide to show up.

It is a joke that the entire front of the field will be filled with a bunch of back-markers and that one of these guys will be in the 2009 Coors Light Shootout at Daytona. It will probably be Dave Blaney based on the last two plate qualifying sessions but it could very well be J.J. Yeley, Patrick Carpentier, Joe Nemechek, Kyle Petty, A.J. Allmendinger, or Dario Franchitti that wins the pole.

The 8th, 9th, 10th, etc. fastest qualifiers will go home. Granted most of those guys probably wouldn't have made the show anyway if everyone was in qualifying trim, but nonetheless it still gives NASCAR a black-eye to be sending home the 8th fastest overall qualifier.

Not to mention that none of these 7 guys that do make the field and start 1st-7th will have a chance to win because they will be in qualifying trim. Hell, half of them or more will probably end up blowing up their qualifying motors like they did last year at Talladega.

DUMP THE IMPOUND NASCAR! Not only is it grossly unfair to the go-or-go-homers, it makes a mockery of the impound races having none of the top 35 drivers in the points starting in the top 7 on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

stricklinfan82, what are the chances of you getting your own blog?

With so much to say you surely can fill each day with interesting commentary.

Here, you can get a free NASCAR themed and hosted blog, be my guest.

stricklinfan82 said...


Point well taken. I know, I talk too much, LOL. I just can't help myself at times :)

Mr. Poole brought up multiple topics in one entry that all hit a nerve, so I felt the need to go in-depth on the reasoning behind me agreeing with Mr. Poole on them.

I've never been one to say a simple "I agree" or "I disagree" and leave it at that without explaining why.

Sorry guys, didn't mean to upset anyone :)

Monkeesfan said...

Here's an idea for the Sprint All-Star Race - either run it at Talladega or cancel it. The event serves zero purpose and has never bee a good race beyond 1994's running. It has always been a gimmick race and is constantly gimmicked up to justify itself. Only Talladega can see actual good racing for an all-star race; if they have to have one, put it at Talladega.

That someone cold miss Talladega despite qualifying in the top ten shows the need to just start all entries. No "just the 43 fastest cars" because it puts to much emphasis on qualifying and qualifying should mean nothing beyond seeding starting spots. The whole "best 43 cars" argument is ridiculous because qualifying doen' determine that; only the race does.

The Motegi-Long Beach comparison in terms of a two-division formt for Winston Cup is a bad analogy because the split in Indycar racing was about clashing philosophies for the sport; it wasn't about a divisional format wih a centralized playoff for the sport. If Indycar racing had had a divisional format with a centralized playoff, it might not have gained in popularity, but it cetainl would not have suffered as it did.

Anonymous said...

Start all entries? Do you know how many teams would show up for these races if everyone got to start no matter what? 70? 100? 200? 300? 500? 1,000? You have to have a cap or there would no room to fit all those cars on some of these tracks! 43 is already too many at places like Bristol and Martinsville anyway. The car count will always end up slightly above the cap that exists. 48-50 will show up if 43 race. 68-70 would show up if 63 race. 100 would show up if 95 race. No cap is a ridiculous notion.

Anonymous said...


I always find your posts interesting. I don't always agree with you but you give me a lot to think about. Keep your comments coming.

Anonymous said...

The mixed format works in other sports because it's all individuals, and certainly none of it involves a machine going 200mph. Certainly, it would be interesting, but I don't think you sacrifice safety, on the track or on pit road, due to confusion of drivers and crews, to please the crowd.

The fan vote is harmless. It's a field filler and seldom an issue.

If NASCAR wants two distinct top series, they can expect Nationwide sized crowds at both events. Fans will follow and attend the events their driver goes to. They have enough empty seats at the events they run now. I'm pretty sure more empties would do nothing for the sport's popularity, or TV ratings.

The impound rule is a joke. Dump it, NASCAR, and the Top35 too while you're at it. Neither rule does what it was intended to do. I don't even care if Poole thinks the Top 35 is the best invention since the BLT or BBQ, it sucks.

Monkeesfan, get off this never ending crusade to start ALL the entries. Because it has 4 wheels, doesn't make it a race car of top series caliber. More is not always better, and 3rd rate teams could make it down right dangerous.

Anonymous said...

monkeesfan - "The Motegi-Long Beach comparison in terms of a two-division formt for Winston Cup is a bad analogy because the split in Indycar racing was about clashing philosophies for the sport;"

Poole's ref to the Motegi/Long beach split had zero to do with "clashing philosophies" and was noted only as an example of what a potential split of a NASCAR schedule would create.

As usual you take something and stretch it into something entirely different.

And BTW, using whatever logic employed by your continued use of "Winston Cup" dictates you use the terminology "NASCAR Strictly Stock Division," or the "NASCAR Grand National Series."

But obviously, in your case, the "logic train" left the station far before your purchased a ticket to ride.

Anonymous said...

I thought only the fall race at Dega was an impound race? I could be wrong though.

Anonymous said...

