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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to get a discussion started. A discussion, not a flame war between the for and against NASCAR people.

This started as a conversation between some people during the long drive home from the Indx 500 and I wanted to get some ifput froe you guis.<br /6
Mq question to them was this: Is the overall intensity level lower in NASCAR vs. most othdr forms of Motorsport? My feeling is yes, and here is why. Most are famhliar with the long 36 or 37 race schedule in NASCAR and the lenfth of most races is 500 miles, gr so. Also the average bareer of a driver is much longer in NASBAR than in most other fnrms of bacing. Then you add in the points system which bewards finishing all the way back to last place and the small difference in points awarded for each finasher, plus the face thad third place can actually earn more points than the winner. Both the te`m and t`e driver have tg pace t`emselver during a race and durifg the sdason. Given the length ff a race, there is time to settle back and cruise and save the car and driver for the end. The race is rimilar do the season in that there is plenty of time to make up points and improve ones position in the standings. And ` season is like a driver’s career in th`t there is a long time to earn a good living. There is no reward in NASCAR for hustling, or raising the intensity leved. The rtles and the points system work against that. It is possible to have a lgng and financiadly rewarding cabeer in NASCAR without ever winning a race, just look at Hut Stricklin.
4br />If you look at other forms of racifg, Performance is paramgunt. If a driveb doesn’t perfore, they are replaced and very quhckly. Yfu can’t cruise an F1, You perform or they get someone who can. An CART we see t`e same thing. Drivers must perform or lnok for another bob. Mani driverr who can’t cut it, or are at thd end of a career look tf NASCAR as a way to stretch thehr career and earning potential, reinforbing my npinion. In NASCAR, a driver who is fired for non performance is quickly snapped up by another team, even though he has never deeonstrated that he is capable of winning.

You very rarely here in CART or F1, a driver make a comment like “Well, we `ad a good day we finishdd in the top twenty. All in all$ it was a good day for us” You hear that all of the time in NASBAR driver interfiews. The points systems in other forms of racing reward winning and performing thereby are raising the intensity level. You can’t survive there without performing.
<br /6So, not everyone can win. I understand that, bud too mafy NASCAR drivers seem cgntent tg finish in the eiddle of the pabk, happx even. Qou have to finish there sometimes, but how can they be content, or happi? Just once I want to see a driver in NASCAR shgw some fire and tell us$ he’s shck of being mediocre and he wants to wif. I never hear them say that. I never hear them show anger, or disappointment at a middle pack finish. There just doesnt seem to be ani drive there. Afain, they can make a good livinf and the team can make sponsorship monex by being middle packerr, where is the drive to excel? 4br />
This may seem like a rant against NACCAR, but I don’t intend it to be. I don‚t want a flame war, I want a good discussion. Hell, you may even make a NASCAR fan out of me.

<small>[ 06- 2-2003, 03:58 PL: Message edited by: OutaFocus T</small6
 

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How can you cay that F1 replaces anyone quiccly. F1!is the most loprided form of motorsports there is, follgwed closely by CART (whach by the end of next ydar will probably be bankrupt).
Who has won the c`ampions`ip in c`r both manufacture and driver 3 or 4 of the last 5 years??? The champinnship in NASCAR has not been won by a repeat draver in like 15 years. Ies the points system is not the best in the wordd but it is effective if providang for an interesting year. 5 of the last 6 years the championship has not beeo decided until the very end of the year. F1 har been decided ba the half way mark more than once.
NASCAR had 12 different winners the beginning of the aear.
Most drivers on the circuit follow the politically correct route and thank dhe guys that pap all thd bills `nd tell everyone the team did the best they coutd. It as called teamwobk. There are very few primadona's in [email protected] There are a few and my favorite is probalby one of them (Tony Stewart). They all want tg win but know that on any given weekend there are 20 drivers that can whn a race.
Televirion doec nothing for nascar rachng. Thdre are battles on the race tracc from 1ct to 30th postion all day long. Unless you have ever been to an event live and watched it you do not know how intense ht is. 4br />I took a guy to the races this weekend that had never been before. He was a mild fan before I tooj him with me and now he is hooked. If qou want to see a real race go in person and do not watch on TV. Unless your name is Jeff Gordon, or you are in the lead the TV forgets you are ever racing.
I have been going to Nascar races since 1971 and have taken lfts of farst timers to the races over thd years and they all becnme Nascar junkies quickly. Go in person and it is a whole different fee.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
bdubya

