Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fresh Faces Or Big Names?


The funny picture above is Nationwide Series driver Brad Coleman tweeting from his iPhone on the road. He's trying to eat and the little kid in the next booth is going nuts. We've all been there.

When it comes to social media, Coleman gets it. His website, Twitter account and Facebook fan page all tell the tale of a young guy working his way into NASCAR.

Wednesday's USA Today contains an update from reporter Nate Ryan about NASCAR's future plans for the Nationwide Series.

Here is an excerpt:

Chairman Brian France says the second-tier series likely will have new rules aimed at limiting the dominance of Sprint Cup drivers. Those moonlighting from the premier circuit have won 16 of 17 Nationwide races this season (most recently Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Daytona International Speedway). The top two in the standings are Brad Keselowski, who is running his first full Cup season, and Carl Edwards, who is in his sixth consecutive season of running full time in Cup and Nationwide.

It's been five years since there was a Nationwide champion (Martin Truex Jr.) who didn't run Cup concurrently.

"There's such a concentration of Cup drivers, which we like on one hand, but we want to make sure that division is our version of college football," France said. "We need to make sure the stage is not crowded so much so that we can't give opportunities to Nationwide young regulars who need that experience."


Click here to read the full story. Ryan's report tells the tale of a series that has been struggling on TV for years. There are two key reasons why.

First, the dilemma for ESPN and NASCAR is the choice between promoting Sprint Cup Series drivers racing in the Nationwide Series over fresh faces like Coleman and other "regulars." TV viewers recognize and appreciate the Sprint Cup drivers, but their participation in superior cars and with superior skills sometimes makes the actual races less than competitive.

NASCAR needs to have a platform for developing young drivers and providing them an opportunity to do more than just fight for the first spot behind the Sprint Cup guys. It's now a race within a race and has been for several seasons.

So, what does the Nationwide Series become as a TV property if fulltime Sprint Cup Series drivers are limited in participation or points? It appears we may find out.

The Nationwide Series is the only NASCAR series that ESPN carries for the entire season. Needless to say, the network has a vested interest in what decisions are made going forward. This seems strange, because the second and biggest problem the series faces is caused by ESPN itself.

When September rolls around, the Nationwide Series become nothing more than a distraction jammed between two Saturday afternoon college football games. The entire ESPN2 network comes to a screeching halt while the race is run and then the college football mania resumes.

Time after time, the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show is shortened or eliminated because of ESPN's college football commitments. This compounds the problem of getting exposure for Nationwide "regulars." Once the football game ends and the race coverage starts, the ESPN cameras follow the Sprint Cup Series drivers with the high dollar teams as they continue to dominate.

It seems ironic that France would reference college football in his quote. Since 2007, any momentum that the series has built up was quickly drained when ESPN switched it's time, effort and resources into the Sprint Cup Series and the Chase for the Championship.

Click here for a 2008 column titled "Nationwide Series Returns To The Back Burner." Even in year two of the new contract, ESPN had sliced and diced the last few months of the Nationwide Series races with a TV Ginsu knife.

The network's focus was on the Cup side and the Nationwide Series was left to fend off overtime college football games and scoreboard shows. So, perhaps despite NASCAR's best intentions to change the cast of characters, the key issue is guaranteeing TV exposure for the final three months of the season.

Can we get your opinion? If the Cup regulars were gone from the Nationwide Series races, would you lose interest or make an effort to watch the new faces on TV?

If the September through November Nationwide Series races were offered free on NASCAR.com or streamed on ESPN3.com, would you be more inclined to watch knowing college football would not interfere?

Finally, does the lack of any dedicated Nationwide Series feature TV programming on ESPN or SPEED play a role in your interest in the series? Would a weekly reality or talk-show style TV series make sense to help the series grow? What other ideas would you suggest to help develop a viable second-tier series for TV?

To add your comments on these topics, just click on the comments button below. We are trying to focus on the TV aspects of the issues, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

35 comments:

Jonathan said...

Great to hear, glad to see Brian France be a man and tell it like it is! Its time to get Nascar back on its feet and this is just another step in the right direction!

JohnP said...

