Blog Entry

New championship policy not working

Posted on: April 23, 2011 11:11 am
Edited on: April 23, 2011 11:17 am
 
By Pete Pistone

NASCAR implemented its “Pick a Championship” rule in hopes of shining a brighter spotlight on Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series regulars.

So far it’s not working.

Despite the fact Sprint Cup drivers who have declared intentions to run for the title in NASCAR’s top division don’t get points for their NCWTS or NWS efforts, the regulars in those two circuits continue to be afterthoughts.

Kyle Busch is the main culprit, winning again in Friday night’s truck series race at Nashville Superspeedway and a strong contender for a weekend sweep in Saturday’s Nationwide event in the Music City.

But Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin to name a few have also joined in the early Cup regular dominance of NASCAR’s number two and three series.

The point standings don’t reflect that supremacy of course since none of those drivers are eligible for the championship picture.

The Nationwide title race heading into the Easter weekend appears to be downright thrilling with veteran Jason Leffler on top of last year’s Rookie of the Year Justin Allgaier by a mere two points. Elliott Sadler is only five back while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Reed Sorenson are only eight and nine out of the top spot.

But let’s dive into those numbers a little deeper.

The reality is none of those first five have won a race over the first seven this season and the guy leading the standings has a best finish of only eighth.

Last year there were only two series regulars to win over the 35 race Nationwide schedule in Allgaier and road racing specialist Boris Said.

At the pace this season is on the series will have a tough time even matching that feat.

And if that is the case the sport’s credibility will be an issue as the very real possibility of crowning a champion who did not visit victory lane all season exists.

However the drivers involved don’t seem to mind if a championship comes under a somewhat funky new policy.

“I love it,” said Trevor Bayne, who is running the whole Nationwide campaign for Roush Fenway Racing in addition to his part-time Sprint Cup ride with the Wood Brothers. “I was hoping they didn’t take away the Cup drivers altogether because that’s just competition. We want to race against the best and that’s the only way we’re gonna become the best is if we’re racing against them and bettering ourselves all the time. But I also like the point that we’re gonna be able to shine as champions now.”

Racing against Cup drivers is fine with most all Nationwide-only pilots but keeping the championship in the family is what they’re after.

“I’m all for it,” said Aric Almirola. “It gives our JR Motorsports team an even better chance of winning a championship, but also gives the Nationwide Series a little more of its own identity without completely cutting out the Cup drivers.

“I like having the Cup drivers race in our series. For young drivers, there’s nothing better than going head-to-head against Cup guys during a Nationwide race, while still giving a Nationwide regular the chance to win a championship.”

Whether or not the new regulations cheapen a Nationwide championship or not is still up for some argument although the sanctioning body doesn’t buy into that theory.

“You can debate and argue that, ‘OK, if I win 10 or 12 races and don't win the championship, what's the championship worth?’ Well, it's still the championship,” NASCAR President Mike Helton said. “It's still a big old trophy, still a nice check, still a guy who went out there and competed against 43 teams and became the champion of that series.

“So I think it's still a NASCAR national series championship, which I think is valuable and credible.”

So far I’m not impressed with the new direction but to be fair there’s a long way to go in the season. Perhaps a Nationwide regular will rise up and flex their muscle, win races and go on to take the title.

However based on the first seven races of the year that appears to be a long shot at best and a more likely scenario is a winless NASCAR champion being crowned in November.

 

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Comments

Since: Oct 8, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:17 pm
 

New championship policy not working

Agreed again Sections.  The view for me is how in the world can a Nationwide driver make a name for himself when he is finishing 5th every week when it is not his fault.  The cars Kyle/Edwards, and Brad K driver or any Sprint Cup driver drivers is killer compared to everyone else.  Nascar needs to put a limit on it.  And to call it communist is a totally different story.  It is like when you are a stud on the A team in baseball when you were growing up, but you were in the age range where you could play both A and B and they would move you down to the B team so you could dominate.  It isn't really right, play with the big boys on your level.  A few races here and there is great, but not a full schedule.  Find something else to do..like take a real week off.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 12:12 pm
 

New championship policy not working

But what about racing for the love of racing? I have seen KB race in Tenn.during the day in the NNSeries and fly to south Alabama and Florida to race Late Models that night, Thats passion and Love of racing..............Something you will not, won't, can't understand, Next subject please.
Spikes, I don't have a problem if they want to race in other cars. My issue is a Cup driver should not be running the full schedule for the Nationwide series. Kyle runs a Late Model race now and then, and in most cases he probably wins, but he isn't dominating that series like the Cup drivers are dominating the Nationwide series. Back in the old days the Cup drivers ran maybe half the season, if todays drivers did this there wouldn't be a controversy to talk about.

Please don't sit there and try to tell me what I understand and what I don't understand just because my opinion is different than yours.



Since: Oct 8, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:13 pm
 

New championship policy not working

But to the same extent it is not their series anymore.  I think if you declare in one series full-time you should not be able to compete full-time in another.  And yeah not many do for the Trucks, but in the Nationwide Series I just don't think they should race in every race.  I think racing in the Nationwide is great, but not all the time.  And I don't care if they win, when they race, but at the same time it still hinders others who are really full time in the series.  The Nationwide Series will have a winner who will not even win a race.  It is the fact of not all competition in that Nationwide Series is top equipment, like the Cup drivers who race both.  My argument was just limit the number of races they can race in.  I don't see why that is not fair.  In all associations there are rules in place about playing at lower levels or at other associations while being associated with one.  I don't see it as wrong.  



Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 6:31 pm
 

New championship policy not working

and what they do don't really matter. These drivers have more money than they will ever need anyway, so denying them a purse from the Nationwide series isn't going to put them in the poorhouse.


Maybe maybe not, Kyle Busch owes quite a bit of Money from what I heard, just last year he defaulted on a payment to a contractor for KBM new building, JGR bailed him out I was told and have a deal sorta like the one JR Motorsports has with Hendrick as Rick basically owns JRM, Now I dont know the whole story about what KB owes but he needs winnings to keep doors open at KBM, But you probably wouldnt care if he folded while you are banning him from racing.

But what about racing for the love of racing? I have seen KB race in Tenn.during the day in the NNSeries and fly to south Alabama and Florida to race Late Models that night, Thats passion and Love of racing..............Something you will not, won't, can't understand, Next subject please.

Spikes.



Since: Jun 14, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 5:33 pm
 

New championship policy not working

Good discussioin, but what I see is the same teams winning every week. Does it really matter if they are Cup regulars? The well funded teams will run in the front. What NASCAR needs is to find out how to get more new competitve teams like Turner! And by the way most fans only watch Nationwide to see who wins the race, not to see who becomes Champion!




Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:46 pm
 

New championship policy not working

Adding a dirt race or two would be awesome.



Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:47 pm
 

New championship policy not working

Is anything good to you, Pete? Do you want dirt racing to come back? Do you want 20 races during a season? WHAT DO YOU WANT???




Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:11 pm
 

New championship policy not working

What do you want Carl, Kyle and Brad to do on this off night you are giving them? Go out and spend the money you are denying them to make? Be honest.............. Spikes.

They can do what drivers did for years. Dale Sr. raced occasionally in the Nationwide series. I don't have a clue what he did on weekends he wasn't racing, and what they do don't really matter. These drivers have more money than they will ever need anyway, so denying them a purse from the Nationwide series isn't going to put them in the poorhouse.

You mention Mark Martin, but look at his statistics, he only raced in about half the races when he was in the Nationwide series. His best year he won 7 out of the 14 races he entered, but didn't compete in 14 races.

I never said they couldn't race in the Nationwide series, I just don't think they should be running in so many.

In my opinion greed has everything to do with it when the sponsor are saying they won't give you the money unless driver x is in the car. The owners should be saying, you want driver x, then pony up the money for the Sprint Cup car, or give them another option like sponsor the team for the whole year, but driver x is only going to be in the car for half the season.



Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:21 am
 

New championship policy not working

Spikes, I think you are going a bit over the top with your arguement. For many years the Nationwide series was successful without Cup drivers running full time schedules. Nobody is saying they can't race in the Nationwide races, just that it shouldn't be full time like it is today.
Joe Gibbs, Roush, all thos guys can keep their Nationwide teams, just find good drivers to put in the cars, and tell the sponsors if you want to be on Kyle Busch's, or Carl Edwards car, fine, pony up the dough, and sponsor the Cup car. If that is too rich for  your blood, well we have this great driver in the Nationwide series you may want to considor. It worked for years, then greed took over


Not a bad argument Section, But you are still telling a business how to run that business no matter how you slice it...
Kyle missed 6 races last year so Brad could win the Championship, Carl and Brad are the only ones running the full NNS schedule this year, Kyle will get no credit for missing more races this year.
But your statement is all about control of other peoples money, This argument is just stronger today because of the tools we have, But just as many people complained in the 80's about MM winning all the time, But racers race, now answer me this?
What do you want Carl, Kyle and Brad to do on the race day or night you are telling them they can not race, watch the race with you? Sit in the garage and play video games, go fly a kite go out drinking with there buds? What do you want a race car driver to do on a race date you are banning them, common man lets be honest? What do you want them to do? while you are letting someone else make money! Greed has noting to do when JGR, Penske and RFR pay salaries and employ lots of hard working folks, G2G ! I am a business owner and I dont have time for TV, just tired of paying taxes so someone else sits on there Arses, Its just that simple.
Way to many people here telling a race team they cant race and that is Sad. And If you cant see the difference all I can do is put the point out there. As I said, tired of this worn out OLD subject and this is the last time I am commenting on this Bull.
What do you want Carl, Kyle and Brad to do on this off night you are giving them? Go out and spend the money you are denying them to make? Be honest.............. Spikes.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:01 am
 

New championship policy not working

I think Igguy said it best: 
but what NASCAR did was take away the individuality of the Nationwide series. These drivers use to only run events when they were at the same track for the same weekend. Back 8 to 10 years ago, you had the Nationwide, Grand National series, race at different tracks on the weekend than the Cup series. If you want a different championship go back to this format.
Do this and you won't have the Sprint Cup driver dominance unless they just want to wear themselves out.  This past weekend you had Nashville, you have other tracks out there that host Nationwide that do not host Sprint Cup, or just change the schedule so you don't have the same races in the same venue on the same weekends unless it is a special occasion.

The one issue you might have there though, is the way the teams are owned and it is cheaper to do it the current way they are now.  So Harvick as the owner may not want to have a Nationwide race in California or Iowa when he is racing in Cup in Homestead or something like that.


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