I think I can speak for most of us fans when I say, “The All-Star has not been an all star event.” The gimmick segments are just long enough to annoy us. Charlotte has not been a must-see track. We lost the pit crew competition. There’s not much to look forward to I’m afraid. So, let’s fix it!
Step 1: NASCAR is a team sport, not just a driver sport. Bring back the pit crew competition. This is as easy as rewarding the fastest crew in qualifying. There is no excuse not to have it, NASCAR isn’t going broke so they can sponsor it until an event sponsor picks it up. Then there’s the car, remove the restrictions. Let the crews in the shop go wild. 6 speed transmissions, no mandatory spoiler angle, no restriction on splitter. All that should be ruled on is the size of the motor and the body construct.
Step 2: Move the race. Charlotte has been lack luster at best and we see it enough. So let’s find a track that would challenge all drivers that nobody races on normally. I propose Daytona. Yes, I know we race there twice a year, but we never do the Daytona Road Course. Combine a completely abnormal car on an obnormal track once a year, no restrict or place, no restrictions on motors or transmissions. It could be a blow out! Think about it. The shop teams would shine, small teams could gear up for this race to pay for their year. The cars can be as fast as drivers are willing to go.
Step 3: Let all charter teams in. All 36. They are paying to be there but running every week. Then have an open event for any and all drivers and teams who want to race in the All Star. If Red Horse Racing wants to build 1 car to run the All Star, let them! It encourages those teams to fight to move up. If they can beat the charter teams, they are All Stars.
Step 4: Make it a 2 part event. 10 lap first segment, just so drivers can get the feel of the track and their car. Then a 50 lap segment where the $1,000,000 is paid out in portion to whoever leads that lap. $20,000 every lap to whoever leads that lap. The overall winner can get a bonus too. Make the drivers race and care about every single lap.
Step 5: Make it the fan event it should be. $10 ticket prices, pack the track, sell concessions, let people watch from the infield, bring in the Ferris wheel. Make it a celebration of the fans, make it a celebration of the teams, make it a celebration of the entire sport. Let the drivers do what they do best, put on an unscripted show without burning laps under caution.
The All-Star was once an prestigious event, now it feels like a formality. Give it back to the fans and the teams. It doesn’t have to be a wreckfest, just let it be different. Let it speak for itself. If you want fans in the seats and viewer ratings on TV, you have to make it must see. Then change the track every 5 years to a different track that is a high speed road course. Face it, we don’t have much to lose right now. This isn’t your grandfather’s NASCAR, so why are we pretending like it is?
Thats just my opinion. Feel free to discuss with me! I love your feedback.
-Jonathan A. Gruenke-
“I guess my opinion is all out of style”
-Merle Haggard, on Politically Uncorrect by Gretchen Wilson-