Limiting Cup drivers in Nationwide in any way. Wow, tough issue. I know I'm torn two different directions. One on hand I'm sick and tired of seeing the Cup drivers win in Nationwide. They have their own series - Sprint. It's like the Washington Redskins playing the University of Maryland Terps. It's completely unbalanced in talent and resources. One the other hand, it's the Sprint drivers in Nationwide that is helping to get the advertising, getting Tv time, and paying the bills. Tough isssue.

Vicky D said...

JD, I follow Brad Coleman on twitter and I saw this picture and think it's a riot! I have been saying this for years there shouldn't be a full time cup driver receiving the NW championship although I will give BK a pass since this is his first year in cup. Nascar & ESPN need to fix this problem fast before the series goes down the drain. We never know for those fall races which channel the race will even be on. What a joke! And how I find how what channel to turn on is by this blog or twitter. That's crazy. Hopefully, Nascar will tackle this problem fast to make the young racers more visible during a race. Mostly the broadcast shows Edwards or K. Busch or Harvick racing from the back of the pack to the front. What good is that??? Anyway, I think anything should be an improvement. Thanks for the great column - this is a pet peeve of mine.

Anonymous said...

I'd watch Nationwide races without the Cup drivers because there are a lot of "stories" revolving around the NW drivers. Some are from Iowa (where I live). I think Race Hub could devote a segment to NW drivers. Streaming the races online would not be of interest to me.

In my area radio broadcasting of NW races is sporadic because they come up against local events the station carries.

I am a college football fan yet I miss not seeing a pre-race NW show. A few times last year it was the Iowa Hawkeyes that caused the problem with the NW race being shown on the "right" station or joined in progress.

Whether I watch NW races on Saturday or the football games depends on who is playing, but I always try to watch the pre-race show to hear about the story lines.

Is there a possibility ESPN could farm out the NW races during football season to Speed?

NW sponsors need to get attention and a return on their investment. Without the Cup drivers getting the majority of the prize money, it should help funding for the NW drivers.

I have more of an interest in the Cup driver participating when it is only on an occasional basis, ie Jr. racing at Daytona.

Several of the Cup drivers said running in the NW race on Saturday helped them for Sunday's race. Again, this is a way around testing for the better funded Cup teams that can also run in NW.

Limit the number of NW races a Cup driver can participate in to four or five a year and limit the number of the Cup drivers per race AND find a TV home solution for NW races during football season.

Doug S said...

The problem with NNS is it has very little to offer me. I'm turned off by Danica mania and NSCS series domination. The developmental drivers are only there a year or two before elevating or failing.

I do however understand the dilema it faces. I think the easiest fix for the NNS is a simple rule. No full time NSCS driver can compete with a cup affilated team. Which means that Edwards could not run for RFR, Hamlin could not race for JGR, Keslowski could not race for Penske. If they wanted to race they would have to take a ride in an independant team or open their own race team as Kevin Harvick has done. That leaves top equipment to develop drivers and increases the competition level of those teams solely in the NNS.

A good example of this could be found in the CWTS where Kyle Busch has elevated Billy Ballew Motorsports due to the feedback he gives the team. And BBM has still maintained a competitive egde with wins this year by Aric Amirola.

Donna in FL said...

I'm hearing unhappy rumbling from some teams & drivers regarding limiting Cup regulars' participation, mostly because of money but they have valid other arguments too. At this point I'm not sure any changes in that direction are going to stick without teams' support.
I do wish ESPN would respect the NASCAR contract more. Dumping races off onto the internet just seems like a further reduction in service to fans as well as advertisers. The internet is a great companion but still no substitution.

I'm pretty torn on what I want NNS to be, in the past I always saw "The Busch Series" as a minor league Cup feeder, with veterans teaching rookies. But with different cars, it could be argued that it is a standalone series and therefore, limiting who can drive it would be wrong, would be like saying Cup drivers cant do Late Model or Sprint car. But bottom line, yes I would like to see NNS championships won by a non-Cup drivers.

Fred said...

I've always been a Busch Series fan, mostly due to the days of short tracks and limited Cup driver involvement. The Nationwide series is not what the Busch Series was, especially as a training ground for new guys. I loved seeing a talented kid have his first big league successes and having someone to root for before the rest of the world discovers them.

I love the new cars, but they're too much like the Cup cars. I'd love to see the Nationwide Series go back to V6 engines and a shorter wheelbase.

