Friday, January 22, 2010

How will the new rule changes affect NASCAR?

 

The off season has had no shortage of NASCAR news. In addition to the new baby announcements and changes to the schedule, NASCAR announced on Thursday that they will be making some significant rule changes.

NASCAR officials have announced that they plan to relax and let the drivers do what they do best without too much interference. However, it was stated on Next Time By internet radio today that in the past, NASCAR has made the same claim and it hasn’t happened. So will it really change this time?

Now, of course, with this announcement, all the fans are excited and hope for some good racing but we all wonder in the back of our minds: Will NASCAR really relax their grip on the races or will this be another empty promise?

Of course, we did see near the end of last season where this had already started to take place. The fiery feud between Cup series superstar, Denny Hamlin, and Talladega champion, Brad Keselowski sparked a great amount of excitement. NASCAR took it upon themselves to back off and let the drivers have their feud, which has been ongoing throughout the off season.

Some fans seem to have a bit of an issue with this due to safety reasons, but NASCAR CEO and chairman, Brian France states “NASCAR is a contact sport – our history is based on banging fenders.”

And it is so true. NASCAR is a true contact sport in the sense that the drivers thrive on on (and off track) rivalries to keep things interesting. Even with the inevitable safety issues that come up, fans and drivers always love a good rivalry.

“Over the past 10 years we’ve dramatically increased safety and that mission continues. However, it’s time for us to allow the drivers to drive. We don’t want the rules and regulations to get in the way of great racing and fantastic finishes,” said France.

One thing NASCAR fans can always count on is rule changes. And there have been plenty of them for 2010 already. Bump-drafting rules are null and void now at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway. They will also implement a bigger restrictor plate at Daytona.

If you remember, right before the Talladega fall race, NASCAR announced the “no bump drafting into the corners” rule. That rule did not go over well with drivers or fans. The draft, especially the bump draft, is what makes Talladega more exciting to watch. During that particular race, the field was so widely spread out that it be came pretty dull for a good part of the race. Whether or not that is the fault of the lack of bump drafting in the corners is anyone’s guess.

The bigger restrictor plate for Daytona seems to be causing a great deal of excitement and debate in the NASCAR community. Some argue that the racing will be better due to the higher speeds and additional horsepower in the cars and others say that it will be far more dangerous. Whatever the case may be, its sure to make the races fare more interesting to see.

Perhaps the most significant change to NASCAR is the removal of the wing from the COT. Officials have decided to replace it with the spoiler from the old car. I’m not too well versed on aerodynamics, but if I understand correctly, the spoiler will give the car more downforce and hold it closer to the track.

Whatever happens in the next few months, be assured that NASCAR has only what they believe is best for the sport, drivers, and the fans in mind. The new rule changes are sure to make for a really interesting season.

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