Blog Entry

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

Posted on: January 26, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2011 3:48 pm
Posted By Pete Pistone

CONCORD, N.C. - Add Rick Hendrick to the list of people within the NASCAR community who believe there's a need for shorter races and a more compressed season. The ten-time Sprint Cup winning car owner made the comments during the annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour on Wednesday.

"I absolutely think the races ought to be shorter and the season ought to be shorter," said Hendrick.

Hendrick driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. agreed with his team owner to an extent and said the length of races is "like the pink elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about."

Discussion about shortening events to help increase fan interest and perhaps generate higher television ratings came up this week when FOX Sports president David Hill told reporters he'd like to see race lengths no more than four hours at most.

In recent years some tracks have cut the distance of races including Dover International Speedway lopping off 100 miles to both its spring and fall events and Auto Club Speedway shortening its now only Sprint Cup event to 400 miles.

There has been no indication NASCAR has any immediate plants to cut the schedule from its current 36-race slate, which runs from February to November.


Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:19 pm

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

Look at it from my wife's prospective.  Shorter races burn (500 to 400 laps) 20% less fuel.
5 mpg X 100 miles = 20 gal  X 43 cars = 860 gal X 30 races = 25,800 gals of fuel saved is a
very conserative figure.  That's alot of air polution saved too. Tires/brakes also polute the air.
Look at all the money saved by all the racing teams. Shorter races = more hard racing and
better racing for all of us.
I just said, "Yes Dear"

Since: Jun 14, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2011 5:02 pm

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

I like the idea of shorting the price, especially if you are shorting the races. I think that might be a good thing with the current races, since they are not filling the stands like they were. Empty seats mean lower concession sales also. As for Rick Hendrick joining the band wagon for shorter races, I think his other three cars would be competitve if they would. Lately it seems like Jeff and Junior fade almost every week in the last third of the race.

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2011 10:00 am

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

how many 30 lap usac races cost 200 dollars to grt in?   if they shortin these races they need to sortin them ticket prices. i have season tickets to daytona, atlanta, bristol, talledega, and go to the 600, so shortin the races, shortin the price! its easy to say shortin the races if you have a problem falling asleep on the couch, when you havnt spent a dime!

Since: Oct 19, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2011 9:46 am

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

How about a "Saturday Night" format? Two 30 minute heat races, 30 minutes to repair/reprep cars and a 1 1/2 Main? Should keep the whole thing under 3 hous, if NA$CAR would cut out some fluff.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2011 9:40 am

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

The biggest problem for NASCAR is the price of tickets. We are in a recession reguardless who believes it. All tickets should be $50. I live in Delaware and Dover tickets are $85-95. I don't even go anymore unless a friend gives me one. Cut back on the TV dog and pony shows that go on the air an hour or two before each race. I think all races should be 400 miles except for Watkins Glen, Infineon & Loudon. I'm ok with making them all 300 miles. However, I also think they need to go back in history a little bit. It seems to me that when they took tracks like North Wilkesboro & Rockingham off the schedule some fans have left the sport too. Especially in the roots of the south. This is what I would like to see. I would like each city that has a track get one event a year except Daytona & Talladega. Put Rockingham & North Wilkesboro as well as Iowa on the schedule. Have the Nationwide race the same weekend in the same city. Most of the time they do that but make them all that way. Another way that would be worth trying is have Friday night Nationwide races (8PM EST) and Sprint Cup on Saturday (1pmEST). This way if it rains on Saturday afternoon they could have the option of rescheuling the race for the evening. If it rained on Friday the Nationwide race could be on Sunday at noon.Most people who attend these races work on Monday. Also, all tracks would have to install lights. I know Dover doesn't have them. Look, nobody is going to tell me NASCAR can't afford to have lights installed at every track. I see the winnings these guys are walking away with. You don't even have to be in the top 25 in points to make a $1million. Bottom line is the fans take it on the chin either way you want to look at it. So if you want them back please listen to them. At least one of them. +  

Since: Jan 31, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2011 1:24 am

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

Agreeing with so many others here as well as Hendrick but wanted to throw my two cents in. Whatever about the point system, will end up with the same results in the end no matter what. Address the real issues and shorten the races and the season! One race per track per season with the exception of Daytona, Richmond, Bristol, Talladega and Charlotte. Add a race in Iowa and one back in Rockingham. That'll give you a nice 30 race schedule plus the all-star race (for a total of 31) and won't burn out the fans, drivers and crews. At the very least Pocono should be cut down to 400 miles immediately like the drivers have been requesting for so long. Other races could be looked at also but Daytona 500 and Coke 600 should stay the same no matter what. My "local" track, Loudon, is fun to go see races at but once a year is more than enough for me given the cost, distance, etc. I think most people would agree that the cost of attending a race hasn't really decreased at all but the competition level seems like it has. That combination won't make for many sellouts!

Since: Oct 16, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2011 12:28 am

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

I agree with Rick. They could start at Daytona in February and go to mid-September and end the season when the NFL season starts. The NFL kills them in TV ratings. No weeks off and 30 races. The teams will have over 4 months off. Maybe they could have some semblence of a life that way.

Since: Oct 16, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2011 12:24 am

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

They will never get rid of the two road races. NASCAR wants to be in the San Francisco market and the New York market at Watkins Glen.

Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2011 11:23 pm

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

The Nascar race and season length have nothing to do with the popularity of the sport. That depends upon action and rivalries on the track - fireworks. Think of it as trash talk in the NFL, it gets press. Nascar/sponsor obligations have been forcing teams to tone down the aggresive side of their nature and play nice for the camera for the past 20 years. It worked when the economy was going through the roof, but now that we pick and choose our entertainment dollars very wisely, not so. I've been a fan for 30 plus years, and a fan of good racing no matter what it is, but Nascar started losing it's appeal when all events started looking the same. I was a fan because each race presented a different type of challenge, so I could relate to a driver winning on a variety of tracks - or at least be routing for a handful of favorites to win or at least have a good show - all building up to that season end stretch when you either put up or shut up. AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti are the kings because they did it in a variety of cars. Petty (plural) won in a varitey of races. Earnhardt and Waltrip did it with supreme confidence on and off the track. When all tracks copied the Charlotte tri-oval theory - which provides better sight lines to the fans in the stands, the elimination of variety has been a constant parade. No more North Wilksboro. No more Rockingham - a great race track for action. Talk of eiliminating a Martinsville race. California Speedway being a carbon copy of Michigan - I'd rather they raced at Irwindale! Corporate America has Nascar by the beebees and the result is vanilla. 

Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2011 9:08 pm

Hendrick wants shorter races and season

Reply to my comment I think the best way to shorten the season is get rid of the two road races. If I wanted to watch road racing I would watch F1. Besides many of the regular drivers do not even run the road races their teams bring in ringers from other circuits.

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