The series needs a major identity boost. Pony cars would be one step. Limiting Cup driver participation would be another. More short tracks would be a third.

W_Rabb said...

ESPN should take a page from there College Football Coverage (Pun Intended) and do what they did after buying up all the rights to all the SEC sports and realizing they didn't have enough channels so show every game. They sublicensed the games to other networks. It was Regional sports networks in the case of the football but in the NNS's case it could be andother NASCAR TV Partner aka Speed or TNT or even a new partner like VS who yes shows college football but only show a couple of games each weekeend and has more room to place games/races

Daly Planet Editor said...

Rabb,

What an interesting idea. Put the final three months of the NNS races on SPEED or another network so the entire pre-race, race and post-race would be aired.

I bet that would appeal to the sponsors, many were livid last season about the lack of any TV coverage from ESPN.

David said...

ESPN promotes "regulars" in their commercials, yet when the race airs they talk Cup drivers with the rare exception that Gator or Leffler or Steve Wallace get a mention.

Something there does not compute, ESPN needs to decide what they want. Ratings or what they are trying to sell?

I tend to be against saying "Because your a Cup driver and you want to run Nationwide full time, you can't do it." In fact, I am against it entirely. NASCAR created this monster ON THEIR OWN! When they added more and more companion races, brought the NW cars to the track with Cup cars every weekend they made it EASY to run both. Why had no one done it before 2001? Because it was logistically IMPOSSIBLE. You ran Sonoma and Watkins Glen for both series on the same day only hours apart. Not only that, but after that they killed off several short tracks the NW series ran it in favor for Chicago and other Cup facilities. NASCAR made it Cup Lite. NOT Cup drivers.

That's just how I see it. Kevin Harvick said it in 2006 and I fully agree. Fixing the "problem" is simple. Run more NW standalones. With NW and Trucks having the exact same engine rules anyways wouldn't it make more sense to team those two series up rather than the Cup cars?

Given the budgets for a typical NW and Truck team are similar it would even create more opportunities for drivers and owners to come into those series to get their feet wet before going Cup racing.

It might diminish the value of the Series some, but no matter what they do the value will drop some.

NW should be racing primarily on tracks that hold 25-50,000 people rather than these 200,000 seat facilities that the Cup Series runs at. They are pretty tracks but do nothing when a Series plastered on ESPN shows an aerial and someone remarks attendance is horrible when in fact that series has never been able to fill those tracks and it is a pipe dream to expect it.

I love having this as a training ground, it is important to have, but unless NASCAR is willing to concede some dollars for better quality racing and better quality drivers down the road then we will be stuck with watered down driver-buying-ride-slow-Kevin Conway types or wrecking-every-week-just-because-he-brought-a-check-John Wes Townley types.

Hope Brian has a good idea here, would hate to see them put a band-aid on a broken leg.

Matt said...

The point is not to prevent cup drivers from racing, it's to stop owners from throwing out young drivers after 5 races (see: Kelly Bires, Colin Braun, Jon Wes)and replacing them with Cup drivers. Best way I can think of is to eliminate owner's points for any owner who's car is driven by the Cup driver in Top 30 in Cup points. If you want to replace your young driver with a cup star, you can, but you won't win the owner's title and you won't be locked into the field every week. No car with a Cup driver will ever be locked into the field. That will force teams to stick with young drivers, no matter the performance.

West Coast Diane said...

Ditto Doug S. Although regarding Danica, I think they toned it down at NH. Will see this week in her "home town". If Danica brings eyeballs it's a good thing as long as coverage matches performance.

Don't mind seeing some Cup guys in some of the races. But tired of them winning everything especially if it is championship.

Brad K doesn't bother me too much. I don't know, maybe a NW driver going to Cup fulltime gets a one year exemption to run fulltime in NW...unless they won the championship.

Nothing is ever easy or cut and dried.

Ritchie said...

I firmly believe that the Cup drivers competing in NW has hurt TV ratings for NASCAR.

To viewers who don't follow racing closely, this is just confusing. I had a guy in the office just today ask for clarification about what race Junior had won Friday night. He had seen it on Sportscenter, but then he saw "some other guy" (Harvick) on Sportscenter Sunday. He was completely confused as to why Junior's win wasn't as important as Harvick's win, when there was such a huge deal made of it.

