2023 NASCAR Discussion ThreadNASCAR 

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NASCAR's longest running team will lose the name that makes it iconic:


Hear me out on this one.

While it sucks Petty's team no longer bears the Petty name, it does retain the font.

All things come to an end, but maybe that's why Johnson stepped in? I could see him buying more and more stock in the team before he's able to plaster his name over it.

Or maybe Kyle will buy in. 🤷‍♂️
 
With Pastrana's entry we now have a full 40-car field and there's still several unknowns so we could see some interesting qualifying races.

Confirmed:
62 - Austin Hill
84 - Jimmie Johnson
# - Zane Smith
# - Travis Pastrana

Unknown (as far as I know):
3F Racing - One of those "totally coming soon!" teams so who knows
Hezeberg - They ran the 500 last year but nothing announced, won't be surprised if they skip it considering the odds are not in their favor like they were last year.
Kaulig - Rumored to be running a 3rd car part time
MBM - Entered 2 cars last year, nothing announced for '23
The Money Team - Seems likely but nothing announced, would be cool to see Daly in the 500 just for the podcast content.
NY Racing - No clue if this team even exists still
 
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With Pastrana's entry we now have a full 40-car field and there's still several unknowns so we could see some interesting qualifying races.

Confirmed:
62 - Austin Hill
84 - Jimmie Johnson
# - Zane Smith
# - Travis Pastrana

Unknown (as far as I know):
3F Racing - One of those "totally coming soon!" teams so who knows
Hezeberg - They ran the 500 last year but nothing announced, won't be surprised if they skip it considering the odds are not in their favor like they were last year.
Kaulig - Rumored to be running a 3rd car part time
MBM - Entered 2 cars last year, nothing announced for '23
The Money Team - Seems likely but nothing announced, would be cool to see Daly in the 500 just for the podcast content.
NY Racing - No clue if this team even exists still
We also had the Team Stange Racing group which announced their intent to have Tarso Marques run a race in 2022 and never did.
 
As someone who's admittedly never really been into NASCAR, why can't NASCAR actually make the "S" stand for something again? Returning to the whole "race on Sunday, sell on Monday" thing sounds like a win for almost everyone - it makes it far more affordable for teams, plus it would make the cars profoundly more diverse than just having a tube-frame chassis with a shell over it. Do you think people are going to buy a Mustang or a GR Supra because they saw it in NASCAR, the way that these racers have next to nothing to do with the production models?

I've also been very much disinterested in the whole "turn left" phenomenon. Why not go all over the country (and maybe a bit beyond it, like in Canada or Mexico) and race at either non-ovals or infield courses, like those at Daytona and Indy? Is it really surprising that NASCAR seems to always be in trouble in terms of finance and viewership when most races are just the same three or four turns for hours?

Heck, maybe they could even borrow from Super GT500, if they're so set on not using anything resembling "stock" vehicles. I'd say even those cars look more like their road-going counterparts than NASCAR machines.

I want to respect NASCAR, but it feels so hard to do that sometimes. It's especially frustrating when you mention racing to someone, and the first thing most people think of is NASCAR and not like, IMSA or something.
 
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Kaulig's third Cup entry has been confirmed as the #13, so far just a handful of races confirmed for Chandler Smith starting at the 500.



Is it really surprising that NASCAR seems to always be in trouble in terms of finance and viewership when most races are just the same three or four turns for hours?
They are? I mean I know the teams love to complain, but that's going to be the case no matter what and isn't limited to NASCAR.

Viewership wise sure it's not what it was in the mid-00's, but it still trounces the closest competitor which happens to be their secondary series.

I've also been very much disinterested in the whole "turn left" phenomenon. Why not go all over the country (and maybe a bit beyond it, like in Canada or Mexico) and race at either non-ovals or infield courses, like those at Daytona and Indy?
They've increased the amount of road courses quite a bit over the last few years, including the Indy road course which is what they've been running for the last 2 years. They have also had at least one of the 3 series in Canada (Xfinity at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and than Trucks at MoSport) since 2009 when it replaced the Mexico date but Covid cancelled it and they just haven't returned. There is talk of going back to both markets in the future so it seems it is something they are working on and with the 2024 schedule supposedly having quite a few changes I wouldn't be surprised to see Canada get a Cup date.

