The Backstretch Blog: Welcome to the show
Big changes are coming, likely on Thursday to NASCAR and it is not possible that everyone will like the changes. But even if drivers don’t like the changes, don’t expect them to speak out about it.
Don’t get me wrong. I get it. If I went public trashing some change with my employer (which I would never do because Sunflower Broadcasting is awesome, but IF I did), I would expect to get in trouble. NASCAR is no different. History has shown. If you speak out in a way that is “detrimental to stock car racing” there will be a heavy price to pay, probably in thousands of dollars.
So instead you will get the usual cookie cutter answers of “change is good for the sport” and “we have to grow the sport to compete with stick and ball sports.”
One of the most refreshing answers when asked about the proposed change came from the people’s driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
“I wasn’t that excited about change that much up until a lot of change started happening and you kind of had to get used to it,” said Junior. “Now let’s change it all. I’m all for it.”
Ain’t that the truth? Like it or not change is coming and you cannot slow down the NASCAR machine.
Is the change actually good for the sport? We will see. Will it create more dramatic Chases? It will be pretty hard to top the tie of three years ago. Will it attract more viewers? The verdict is still out.
Few drivers have seen more change over their careers than Jeff Gordon. His thoughts?
“It’s all about entertainment,” said Gordon. “This is definitely a big step towards keeping the entrainment value very, very high.”
What I’d really love to see, is a driver just come right out and say they hate it, because I know someone does. But I’m sure they like their money and don’t want to part with it, I know I do. The best we are going to get, it reserved optimism.
“If makes people watch, then it’s serving its purpose,” said Danica Patrick. “And that’s what we need to do as a series.”
Adds her teammate Kevin Harvick,”I’m still sitting on the fence about the one and done race, but I don’t really know if that’s the rule or not. We’ll find out.”