To traditional sports fans, this concept is baffleing. The idea of dropping down a rank to compete goes against lesser opponents and take the prize money goes against all cocepts of "sport" as the world knows it.

NASCAR has also deluded the Cup brand by allowing drivers to compete in all three series. I understand that in a sponsor driven sport and that it is important to have popular drivers competing, but if I can see a driver on Saturday, I may not be as compelled to watch Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I'm old enough to remember when the Busch Series (sorry, still call it that) ran on it's own and it was very rare for a Cup driver to start a race. Usually at Daytona or Charlotte back then. But the series had it's own identity then. It went to different tracks. I enjoyed it tremendously. The media only thinks it knows what we want to see. I want to see the next up and coming driver...not Kyle Busch win 15 races in a division he doesn't belong in.

Garry said...

Fist thing they (NASCAR) need to do is basically pick up their marbles from ESPN, FOX, and TNT's playground and tell them they need to play by "our" rules. Brian did his sport and legacy a major disservice, by selling all power and control over NASCAR to the networks. I didn't think that inmates running the asylum was ever a good idea. We have all talked about the possibility of an escape clause in NASCAR's tv contracts for years. If it does indeed exist, use it, re-write it, and hand it back to whatever network wants to play ball, and go from there. As it is, everything is cyclical. Eventually, the sport will dwindle (as they all do at times), and NASCAR will have to go back to a grassroots beginning. Dirt tracks on the schedule, mid-week races, hell, even no network coverage for some of them, just to get fans in the seats.As far as the Nationwide series, I wouldn't just limit Cup drivers from participating, I would ban them from it all together. Everyone says, "Oh, but I like Dale Jr. Carl, Kyle etc.". Just where do you think they came from? Eventually Brad Coleman, Leffler, etc. will be big stars too. But when they are forced into a dark corner, how can you shine?

allisong said...

Ritchie, I would also say that having so many Cup drivers in NNS has probably hurt Sunday's attendance as well. Why buy a $100 ticket for Sunday to see the Cup race when you can see 15 to 20 of the same drivers for half price on Saturday?

I miss the days when the series had its own storylines - Brian Vickers' championship running for Ricky Hendrick, Truex vs. Kyle Busch (before either of them ran Cup.), etc.

I've heard it argued that people won't buy tickets or watch at home if there aren't recognizable Cup drivers in the field, but that's looking at the situation in a vacuum. If you're saying that the NNS-only drivers aren't "storyline-worthy" its because they are prevented from becoming so by the plethora of Cup drivers crowding them out of the wins, top-5's etc. Without Cup drivers in the field, SOMEONE's gonna be winning the races and creating storylines. I feel that the "who would watch" argument is just the media being lazy.

And to those who say that NASCAR can't stop someone from entering, I say as long as both series are sanctioned by the same sanctioning body (NASCAR) they absolutely can. The rule could be as simple as:

Any driver with more than 75 Cup starts and currently in the top 35 in Cup driver points is limited to 20 NNS starts for the current season. Furthermore, the NNS starting field will have not more than 5 drivers subject to the above provision, all of whom must qualify on speed.

TexasRaceLady said...

I am heartily tired of seeing nothing but Cup drivers win in the NNS. Their participation has nothing to do with whether I watch, or not.

I would like to see a cap put on the number of times a top 30 Cup driver can participate in the series --- say 10 times.

I would also prefer that Cup drivers do NOT earn points for their participation. Only NNS only drivers could earn championship points.

I want to see new drivers learning the ropes. As it is now, the only thing they learn is how to lose.

And as for ESPN in the fall, they ought to be ashamed of the shabby treatment they give the NNS.

hotaru-hockeymaiden87 said...

It's gotten to be a mess. Used to be I could cheer on a regular having more of a shot to compete against the Cup guys, but there's just been too many of these invaders (that's what I call the Cup drivers who run NW) dominating. I've tuned out for the most part.

I used to have a chart of all the winners in NW from 2004 to about 2008 and would indicate whether or not they were running Cup full time at the same time or not (by highlighting their names in yellow). It went from being an equal balance to almost all but maybe 3 or 4 events where the winner's name was not highlighted in yellow. Finally I just stopped completing the chart 'cause I knew that percentage of the Cup Invaders would increase.

