• Have something to say? Register Now! and be posting in minutes!

If You Ran NASCAR... (Rule Changes)

Gopherfan84

Well-Known Member
1,593
363
83
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Hoopla Cash
$ 1,000.00
Fav. Team #1
Fav. Team #2
Fav. Team #3
Let’s have some fun. Let’s say that somehow you are placed in charge of NASCAR. What are the first 5 things you would change to try to improve the sport? You can combine a couple of changes that are similar, if that helps.


1. Revamp the schedule

  • Get rid of the Playoffs. NASCAR is not a stick-and-ball sport, so trying to create those “Game 7” moments every season is foolish. Not even stick-and-ball sports have Game 7’s every season.
  • Shorten and condense the schedule. NASCAR simply cannot compete with football in the fall, so it’s best not to try. Consequentially, the schedule needs to be both moved back forward and condensed so that it ends no later than Labor Day weekend. I’ll create a separate thread where you can play with schedules for the top 3 series to keep this thread to rule changes. One example I’ll give is getting rid of the Clash and moving the All-Star race to Speedweeks. The sample schedule I came up with has 30 races, but I’d be looking for ways to condense it down to about 28 races in the future so teams wouldn’t burn out.

2. Revamp the points system.

With the Playoffs going away, I’d return NASCAR to a season-long championship format. Currently you need to be more of a rocket scientist than you did under the old Latford scoring system to understand the points with the stage racing. I’d go to a modified and expanded version of what series like CART and Formula 1 have used where only the top 20 finishers would score points. I’d also award 2 points to the driver leading the most laps (but no points for leading a lap) and 1 point to the driver who qualifies on the pole (if time trials are held, otherwise no points if they line up based on points). By not awarding points to those who finish outside of the top 20 (other than the bonus points they may have earned) it would discourage cars that are many laps down and unlikely to finish in the top 20 from coming back out of the garage area and potentially causing additional cautions. The points system I would implement would be as follows:

50-45-40-36-32
28-26-24-22-20
18-16-14-12-10
8-6-4-2-1

2 bonus points for leading the most laps, 1 bonus point for the pole (if time trials are held)

I did run 4 representative seasons to test out the general sorts of seasons you’ll be most likely to see under this format. I’ll put the summary findings in another post below.



3. Undo most of the entertainment gimmicks


Not every race is going to be memorable. The sooner the sport accepts that, the better off it will be. It heightens the fans’ appreciation of the dramatic finishes when they occur naturally instead of through officials artificially trying to create those moments every race. As such, stage racing, the Lucky Dog, and the wave around would all be gone.



4. Lower division identities

  • The Busch and Truck series both need to re-establish more of their own identities. Currently most weekends they’re a support race to the Cup race. While I understand the desire to get drivers who will be in Cup someday track time at tracks they’ll be running in the future, the Busch and Truck series both need to re-establish their own unique identities. Maybe try reaching out to the IRL and see if we can find an agreement to have the Trucks be a support race for an IRL race or two. Just having those series have more stand alone races would be good for their long-term future.
  • Until Kevin Harvick ran an unplanned full-time double in 2001 following the death of Dale Earnhardt at the Daytona 500, most Cup drivers that dipped down into the Busch series would only run about a handful of races each season. The main exception was Mark Martin, who would still only run about half the races. While young drivers benefit from running against Cup drivers on an occasional basis, they would gain more benefit from simply getting seat time. It’s hard to develop if you’re not in the car. As such, I’d limit Cup drivers to no more than 5 combined starts in the Busch and Truck series. If those series reduced their schedules to closer to 20 or 22 races, I might consider limiting that further to 3 races.

5. Technical innovations—new car design


I know that NASCAR is supposedly working on a new generation of car, so this is partially what I’d like to see with the next design. The first thing I would do is to hire a team of people who technically are more knowledgeable about the sport than I am and give them guidelines of what I’d like to see them incorporate into the design. The primary guidelines would be to make the cars look more stock than they do currently and to leave a fractional bit of room for air to go underneath the cars even while it’s on the track at speed, allowing a trailing car some air to use to suck up on the lead car and create more opportunities for passing. Obviously there will be a fine line to be walked on the air under the car, as we wouldn’t want the cars to be getting airborne if we could help it.

Once I’d hired the team to design the new car, I’d have a press conference to be open with the fans that we are working on designing a new car and explaining what the goals for the design would be and who will be heading up the team designing that car. There would also be a request to the fans for patience, explaining that we want to take the time to make sure the car is right instead of rushing it on to the track.