As for the "turn left" thing, if that's honestly all you think it is than I won't bother continuing this discussion...
 
As someone who's admittedly never really been into NASCAR, why can't NASCAR actually make the "S" stand for something again? Returning to the whole "race on Sunday, sell on Monday" thing sounds like a win for almost everyone - it makes it far more affordable for teams, plus it would make the cars profoundly more diverse than just having a tube-frame chassis with a shell over it. Do you think people are going to buy a Mustang or a GR Supra because they saw it in NASCAR, the way that these racers have next to nothing to do with the production models?
The cars haven't really had anything stock about them since the 1980s when they fully switched to those manufactured sheet metal bodies on a tube frame chassis, and the auto industry rendered "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" obsolete at least two decades ago. The closest you'd get today is "Win on Sunday, get declined for a lease agreement on Monday".

I've also been very much disinterested in the whole "turn left" phenomenon. Why not go all over the country (and maybe a bit beyond it, like in Canada or Mexico) and race at either non-ovals or infield courses, like those at Daytona and Indy? Is it really surprising that NASCAR seems to always be in trouble in terms of finance and viewership when most races are just the same three or four turns for hours?
The financial trouble is a long term effect of rampant over-expansion after the "golden era" of the '90s, when people were literally fighting each other for tickets to go watch cars go in left hand circles for hours. Even after that era started cooling off they just kept building more tracks and diluting the market with less interesting races. Eventually the national economy started downturning, so pricy luxuries like tickets to racing events and weekend trips to stay in price-gouging hotels were out of the question for the more casual of its core demographic. Then the more hardcore fans started leaving as their favorite '90s era drivers started retiring, and eventually even major places like Bristol went from selling out three years in advance to knocking down grandstands that it couldn't hope to fill anymore.

Though it's not unique to NASCAR, motorsports as a whole is struggling with the same issues since slapping a company's name on any old car in the field just isn't effective advertising anymore. Nowadays they only want to sponsor a driver who's guaranteed to get lots of TV time, not the team they're driving for at this moment, and if the teams aren't getting steady revenue then the quality of the racing suffers as a result, which drops the viewership, and the spiral continues.
Heck, maybe they could even borrow from Super GT500, if they're so set on not using anything resembling "stock" vehicles. I'd say even those cars look more like their road-going counterparts than NASCAR machines.
I'm still of the belief that the "Car of Tomorrow" of the late 2000's was less an attempt at better aero and more a half-handed attempt at copying the look of European touring cars since they found out that people could watch other non-NASCAR things on the Internet. It was terrible and no one liked it, so I doubt they'd try it again even if they did figure out a way to make it aerodynamically superior.
I want to respect NASCAR, but it feels so hard to do that sometimes. It's especially frustrating when you mention racing to someone, and the first thing most people think of is NASCAR and not like, IMSA or something.
It's primarily due to cultural ingrainment thanks to celebrity-status drivers and a heavy layer of marketing in the boom times. Everyone knows NASCAR because it was on soda machines and billboards and pop culture references in TV shows all over the country, everything else just continued on in the background and was largely for "car people", not the general public.
 
I think part of the decline stems from the fact GM practically dominated the field in terms of brand presence in the late 80's into the 90's.

Especially when you go in knowing a Monte carlo, Grand Prix, Regal, and whatever Olds was running were essentially the same cars internally. The costs alone in development and the headaches over who GM dumped more resources into probably had some doom and gloom written on the wall. Least they axed those brands anyway, except Buick Lol.

I only wonder what the sport is going to look like in the next decade. Especially with costs rising. I think cost cutting measures will be the primary focus, and they'll just outsource engine development completely to someone like Ilmor.
 