It's just gotten way out of hand, and I fear the day where ALL of the NW races are won by Cup drivers.

Wisconsin Steve said...

To me, the most memorable moments of the Nationwide Series from the last several years were the few races when the Nationwide regulars were able to break through (Allgaier, Leicht, Gilliland, Leffler)with a win. The only races I've watched in recent years have been non-companion events, but I would definitely start watching weekly again if Cup drivers were somehow handicapped or forbidden from competing for the championship.

Anonymous said...

Well there are a lot of opinions here and most have merit.

For me, I watch racing and I appreciate the skills that the cup drivers bring.

I have watched some of the Bush races that had regulars only, no Cup. They were full of yellow and red flags from drivers driving over their heads. I was soon bored and went for the remote.

I believe it is beneficial for new drivers to race with the Cup drivers. Sure they are going to get beat, but they should be learning from the best. You want to be the best, then you have to compete with the best.

When the NW regulars show they can compete with the cup drivers, they will be noticed by the Cup Drivers and owners. Usually better opportunities come.

There are some who drive in the NW series that are never going to be able to take that next step and get to Cup, or had their chance in Cup and were not able to compete, for whatever reason. For them, the Cup drivers are the plague. I don't have the answer for them.

I could care less who wins the Championship. It is the races I am interested in. I want to see the best race. Having the Cup drivers not receiving points would be fine with me and I suspect most of the Cup Drivers would not care either. They race because that’s what they enjoy.

If NASCAR bans the Cup drivers from competing, I for one won't be watching NW races. And that's OK. I will not be sitting in front of the TV watching practice, qualifying and the race.
Most likely I will be doing something more productive.

But I hope they don't!

Harry in Cal
(long long long timefan)

Richard in N.C. said...

I believe what to do to the Nationwide series is extremely complicated. What has altered the series is not the Cup drivers, but the Cup car owners getting so involved in N-wide. As I recall back in the 1990's when Ironhead used to occasionally run Busch it was in a DEI car, not an RCR car - running Busch was part of how Dale built DEI.

I understand that the track operators want the Cup drivers in the N-wide races to draw fans, EESPN wants Cup drivers in the races to draw viewers, car owners want to use Cup drivers to attract sponsorship, and so-called N-wide regulars want Cup drivers (at least some) in the races so the N-wide regulars can learn and to improve their resumes when they can out-perform Cup drivers.

Running N-wide is still a business and any change has economic ramifications. I understand that Dale, Jr. is now using Elliott S. and other Cup drivers because that is how he can secure sponsorship.

I can't locate the numbers, but I believe the top 5 or 6 Cup drivers in points in 2009 ran a total of only about 6 N-wide races, while the bottom 6 or 7 drivers in the Cup standings ran a total of over 60 races. Maybe for veteran Cup drivers running N-wide is not a benefit?

One aspect of the N-wide series that I have not seen the all-knowing media explore is whether the race teams are really getting a fair shake on the prize money from the track operators.

Dot said...

I totally agree with Doug S. CUP drivers in Odd Wad rides or start their own teams.

Who negotiated the contract between the NW series and BSPN? Hope they are out of a job. It's not fair to us race fans to miss any of the race regardless what college sports are on. In instances like these, doesn't it make sense for NASCAR to have their own channel?

T-ASH said...

I think the cap is a fantastic idea. I grew up watching the Busch Series of the late 80's and early 90's and saw Cup drivers make the occasional trip to the series (some more than others), but the Busch series was still represented by its regulars like Jack Ingram, Tommy Houston, LD Ottinger, etc.

Guys like Earnhardt, Gant, and Martin would race the series, but it didn't feel like it does today.

Earnhardt's season high in Busch was 14. Gant's was 17, in his final season. After becoming a full-time Cup driver (again) in 1988, Martin's season high was 17 in 1989.

Maybe it was the schedule. Maybe it wasn't as easy to hop on the private plane and race at two different tracks in one weekend. I don't know.

Corrine said...

I'll be honest, I only watch NNS for Keselowski.

Anonymous said...