Allowing teams to be technically innovative is also something that would require a balancing act. Teams with more financing would obviously have more ability to innovate to try to get an edge on the competition. I wouldn’t want to stifle that, while also wanting to try to keep the playing field remotely fair for the smaller budget teams. I think what I would do (though I’d be open to suggestions on this point) would be to create a technical panel that teams could under the promise of anonymity (to a practical extent) from the other teams bring new things to us for approval before they’d use it on the car. The panel would be instructed to approve what they could, though maybe putting limits on how far a team could go with their innovation. The example that comes to mind is several years back when teams were shifting their rear ends over to try to get more air to the spoiler and NASCAR eventually put out a limit on how far teams could shift it over.
 

Gopherfan84

Well-Known Member
1,593
363
83
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Hoopla Cash
$ 1,000.00
Fav. Team #1
Fav. Team #2
Fav. Team #3
For the sample points seasons I used for testing my points system I used 1990, 1992, 2003, and 1987.


1990: a close points battle under the old format between the driver with the most wins and a driver who relied more on consistency

1992: the ultimate close points battle without a dominant driver, besides I figured somebody would have asked me about how this season would have played out anyways under my system

2003: a runaway champion of consistency against a driver with far more wins but much less consistent

1987: the worst case scenario of a runaway driver who also won a lot of races


So what would have happened?


1990:

Instead of Mark Martin leading the points for much of the season, Dale Earnhardt would have retaken the points lead at Daytona in July and never let it go, clinching the championship with his dominant win at Phoenix. One of the potential flaws of this system was on display with Darrell Waltrip’s season, as despite missing 6 races due to the broken leg he suffered in practice at Daytona in July, he still finished 12th in points (instead of 20th).

1. Dale Earnhardt 959
2. Mark Martin 886 (factoring in a 30 point penalty from the Spring Richmond race, which is the approximate penalty that NASCAR actually gave him)
3. Geoff Bodine 713
4. Bill Elliott 670
5. Rusty Wallace 596
6. Morgan Shepherd 570
7. Ricky Rudd 540
8. Ken Schrader 525 (top driver without a win)
9. Ernie Irvan 509
10. Alan Kulwicki 506


1992:

Davey Allison led the points for the first 19 races before Bill Elliot took the points lead at Bristol. Going into Atlanta at the end of the season the points standings were Allison in the lead, with Elliot 28 points back and Alan Kulwicki 46 points back—everyone else was mathematically eliminated. That’s in line with what happened, as Harry Gant, Mark Martin, and Kyle Petty would have needed the 3 leaders to all have problems for any of them to have a shot. With the parity of this season, there were a lot of drivers that moved several places in the final standing from where they actually finished, just not at the top of the standings.


1. Bill Elliot 738
2. Alan Kulwicki 717
3. Davey Allison 716
4. Mark Martin 655
5. Kyle Petty 648
6. Harry Gant 623
7. Ricky Rudd 601
8. Darrell Waltrip 560
9. Ernie Irvan 527
10. Terry Labonte 515 (top driver without a win)

Dale Earnhardt’s crash at Atlanta in the finale dropped him out of the top 10 in points by 6 points. Richard Petty finished 29th in points in his final season.


2003:

At 36 races, this is longer than the other seasons I tested, but I felt this season was the best one for testing this scenario. This was the last season before the Chase era, where Matt Kenseth took the points lead early and top 10’ed his way to the title with 1 win, with Ryan Newman in his 2nd season racking up 8 wins on the season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. would have taken the points lead at Martinsville (race #9), before Kenseth reclaimed the points lead at Charlote (12). Kenseth then held the points lead until late in the season when he and Newman traded the points lead back-and-forth after Newman took the lead at Martinsville (32), before handing it back to Kenseth after a late race crash at Atlanta (33), before reclaiming the points lead from Kenseth at Phoenix (34). Going into the finale at Homestead Newman held an 8 point lead over Kenseth, with Earnhardt having just barely been mathematically eliminated at Rockingham as he’d dropped 59 points behind Newman with 53 possible points available. I would not have wanted to be in the TV production truck at Homestead, as all the hype they would have put on the Newman/Kenseth title battle would have been ruined by Newman’s early wreck and Kenseth’s blown engine before lap 30.

This season is obviously the poster child for how things would have actually turned out differently if the championship battle would have actually been that tight, as drivers and teams would have acted differently if there was an actual points battle.