I think part of the decline stems from the fact GM practically dominated the field in terms of brand presence in the late 80's into the 90's.

Especially when you go in knowing a Monte carlo, Grand Prix, Regal, and whatever Olds was running were essentially the same cars internally. The costs alone in development and the headaches over who GM dumped more resources into probably had some doom and gloom written on the wall. Least they axed those brands anyway, except Buick Lol.
Doubtful. That was the period when even lower midfield teams were getting million dollar, multi-year deals with sponsors buying up all the spots on a car, and major teams like Hendrick, Roush and RCR could afford to enter up to 6 cars in a single race, so money was only an issue for the start-and-parkers who were running last year's cars that they bought off a larger team.

The issues started in the early 2000's when casual fans were starting to lose interest and the economy downturn was starting to make long time sponsors start to back out of those big contracts. NASCAR just ignored this and kept throwing more tracks and more races into the schedule (mostly thanks to Brian France's foolish quest for autumn ratings), increasing operating costs at a time when they should have been making moves to stabilize spending.
 
Doubtful. That was the period when even lower midfield teams were getting million dollar, multi-year deals with sponsors buying up all the spots on a car, and major teams like Hendrick, Roush and RCR could afford to enter up to 6 cars in a single race, so money was only an issue for the start-and-parkers who were running last year's cars that they bought off a larger team.

The issues started in the early 2000's when casual fans were starting to lose interest and the economy downturn was starting to make long time sponsors start to back out of those big contracts. NASCAR just ignored this and kept throwing more tracks and more races into the schedule (mostly thanks to Brian France's foolish quest for autumn ratings), increasing operating costs at a time when they should have been making moves to stabilize spending.
I think the "playoffs" were a big reason a lot of people became disgusted with NASCAR. It is extremely hard to pinpoint a time when NASCAR started to fall on its face but it was definitely in the mid-aughts.
 
Doubtful. That was the period when even lower midfield teams were getting million dollar, multi-year deals with sponsors buying up all the spots on a car, and major teams like Hendrick, Roush and RCR could afford to enter up to 6 cars in a single race, so money was only an issue for the start-and-parkers who were running last year's cars that they bought off a larger team.

The issues started in the early 2000's when casual fans were starting to lose interest and the economy downturn was starting to make long time sponsors start to back out of those big contracts. NASCAR just ignored this and kept throwing more tracks and more races into the schedule (mostly thanks to Brian France's foolish quest for autumn ratings), increasing operating costs at a time when they should have been making moves to stabilize spending.
Start and park is actually pretty interesting but dead on arrival throughout the 2000's when the eventual economic downturn and corporate withdrawal began.

I don't know if you watch Brock Beard's "Field filler" series, but some start and parkers were actually paid cash to "scuff" a set of goodyears for the bigger teams. :lol:

That eventually lead to the Charter system or "Booming NASCAR real estate market" as a lot of fans call it now, where you can literally hold a charter, let it increase in value, sell it to some one year only team, who doesn't have a clue about running a team, or even lease it, and make money that way.
I think the "playoffs" were a big reason a lot of people became disgusted with NASCAR. It is extremely hard to pinpoint a time when NASCAR started to fall on its face but it was definitely in the mid-aughts.
I'm generally curious how long the playoffs will last. I don't see it gaining traction. The only attribute that's "favorable" is seeing disliked drivers like Hamlin, or Busch losing out because of a freak incident, or mistake late in the cutoff races.

But that'll run it's course in due time, I feel.
 
It is extremely hard to pinpoint a time when NASCAR started to fall on its face but it was definitely in the mid-aughts.
Is it though?

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I mean I know it's technically not NASCAR's 🤬-up but it does seem like that whole fiasco was the start of a big change in how the series was presented and it hasn't gotten any better over the years.
 
I think the "playoffs" were a big reason a lot of people became disgusted with NASCAR. It is extremely hard to pinpoint a time when NASCAR started to fall on its face but it was definitely in the mid-aughts.
Is it though?

