Seems that stock car racing is in of itself not exciting enough, so NASCAR came up with the Chase to get people to pay attention. And that apparently wasn’t enough to perk up NASCAR’s rating and attendance, so now the series is considering another radical change. Per the UPoR:
In addition to expanding the Chase field from 12 to 16 drivers, a win in the season’s first 26 races would virtually ensure a driver entry into the championship Chase. If there were more than 16 winners, the 16 with the most wins and highest in points would gain entry.
Once the Chase field was set, a round of eliminations – similar to the NCAA tournament – would take place after the third, sixth and ninth race of the Chase, culminating with the championship determined by a winner-takes-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
So artificial, so scripted, so silly. Kind of like wrestling. And the appeal is largely to the same demographic. And write on cue, here’s a column by Frank Jolley of the Leesburg Daily Commercial that argues NASCAR should just come out and admit that its in the sport entertainment business. Just like the WWE.
Bonus observation: If NASCAR wants to be taken seriously, the key is to make individual races significant events again in their own right. NASCAR has long operated on the theory that more is better — more races, longer races, more cars, makes for more fan enjoyment. That’s not necessarily true — sometimes less is more. And for NASCAR, a large portion of their problem, though they are loath to admit it, is that 38 races a year is simply too much.