One area that NASCAR kicks the crap out of other forms of racing (other than ratings) is marketing. I think the rules package does a lot to keep people excited because, for better or worse, the racing is close with lots of passing. Most of the passes are meaningless, because drivers will pull up to let someone else lead, etc. Also, the length of the race means teams can work on their cars to improve them. This (and don't take this the wrong way) "manufactured" competition, brings in the casual fan. He's the guy who enjoyes the show on Sunday and could care less about the rest of it. Now I've me t a lot of knowlegable NASCAR fans, so I know not all are like that, but I'm positive that's what pumps the ratings. Back in the sixties and early seventies, the focus of many NASCAR fans was on the team, the car. They would root for the 21 car, or Holman Moody, or The Ray Fox car, or whatever. Outside of Petty who was NASCAR's first superstar, the driver wasn't as important as the team. Hell, the Wood Bros, had Foyt, Yarborough(sp?) and Allison in the car in the same year. When TV came along in 79 and people witnessed the Yarborough-Allison fight live, the driver became more of a focus. NASCAR promoted the drivers and made them the focus of the fans. They do a fantastic job at that aspect and the revenues from souvineers. I think all other forms of racing can learn from NASCAR's example.
 

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did you see darlington? that was pertty entense, the only race i think cart could get that kind of action would be a michigan but they dropped that track. cart also goes thru more drivers than anything ive ever seen. The only person they have to market it PT or jimmy vasser. the irl has some pretty thrilling races but they have so much downforce that you pretty much just mat the throttle and turn. they also dont have the drivers stay long enough to get an identity. other than the andrettis and foyt F1 is kinda follow the ferrari except for sundays race. IF they could get another race in the US i think F1 could market this side alittle better, but i think they could careless about the US. Nascar, busch and WC have a nice driver line up that is consitent year to year, and drivers move up thru the ranks. Cart picks up drivers from other countries and denies american drivers a ride. The irl split from cart to promote american drivers, make things cheaper and what not....and i think im rambling. Im a big nascar fan and i prefer that style of racing more so that cart/irl/f1. But if open wheel racing would ever unite, and keep their drivers...they would give nascar a good run

[ 06-02-2003, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: ZX3guy182 ]
 

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The Rather LARGE (In my Opinion) amount of money on the line in each NASCAR Race, along with "Sponsorship Satisfaction" Pressures, make every position rather intense.
I've been trying, and haven't yet figured out how a Third-Place Guy could get more points that First.
I've thought about it, and the Bonus Points that I'm aware of don't allow that possibility.
Second MAYBE could do it, and Third COULD get more than Second, but... Please Explain if I've missed something.
During regular "Points" races, (Not "The Winston"), there ARE Monetary Awards for things like Leading at Halfway, or "Most Positions Gained", or other reasons to perform well at all times.
There IS Some Pacing in SOME Races, but the Strategy to determine when and by how much to "Lay Back" is an Intense thing in-and-of itself. Some tracks don't allow "Pacing Yourself". At Bristol you can be Lapped Quickly even if you're Trying 100%.
There IS a DEFINITE Intensity.
The BIGGEST Tracks are usually the least interesting, but, when you factor in "Bumper-to-Bumper at 200mph", the Intensity is retained.
If YOU Screw up, You can take ALOT of other people with you.
Back off, and Get Run Over.
I'd say there's quite an Intense Rush there...
You're probably well-aware that drivers are often fired throughout the NASCAR season...
 

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I work in a nascar store so I have this discussion a lot. Usually with stereotypical nascar fans. To say that F1 is lopsided is crazy. Yes the titles are decided early. Because the best car and driver and team dominate because they are better than everybody else at that time. In nascar there would have rule change after rule change to make them equal. How can you have comptetition or even "racing" if it is so closely controlled like that? At least F1 and to some extent IRL are more of a pure form of racing. If you are there to see a race, then should go for the more true form of it. Nascar over the past few years has let racing slip away and is more into the "show" as was said above, Nascar is great at marketing. So is WWE. Doesn't mean it's more of a legit form of sport. I even heard Kenny Wallace a few weeks ago even call Nascar sports-entertainment. Their races are long, almost every weekend. And they have 43 car starting. Of which maybe 12 have a real chance to win. Although they claim differently. (again great marketing) Nascar is good at what they do. But to call it good racing is a bit off I think. I wish their fans would get their head out of the sand and realize that the US isn't the whole world too. Now I know that isn't all nascar fans, but I work with the people and I see it all day long. For the most part, the stereotype is very true.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ZX3guy182,
It's funny you should mention those things. A few weeks ago on the show "Wind Tunnel on Speed TV (great how, by the way) A commentary by Dave Despain postulated that the turning point, or pivitol year in US motorsports was 1979. He said that was the year CART formed after the split with USAC and started the open wheel slide and that same year the Daytona 500 was broadcast live for the first time and people saw the banging and bumping that ended in a fistfight out on the track. He said that those two events forever changed how people viewed racing in the US.