God bless you JD! Coleman is a classy kid and a great driver. He has paid his dues but its all about the money and the money goes to Cup. Who gives a donkey shi* that Kyle Busch or Carl Edwards wins another NNS race? Gee, bet Labron could win a Florida State game too. Get real France before you run off the great ones! No other sport features stars in BOTH series PLUS retreads from yesteryear. Your sport needs help. It needs youth. Create a senior series (Truck) and get the old wood out of the pile.

Buschseries61 said...

100% David's post. Schedule 're-alignment', as Brian France calls it, is needed. The schedule should be reduced to 30 races to help with travel expenses. Half the schedule should be seperate from the Cup series. An increase in short tracks would be great! Less dependance on power and aero and more on driving and brakes. It would help close the gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots'.

GinaV24 said...

I'd like to see more focus on the full time Nationwide drivers and less on the "buschwhackers" as they used to be known. Racing against the top drivers/heavily funded teams on the current terms just doesn't seem fair to me.

ESPN has certainly contributed to the problem, but if the Cup drivers are leading or in the top 10 they can't refuse to cover them.

it really is a dilemma. I'd like to have it be that the cup drivers can't compete for the Nationwide championship OR for that matter the truck championship. If you run full time in Cup, you don't get to play in the little leagues to win a championship with a stacked deck.

ESPN IMO opinion has too many irons in the fire. Too many sports to cover any of them adequately. I don't happen to follow college football although I know a whole lot of people do. It all comes down to priorities and ESPN has made it very clear where their priorities lie.

IMO the only input ESPN should have is do they want to cover the Nationwide series and if so, then NASCAR needs to get it in the contract as to how that coverage should play out -- viewers shouldn't have to play hide and seek to find the race.

Wanna bet that we'll have the same problem with the Cup series if the ratings continue to be down?

Anonymous said...

The Nationwide driver rule is an easy one and plays off NASCAR's "7 races & still not a rookie" rule.

A driver that races full-time in Cup can only run 7 races for a team owner in any other division.

So Carl Edwards can still run for the Nationwide championship, but he's gotta do it for 5 different owners. And he marketable enough to do that!

He just has to put together 4 other Ford owners (even if some buy they're stuff from Roush) for the year.

It spreads sponsor money around and purse money around. It limits some drivers' participation, but a determined driver can still run all the races. So track owners, TV partners will still get a healthy dose of marketable Cup drivers for ratings. And fans don't have to feel cheated that Cup drivers are stealing all the wins.

Find a whole in that rule and let me know.

- RA Eckart -

Bobby said...

Wait until the Chase starts and then ESPN goes with Countdown on ESPN2 and then the race is on ESPN at 1 PM. If there's a threat of weather they could realistically be waving the green flag as the broadcast goes on the air!

red said...

i have also gone back &forth on this & i've finally arrived here: no cup drivers in n'wide at all. not on a limited schedule, not driving for your own team or a non-cup team, not "no championship points," not at all.
1. it's pretty much like testing a day before "the big race" & since not everyone who is going to participate the next day is racing in n'wide, it is wrong to allow it. nascar severely reduced testing so that lesser funded teams would not have to use $$ on testing. but now, if a cup team has a n'wide entry, they get to test away each and every week as long as they have a driver available.
2. it limits the exposure that a younger driver can hope to receive, let alone seat time. a racer does well at the regional level & the next logical step is to move into n'wide. but so many of those seats are filled by racers who have already made their way to the cup level.
3. i think it reduces ticket sales in cup races. i have opted for 3 years now to mostly forego the cup race & focus on the n'wide &/or truck racing. i know i'll see more than a few cup drivers in the n'wide race so why pay the premium ticket price? plus, the crowd is smaller, there's more room to move about & one can have pretty much any seat in the house.
4. it just feels wrong. no other sport allows those at the highest level of the sport to compete against the up-and-comers on a weekly basis. why? because the idea is to progress UP the system until one reaches the pinnacle of that sport, not to compete at both levels simultaneously.

so, i say go back to n'wide running at smaller tracks on a stand-alone basis or with the trucks. let fans in those areas fill the smaller tracks and get excited about the sport.

if tv is a concern, start devoting time covering the stories of these men and women, just like the media used to cover them when it was the busch series. use the daily/weeekly shows to discuss more than just cup drivers: spend some time on n'wide AND truck racers. how does someone pick a driver to follow? part of that decision is what the new fan learns about the person as an individual. when cup racers continue to compete and dominate in n'wide, there's little attention on the true n'wide regulars.

finally, i'm pretty done with watching n'wide on tv. when i want to see a cup racers take the checkers, i'll watch the cup race the next day. BUT i will continue to attend n'wide races because then i can watch these young men and women as they learn the track and the sport.