Every All Star game in every sport is nothing more than a gimmick. Running it only at Talladega - the only track that seems to matter to Monkeesfan - won’t solve anything (assuming there is a problem, that is). The fans are on to it as well, its one of the few all star events in professional sports that doesn’t sell out... the NFL Pro Bowl is another, but that involves a major investment of time and money to get to as opposed to the NASCAR event that is right in the middle of NASCAR nation. I have yet to see a true all star event anywhere that does anything other than showcase individual skills. Of course, if I were to travel to Charlotte for a race, I would prefer to wait a week and spend the same money to see an actual points race with the same drivers that lasts longer and actually means something. So is it time to move the event? Who knows, but there is nothing special about it. By the way, because it’s a gimmick and does nothing to prove anything, I have no problem having fans vote on who drives. The one thing I do like is the pit crew competition, and it would be interesting if NASCAR could come up with some sort of a skills competition for the drivers and maybe even the crew chiefs. In order for it to be successful it needs to offer something different than your standard weekly race.

As for NASCAR splitting into two series... is this actually being considered by anyone of importance in NASCAR? Or is it just bar talk? Regardless, it’s a terrible idea. What concerns me more is NASCAR moving cup races internationally. I have nothing against the Nationwide races in Mexico and Canada, but if its going to go beyond that, NASCAR should consider a new, international series similar to NFL Europe. Might be a good place for all the open wheelers to get a start before they jump into a cup ride, and with their international recognition, it would put fannies in the seats.

Finally, starting all cars? As always, bad idea being written by a guy a complete lack of common sense. NASCAR is past the point of being a bunch of guys running for a couple of hundred bucks, now it’s a multi million dollar sport. Aside from not having enough pit or garage space for the hundreds - yes hundreds - of teams that would show up, you would have cars all day running a few laps and then headed off to the garage with the 'Morgan Shepherd Transmission Problem' just to collect the check. Not only that, but would you want any old guy with a couple of extra bucks in his pocket to be out there running at 200 mph trying to draft at Talladega? Oh, wait, you would...

Anonymous said...

strange - I think like every other "all star" event in any other sport - all of the participants should be voted in, not just one.

Monkeesfan said...

ANONYMOUS #8 - it is grossly presumptuous to claim that entries would skyrocket to 75 or 100. Having a cap on entries has never done the sport any good. 50 wasn't too many for Charlotte in the 1960s or Talladega as late as 1975 when the spreads were 20 or more MPH; now the spreads are usually less than six MPH.

Anonymous said...

DAVID- I really enjoyed you on NASCAR NOW. Super job, and you looked good. Hope to see you on NN again.

Anonymous said...


Isn't it grossly presumptuous to assume that entries would NOT jump to the 70s or higher?

Every short track racer in the country dreams of racing in NASCARS highest series, and with the purses that are offered now, its worth it to field an entry even if you just do a few laps and cal it a day. Anybody who happens to have some spare cash would parlay it into their race team to have a shot at racing against the worlds greatest drivers, let alone possibly finishing high enough to make some money. I for one, if I knew for certain that I were in if I showed up, would start the process of trying to put together a team for my shot at fame and fortune. How many other racers would do the same? 5? 50? 500? Don't underestimate the power of a persons dreams and fantasies.

Ending the cap and allowing an unlimited number of cars devalues the race and would turn NASCARs top series into a free for all. But again, you insist on proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are a fool.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea for the All Star race mix up. That sounds like a wonderful idea. Why not have 43 IROC style cars for the drivers, then draw crews, drivers and crew chiefs, and let them stick all their sponsor decals and numbers on theses "non manufacturer" cars.

Monkeesfan said...

nh nascarfan, no, it isn't. The idea that the sport will suddenly see 20-plus new entries that were being held in check because the field was limited to just 43 starters is absurity squared. Not every short tracker with dreams of Winston Cup can scrape together the resources to actually make that leap; they didn't when Talladega starting fields were still 50 cars.

There is no devaluing of anything but raising the number of starters. And you want to prove someone a fool, reevaluate your own view of racing because the ool isthe one who insists on artificial limits on starting fields and other policies that emasculate the sport, such as advocacy that drivers not fight for the lead at Talladega this weekend, David. The way they raced there last year was the stupid way to race, and those who did that didn't win. Gordon lost the draft and needed some late yellows to catch back up. Don't insult people's intelligence by talkng about divers nedlessly puttng temselves at ris because there is no schthing. What is the point of going four-wide for the lead at Lap 50? The point is you can't win if you don't. Real racers always go for the lead and don't get flustered by going four-wide at Lap 50; stroking is not racing.

Smart racers will go for the lead no matter what lap it is. Don't ever claim otherwise, David.

Anonymous said...

看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,美髮儀器,美髮,儀器,髮型,EMBA,MBA,學位,EMBA,專業認證,認證課程,博士學位,DBA,PHD,在職進修,碩士學位,推廣教育,DBA,進修課程,碩士學位,網路廣告,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,課程介紹,學分班,文憑,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,日式料理, 台北居酒屋,燒肉,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,台北結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,造型系列,學位,牛樟芝,腦磷脂,磷脂絲胺酸,SEO,婚宴,捷運,學區,美髮,儀器,髮型,牛樟芝,腦磷脂,磷脂絲胺酸,看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,房子,捷運,學區,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,學位,碩士學位,進修,在職進修, 課程,教育,學位,證照,mba,文憑,學分班,網路廣告,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,SEO,关键词,网络广告,关键词广告,SEO,关键词,网络广告,关键词广告,SEO,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,居酒屋,燒烤,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,小套房,小套房,進修,在職進修,留學,證照,MBA,EMBA,留學,MBA,EMBA,留學,進修,在職進修,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,关键词排名,网络营销,網路行銷,關鍵字排名,关键词排名,网络营销,PMP,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,PMP,證照,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告