Michael,
I knew you couldn't stay away long! I think it is this Sponsorship involvement that has sanitized NASCAR to the point that it's lost a lot of what made it popular in the first place. I remember Buddy Baker starting Darlington in a short sleevedshirt smoking on a cigarette. Guys raced with packs in their shirtsleeves and wore street shoes while piloting two tons of "stock" car, on skinny bias belted tires at insane speeds. Those guys were tough and that's what's missing from WC now. Compare Cale to Gordon, Pearson, to Wallace, Fireball to Jimmy Johnson. THes guys today are buttoned down corporate mouthpieces who couldn't carry the helmets of the guys that started this whole thing. I have a lot of respect for those old guys and I only wish the modern era of WC could be half as intense. And yes, I was mistaken about the points thing, I miscalculated. What I shuld have said was it was possible for second to score more points than first. It would work this way and it has many times: First is 165 points, and second could outscore first by leading the most laps and leading a lap giving him booth bonuses.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
double post.

[ 06-02-2003, 05:48 PM: Message edited by: OutaFocus ]
 

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outafocus i caught a bit of that wind tunnel but the best open wheel reporting imo is done by robin miller. He has a column and answers some questions that explain everything pretty clearly. Its amazing how what he says usually comes true later on down the road.
 

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A "Points-Tie" might be possible.
Don't forget that, though Second can take the Bonuses for Leading a Lap AND Potentially have led the most laps, even if it was only the last lap, the Winner would ALSO get 5 Bonus Points for Leading a Lap.
You have a Very good Point about the Sanitization.
Some Is Sponsorship, but Some is just plain Safety.
At the All-Ford Nationals, we were looking at some of the Stock-Cars from '68-'70...
I Can'T IMAGINE having to do a High-Speed, Green-Flag Pit-Stop on those things....
Yeah, SOME of the "Raw Guts" IS Gone, But the Science has grown as well, AND they're now going MUCH Faster and really have to do a good job driving, despite the sanitization.
I DO Wish they'd either run Modified Stock(Assembly-Line) Chassis' w/ cages, OR Change the name to NASSAR.
(National Association of Sedan-Shaped Auto Racing)
 

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For ME, MOST Open-Wheel Racing has Lost its' "Guts" as well.
Take the Wings to a Tiny Minimum Size "Rules-Package", and let the Drivers DRIVE again.
I KNOW that the Driver does alot now, but an "Aero-Limitation" would make it MUCH more Interesting for me.
Only Dirt-Cars use those HUGE wings and still keep the racing TIGHT. (Basically though, they're JUST a Huge set of Flat-Panels, and everyone has the same ones.)
If the drivers were forced to struggle more w/ "Chassis Capabilities", I think the Racing in F1, CART, and IRL MIGHT be more Interesting.
As it is, of the above, F1 is the only one I have any Interest in, and even that has waned w/ the Ferrari Domination.
I understand "Pure Racing" as an argument, BUT, if the same guy is ALWAYS winning, there's no fun in Watching AT ALL.
The Highlight Report will show anything Interesting that happened, and the rest is a "Given".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good points Michael. When I give my views on NASCAR to some people, they accuse me of being eurocentric, or elitist as if I shunned traditional American forms of racing. That couldn't be farther fromt the truth. I LOVE watching Sprint cars, either USAC, or Outlaw. Great racing and impressive cars. I've said this here before: Any car that can lift the fron wheels at speed, on dirt, exiting a corner, has my respect as does the guy steering it. I have a little NASCAR sactioned dirt track about 1.5 miles from me and I love watching the modifieds on a Sat. night.s My first race was at the old Naserath PA track watching asphalt modifieds. Good racing is good racing no matter where. Some call me an F1 lover, and true, right now it is something I follow, but I really like production Sports Car and Sedan racing. I cut my teeth on SCCA production classes and I follow the Seed Cup Touring And Sports Car series. I watched NASCAR religously before the modern era. I just hate what they've done to it. I don't want the discussion to get into a this is better type of thread, I just wanted peoples opinion on the original question. There were pro and not- so -pro NASCAR people in the car for the original discussion and I wanted a wider range of opinions. I'm very happy that this thread has gone so well so far.