The_Adventures_of_Digger_and_Friends_titlecard_and_logo.png


I mean I know it's technically not NASCAR's 🤬-up but it does seem like that whole fiasco was the start of a big change in how the series was presented and it hasn't gotten any better over the years.
These are really more symptoms than causes, I feel, and both more related the aforementioned fool's errand of trying to outdo the NFL in TV ratings. The Chase and the playoffs that followed turned away the last few good ol' boys still hoping that the '90s were eventually going to come back, and Digger was just cynical marketing that everyone saw right through and rightfully rejected, but things were already on the downswing before either of those happened.

Personally I'd always felt that Earnhardt Sr's death was the initial tipping point; a lot of the casual interest in NASCAR at the time was wanting to see if this was the year that The Intimidator was going to get that eighth championship and surpass Richard Petty. After the '01 Daytona 500, it seemed like the combination of losing that plot thread, the ridiculous conspiracy-mongering surrounding his death and the dark cloud that would be hanging over the entire season to come caused a lot of the mainstream attention to just fade off and never come back.
 
Garage 56 driver lineup will be announced shortly.



Jimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller and Jenson Button, not a bad lineup.

Johnson and Rockenfeller I kind of expected. Button is completely out of left field.
 
I initially misread this as a time penalty for Chastain at all race tracks.

The stage break cautions will not occur at Road Courses:

Time penalty? Jeez. I bet part of the fanbase feels validated for finally getting it banned. Other than that finally lessening the stage breaks!
 
Some other rules changes:
  • Loose wheel penalties have been altered to a pass-through under green/tail end of the longest line under yellow if contained in the pit lane, and 2 laps/2-race suspension for 2 crew members if the tire is loose on the track.
  • The wet-weather package will be used at almost all the short tracks (except Bristol, up to and including the Milwaukee Mile, Phoenix, and New Hampshire), with wipers mandated at those tracks starting at Phoenix.
  • The "choose" rule is now in play at Daytona, Talladega, and the dirt tracks.
  • The "top 30 (20 in Xfinity/Craftsman Truck)" rule for playoff eligibility is no longer in effect.
  • The restart zone will be 50% larger for at least the first 5 weekends, through Atlanta (it's unclear whether that includes the Clash).
  • The Damaged Vehicle Policy clock is now 7 minutes.
It's a reinterpretation of an existing rule (10.5.2.6.A, the "catch-all safety" rule) that's banning the Hail Melon.
 
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The wet-weather package will be used at almost all the short tracks (except Bristol, up to and including the Milwaukee Mile, Phoenix, and New Hampshire), with wipers mandated at those tracks starting at Phoenix.
I want to see if this wet weather package will actually come to fruition, since, I've been to the Milwaukee Mile countless times, and can vouch that it does rain quite often there. :lol:
 
I want to see if this wet weather package will actually come to fruition, since, I've been to the Milwaukee Mile countless times, and can vouch that it does rain quite often there. :lol:
That's my home track. I remember the 2005 Busch Series race, especially trying to wait out the rain in Kenny Wallace's pit, where he was running live commentary on FX's re-running of NASCAR Drivers 360. They say there's a bit of banking, though I couldn't feel it in my Petty Experience laps there.

I'm surprised they're bringing even the Trucks back, much less as a playoff race. The last years at the Mile were brutal financially between manager malfeasance and the State Fair Board actively trying to shutter the track (probably in retaliation for then-governor Jim "Craps" Doyle getting lustily booed at said 2005 race), and IndyCar couldn't make a go of their Andretti-fueled return.
 
There might be one going home in Cup.

Speaking of Cup, we've already had one carbecue - Ty Gibbs's car went up in flames in his second round of practice in LA in pretty much the same manner as multiple cars did last year.
 
Justin Haley, Kyle Busch, Christofer Bell, and William Byron will be the pole sitters for tomorrows heat races.
 
So the one thing I learned this year so far is that you cannot run in reverse if you screw up a qualifying lap to salvage the run. I wonder why NASCAR added that rule?
 
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