Martin Vincent said...

I agree with Buschseries61, the schedule should be so different from the Cup schedule to make it impossible to do the double in more than half the races.

Maybe the Nationwide races should always be paired with Truck races. I'm not so sure the attendance for their races would be much worse than it is these days.

Gymmie said...

A few years back it was the thing to say you beat a Cupper on Saturday afternoon (or Friday night as the case may be). Now it seems the only chance they have to win is at stand alones where there are less Cup guys. If they win a companion track, it's HUGE.

I would like to see an advantage taken away from the Cuppers. Even if they're racing pro bono the team is still getting that prize money. Whether it's a "separate" points count or they get the last on lead lap points/money. Let those who are trying to make a name for themselves get the glory.

Sponsors also dictate *who* is in the car. When Terry was still partnered with Armando, he was interviewed a few years back on the FOX pre-race show and was asked about the Buschwackers. He said that he hated them but had a Cup guy in the car because that's what the sponsors wanted. So I wouldn't be surprised if the sponsors balk at having to put a "no name" in the car because the star they want can't run.

A few guys get a nod of acknowledgment but it's difficult to get a regular (positive) mention.

When I started watching regularly back in 2K I kinda sorta knew about Busch but hadn't watched it. I was watching IWC and it was the famous Bristol confrontation between Biffle and Happy that got me watching it.

I enjoy the new kids and seeing them grow. I HATE that if they don't win or contend out the gate they're gone. Yes I know everyone needs results but you have to give them time. 5 races is not a lot of time and with the N'wide not having a lot of deep pocket teams even if testing were allowed there's not a lot of money for them to go off to test and get more experience.

It's no longer the "schooling" it was before it's now the bully is on the playground and he'll beat you every time.

NASCAR News 6 said...

I would love to see the TV Networks and NASCAR create a 24/7 "NASCAR Network" that is dedicated completely to NASCAR shows, practices, qualifying sessions, news segments, and races from K&N East and West, Modifieds, and other local series. It would be nice to see if this NASCAR Network would simulcast every race from the big leagues in case ESPN or any other NASCAR TV providers can't show part of the pre-race, post race, or even the actual race.

As far as my opinion on the Sprint Cup Series drivers running in the Nationwide Series, get most of them out so only 3 drivers can run in every race, and every cup driver can only run 7 races per year.

Anonymous said...

The abundance of Cup drivers running in the Nationwide series full-time or near full-time actually has made me stop watching the series with the interest I used to have in the series. I loved the Nationwide series up through about 2005 or 2006 around the time or a little after Martin Truex won his last championship.

The last year or so I have been just as likely to skip the Nationwide race as I have been to watch it because there is no point. If we don't watch the race we turn it on and make the joke that the top 5 is Carl, Brad, Joey, and Kyle, and over 50% of the time, it isn't a joke. So what is the point of watching the same people win every race when it is not even "their" series.

Another thing about the Nationwide series that angers me even more is these young guys like Brad Coleman have a job for Joe Gibbs... where they are allowed to race something like 5-10 races a year. What's the point of me watching then, if the same people winning on Sunday are winning on Saturday, except more so?

If there is a limitation in Cup drivers running in the Nationwide series I will be thrilled and my interest in the series will definitely increase again. The abundance of Cup drivers in the series right now has dwindled the number of Nationwide drivers running the full-season down to a small handful (about 13 drivers) the highest two who are 3rd and 8th in points. That should not be happening and it simply has caused me to stop caring about the series.

That was long winded.
Simply put, when Nationwide drivers finally get to race for their own championship without cup drivers ruining the championship, I will start having interest again.

Anonymous said...

Me and my friends only watch Nationwide and the Truck series because we like to see the younger drivers coming up and also because we don't have to listen to dummies like Darrel Waltrip. He chased us away about a year ago with his silliness.