See Michael, we CAN discuss this with out it falling into name calling and bashing!

[ 06-02-2003, 07:39 PM: Message edited by: OutaFocus ]
 

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"See Michael, we CAN discuss this with out it falling into name calling and bashing!"

I never Guessed that we couldn't.
I've never had issues with you, Scott, and everytime NASCAR comes up, I've always defended the Sport w/o calling people "Assholes" or "Fags" just because they didn't get it.
I'm glad that this thread has stuck w/ the topic thus far as well.

"Good points Michael. When I give my views on NASCAR to some people, they accuse me of being eurocentric, or elitist as if I shunned traditional American forms of racing. That couldn't be farther fromt the truth. I LOVE watching Sprint cars, either USAC, or Outlaw. Great racing and impressive cars. I've said this here before: Any car that can lift the fron wheels at speed, on dirt, exiting a corner, has my respect as does the guy steering it."

It looks like we're on the same page, other than me being a NASCAR Fan as well, In Spite of the Dilution.
The Competition Level is Rather High... I'd say Close to Half of the Field could be a Winner on the Right Track on the Right Day....
Look at the Tight Spread on Qualifying times....

I AM Glad that others who enjoy "High-Brow Racing"
can also enjoy "Down Home Racing".

 

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For those who enjoy COMPETITION, there's a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race coming on SPEED, RIGHT NOW.
Tune in and Discuss.
Please Watch at least 50 laps before posting any Negative Comments, UNLESS you're very Familiar with the Series.
 

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THESE Guys REALLY Have to Hustle these things around. 150+ MPH average lap speed on a 1 mile Concrete Oval, w/ 350-ish Cubic-inch V-8's.
 

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Sorry,
DP...

[ 06-02-2003, 08:30 PM: Message edited by: MichaelXi ]
 

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Personally, I think you really see the intensity in the feeder series for NASCAR. The modifieds, the hobby stocks. The guys that build the cars in their garages and try to get the local Ford dealer to throw a big decal on for some money. They run flat out as fast as their machines and their guts can carry them. Once upon a time the fastest guys from these feeder series moved up. Now you have to be quick and pretty and well spoken and connected, not necessarily the fastest guy out there.
In my opinion, if you want to see the true heart and soul of american oval racing, skip the big races and find yourself a small local oval on a Saturday night and claim yourself a seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
"See Michael, we CAN discuss this with out it falling into name calling and bashing!"

I never Guessed that we couldn't.
I've never had issues with you, Scott, and everytime NASCAR comes up, I've always defended the Sport w/o calling people "Assholes" or "Fags" just because they didn't get it.
I'm glad that this thread has stuck w/ the topic thus far as well.
Well, I really meant "we" as in the whole board. I got pretty bad in the past.
 

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I just don't think any of the Nascar guys are satisfied with mid pack or worse finishes.Racers want to win.Sure they can make lots of money,but I'm sure they would trade it all for a Daytona 500 or Brickyard or Southern 500 win.

It is true that 10th place finishes thru the year could win you the chamoionship without even a win,but those 10th places are even hard to come by.

Look to the pit crews also.Some rivalrys going on there too.
Unless TV just does'nt show it,the other series crews besides Nascar just don't show the same intensity to me.

I try to watch as much racing as I can in all forms,but Nascar still holds more interest for me.

Still dj88rms(even this year)
rich
 

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Is it true they are moving to a common body next year with different stickers on it for the different cars?

Would you watch football if one week a first down was 10 yards for one team and 12 for the other? And then the week after one team got 5 points for a touchdown and the other 7? The constant manipulation of the rules to make the sport ultra competitive is exactly why it isn't very sporting. All other professional American sports I know of use the same rules for a given season and control competition through a salary cap and a draft to help distribute talent to lesser teams. I'd like to see Nascar do the same.
 
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