1. Ryan Newman 894
2. Matt Kenseth 886
3. Jimmie Johnson 847
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 835
5. Jeff Gordon 809
6. Kevin Harvick 752
7. Tony Stewart 715
8. Bobby Labonte 704
9. Kurt Busch 632
10. Bill Elliot 549

Jeff Burton in 11th with 491 points was the top driver without a win.



1987:

This season got ugly fast. With Dale Earnhardt winning 6 of the first 8 races, he would have had more than a full race lead after only 6 races. After his final win of the season at Richmond in the fall (race #22), Earnhardt’s lead was 300 points before Bill Elliot closed strong to make it look a little bit closer. Earnhardt would have clinched the championship at Rockingham (24). One of the things that was starting to be phased out of the sport at this point was drivers running only partial seasons, but it definitely shook up the points this season under my system. Rookie Davey Allison only ran 22 of the 29 races, but because he won twice he would have finished 11th in points instead of 21st.


1. Dale Earnhardt 1081
2. Bill Elliot 833
3. Terry Labonte 728
4. Rusty Wallace 633
5. Ricky Rudd 584
6. Darrell Waltrip 574
7. Richard Petty 553 (top driver without a win)
8. Kyle Petty 540
9. Neil Bonnett 508 (despite missing the last 3 races due to injury)
10. Bobby Allison 456

Davey Allison was only 13 points behind his dad. In only 8 races, Tim Richmond would have finished 22nd in points in his final season.
 

UVA_Guy81

Well-Known Member
11,953
4,253
293
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Hoopla Cash
$ 5,000.65
Fav. Team #1
Fav. Team #2
Fav. Team #3
I’d definitely condense the schedule to have it end at the end of September (so around 30 races). Cause there’s football going on and the baseball playoffs are starting up so people are likely ready for the season to end at that point. Also, it’d give the drivers a bit more time to actually enjoy an off-season.
 

Yankee Traveler

Well-Known Member
15,938
8,470
533
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Location
Clarksville
Hoopla Cash
$ 1,000.00
Fav. Team #1
Fav. Team #2
Fav. Team #3
What the manufacturers sell is the body on the track, with front and rear spoilers.
Yes, tube chassis and V8's under a Toyota Camry or Chevy Lumina skin with roof flaps.

Fricken car of tomorrow is what ruined it for me.
 

batchaps4me

Trolley conductor in Mr. Rogers' neighborhood.
14,363
6,111
533
Joined
Oct 11, 2016
Hoopla Cash
$ 1,999.00
Fav. Team #1
Fav. Team #2
Fav. Team #3
What the manufacturers sell is the body on the track, with front and rear spoilers.
Yes, tube chassis and V8's under a Toyota Camry or Chevy Lumina skin with roof flaps.

Fricken car of tomorrow is what ruined it for me.

I would love to see some stock put back into stock car racing. Put 1000 cars on the street and race that drive train/chassis with standard spoiler and safety modifications only. Old school style.
 

Myles

Well-Known Member
8,065
2,645
293
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Location
Decatur, IN
Hoopla Cash
$ 900.00
Fav. Team #1
Fav. Team #2
Fav. Team #3
Removing the playoff would be first. I could be persuaded to start the points over for the top 15 in points with 15 races left.
A new points system would need to be installed. I didn't look to close to see if the OP's proposal is good or not.
I would give points for the following:
Lap led
Most laps led
Points for 1st through 30. After that, no points for 31 - ?
Good amount of points for a win. This should be more than leading the most laps by far.
Maybe for qualifying on the pole.
 

Used 2 B Hu

Baredevil
112,717
25,314
1,033
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
USA
Hoopla Cash
$ 977.45
Fav. Team #1
Fav. Team #2
Fav. Team #3
What the manufacturers sell is the body on the track, with front and rear spoilers.
Yes, tube chassis and V8's under a Toyota Camry or Chevy Lumina skin with roof flaps.

Fricken car of tomorrow is what ruined it for me.

I hear ya, these are supposed to be "stock" cars, not some kind of standard body where the only real difference is the engine. We've got F1 and Indy car for that. But US automakers aren't really even making sedans anymore, everything is SUV's, crossovers, and trucks.
 

Used 2 B Hu

Baredevil
112,717
25,314
1,033
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
USA
Hoopla Cash
$ 977.45
Fav. Team #1
Fav. Team #2
Fav. Team #3
I would love to see some stock put back into stock car racing. Put 1000 cars on the street and race that drive train/chassis with standard spoiler and safety modifications only. Old school style.

My Ninja
 
Top