No. 959
August 15, 2018
 

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established Ujian-nasional.info on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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Fumes


Tuesday
Jun272017

THE 2018 NASCAR SCHEDULE, REVISED.

By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. Yes, even though the two words least likely to be used together in a sentence are "NASCAR" and "reality," and even though it's clear that the powers that be in Daytona Beach don't get it and that isn't likely to change anytime soon, it's time to draft a new schedule for the "stock" car series that accounts for the following indisputable realities: 1. Declining in-person attendance; 2. Declining or moribund TV ratings; 3. The scramble for sponsors that is growing more difficult by the minute, even for the established, big-buck teams; and 4. The fact that the teams and drivers are burned out by a death march of a schedule that everyone is trapped in but apparently are powerless to do anything about, because speaking out would be going on record against the NASCAR company line, which is simply unacceptable.

The NASCAR company line states that the long-term contracts with the tracks prevent them from cutting the schedule, which we all know is unmitigated bullshit because NASCAR controls most of the tracks and the ones it isn't in control of are controlled by Bruton Smith's organization. In the skewed logic put forth by the NASCAR brain trust, cutting the schedule is anathema because it is a sign of weakness and an acknowledgement that things are royally screwed up. But yet, doing nothing about the length of the schedule contributes to the declining spiral (see the points above) caused by the fundamental oversaturation, which has become the overriding reality, which, of course, NASCAR pretends doesn't exist in the first place. Notice the recurring theme here?

So, for what it's worth - and I freely acknowledge this exercise is a complete waste of time, given the realities that NASCAR refuses to acknowledge - I am presenting a revised 2018 schedule, with my comments.

2018 MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES SCHEDULE, REVISED.
Date                 Track
2/11                  Daytona International Speedway (Clash/Daytona 500 Qualifying)
2/15                  Daytona International Speedway (Duel)
2/18                  Daytona 500
2/25                  Atlanta Motor Speedway
3/4                    Off weekend (The spring race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is dropped)
3/11                  Phoenix International Raceway
3/18                  Texas Motor Speedway (Texas is moved up two weeks, Auto Club Speedway is dropped)
3/25                  Martinsville Speedway
4/8                    Bristol Motor Speedway (Moves up one week)
4/15                  Richmond International Raceway (Moves up one week)
4/21                  Off weekend
4/29                  Talladega Superspeedway
5/6                    Dover International Speedway
5/12                  Road Atlanta added (Kansas Speedway in the spring is dropped)
5/19                  Charlotte Motor Speedway (Monster Energy All-Star Race)
5/27                  Charlotte Motor Speedway
6/3                    Pocono Raceway
6/10                  Michigan International Speedway

 6/17                  Off weekend

6/24                  Sonoma Raceway
7/1                    Chicagoland Speedway
7/7                    Daytona International Speedway
7/14                  Kentucky Speedway
7/22                  New Hampshire Motor Speedway
7/29                  Watkins Glen International (The Glen moves up one week as the second race at Pocono Raceway is dropped)
8/5                    Off weekend (A two-week summer break in the schedule begins here)
8/12                  Off weekend (The second race at Michigan International Speedway is dropped)
8/18                  Bristol Motor Speedway
9/2                    Darlington Raceway
9/9                    Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Run on the IMS road course)
9/16                 
Road America added (The second race at Dover is dropped)
9/22                  Richmond International Raceway
9/30                  Charlotte Motor Speedway (The "roval")
10/7                 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Moved back four weeks)
10/14                Kansas Speedway (Kansas moves up one week as the second race at Talladega   Superspeedway is dropped)
10/21                Martinsville Speedway (Moves up one week)
10/28                Texas Motor Speedway (Moves up one week)
11/4                  Homestead-Miami Speedway (The season finale moves up two weeks as the second race at Phoenix is dropped)

Whoa, you're thinking, that isn't going to fly. No, of course not, but here's the breakdown: 30 points-paying races on a schedule that is two weeks shorter; the addition of three road courses (Road Atlanta, Indianapolis and Road America), including two in the Chase; Auto Club Speedway is dropped from the schedule and second races at Las Vegas, Kansas, Pocono, Michigan, Dover, Talladega and Phoenix are also dropped; the Chase would now begin at Darlington; and there are five off weekends, including a two-week mid-summer break in August.

The bottom line? It would be a much-improved schedule in terms of logistics and flow, the wear and tear on the teams and drivers would be greatly reduced, and the season would end on the first weekend of November. What's not to like? Yes, from the NASCAR perspective this schedule is E-V-I-L personified, but I bet if you asked the drivers and the teams and they could respond without fear of reprisal, they'd love it.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.

 


Editor's Note: Many of you have seen Peter's references over the years to the Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation (HERF), which he launched in 2007. For those of you who weren't following AE at the time, you can read two of HERF's press releases and . And for even more details (including a link to Peter's announcement speech), check out the HERF entry on Wikipedia . -WG

 

Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present a noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Riverside, California, January 16, 1977. The great David Pearson (No. 21 Wood Brothers Purolator Mercury) on his way to the win in the Winston Western 500 NASCAR race at Riverside International Raceway. Cale Yarborough (No. 11 Junior Johnson Holly Farms Chevrolet) was second, and Richard Petty (No. 43 Petty Enterprises STP Dodge) finished third.