improvement. I have previously referred to them as "Lie Cheat, & Steal, Motorsports." The cheating was referring to the fuel issue that came to light before they even took the track for their first race and was never really resolved. The stealing referred to coming up with Roush's proprietary sway bar, denying that they had it until it was finally found in their possession with the serial number ground off and it having been repainted. The lying, well you figure that one out. My point is that I had backed off my vendetta and was trying to give them the credit that I thought they deserved for their progress last season.
Well they not only shot themselves in both feet and the head but put a round or two in NASCAR as well.
We went to dinner with a friend and fellow fan and as soon as the subject of the race came up, he said, "I thought better of Boyer." I think those words could be carved on his tombstone because he's going to have to get used to this monkey on his back for a long, long, time.
This is just background; let's take a look at just why this happened. It happened for one reason.
That reason is the Chase.
I won't go into the reasoning behind it or the fact that for the most part it's been a colossal failure. It has become the be all and end all; the single goal that's become the measure of success or failure for teams, drivers, & sponsors. A goal so important that it would drive a team to risk the wrath that has fallen on MWR just to put another car in the chase.
I can almost guarantee that during the post race interviews after the Daytona 500, some driver will mention the cursed words, "Good point’s day!" It has led to turning the sport into points racing, playing it safe, playing defense, rather than going on the offensive and taking the risk that could lead to a win. "Safe" top 5 finishes become good enough. In short, I have to believe that the Chase is mostly responsible for a lot of the things that the fans hate.
Enough of history and background, let's cut to the chase or more to the point; let's cut the Chase.
From NASCAR's first season they've always had a Champion and they always will. It's just that before the Winston money came into the sport, the Championship wasn't worth the effort and expense to run for it. Many of the top teams just "cherry picked" the better paying races and let the Championship go and with the Championship not that much of a goal, each race stood on its own merits. NASCAR needs to (and I think can) get back to this. Here's how I think they can do it.
First and foremost, scrap the Chase. The Chase and the Championship have become the tail that's wagging the dog.
NASCAR could put up a Million dollars and a bigger trophy for the Championship and hold it at there. While a million dollars is a lot of money to all of us; it falls somewhere in the realm of chump change for any team capable of winning the Championship. The prestige, for the organization, crew and sponsor should be reward enough. If they did well enough to win, they've gotten their money along the way.
Secondly, other than the million for the Champion, they should do away with the point fund in its entirety. I'm not sure how it works now but in the past the top 20 teams shared this pot of gold at season's end. If you weren't among the top 20, you got "what the little boy shot at," as my grandfather used to say.
Lastly, take the money that's going to the Champion and to the top 20 teams at the banquet and put it into the individual race purses. Make winning races about money, lots of it; rather than about points and bonus points. That way some of the up and coming teams that have a good finish, like the 34, & 38 teams with their 1 - 2 finish, would get their fair share. I seriously doubt that many fans get excited thinking about a team getting a points fund check at seasons end.
I do think we all could get fired up seeing them fight for it each and every week on the track.
In other words, take the entire season focus off the Chase and the Championship and get it back on the individual races. With that and some better venues, I think the sport could put this black eye behind them and get back to where they need to be. If the track attendance and the TV numbers recover, the sponsorship dollars to the teams would recover also because of the increased eyeballs.
They also need to shorten most races with more racing and less riding around that should help the demographics. The viewers the sponsors covet aren't into watching a 4-5 hour race with about 15 minutes of real racing at the end.
Let's get real; I know NASCAR isn't going to do any of these things. Instead they're going to go on pretending that the actions they have taken against MWR have "purified" the chase and the tail will keep right on wagging the dog.
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