Speak Your Mind: Have road ringers lost their glory in NASCAR?

The ladies of Skirts and Scuffs offer a diverse range of opinions on all the hot button topics and from time to time, we pitch our views in via Speak Your Mind. This week, we are debating the hot topic of road ringers. Our question to the team was:

Boris Said is the last "road ringer" to claim victory during the Montreal NNS race in 2010.
Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Have road ringers lost their glory in NASCAR/should they be allowed for only 2 races?
Holly Machuga: I do believe that road ringers have lost their glory in NASCAR just because not many people enjoy or watch the road course races, they aren't as popular as the superspeedways or short tracks. However, the road ringers should still be allowed to participate in the 2 road races just because they are experts at those tracks and after watching the conflict between Boris Said and Greg Biffle this weekend, I don't think we should let them go.

LJ Cloud: When interviewed this weekend, Boris himself said that the road-course ringers are no longer the forces they used to be in the sport because more emphasis has been put on the road course races the regular drivers have upped their games. Personally I think it's partly because as a group they're so competitive they don't want to be taken out of their rides and replaced by someone who only races stock cars a couple of times a year.

However, from an owner's point of view, he has to do whatever he believes is best for his team, and if that means bringing in a "ringer", then that's what they'll do. I don't think there's any rule that keeps them from putting a different driver in the car whenever they want to.

Drivers like Ron Fellows and Boris are fun to watch, but I don't think they're as intimidating as they used to be. After all, when was the last time one of the ringers actually won?

Amy McHargue: I do not think the "road course ringers" are as effective as they used to be. Until Marcos won this past weekend it had been quite some time - over a decade - since one of the so-called ringers had taken home the top spot at a road course race. The "regular" drivers need the chance to prove themselves as effective competitors at the road courses - if not given a chance, who knows what a driver like those who are replaced for road races might be able to accomplish for their teams.

Ultimately, it is the choice of the team to put the driver each feels will be the most competitive in the car for each week's race. I do not think that drivers should have a minimum number of races they must run in nor do I believe that the road specialists should not be allowed to race on road course weekends. I do believe that replacing a regular car driver with a road course specialist is likely to lower the confidence level of the regular driver in the long term and that such a weekend replacement does little to build team morale.

Amanda Ebersole: Road ringers should be a thing of the past. I understand the teams not secured in the top 35 trying to do anything to secure the needed points, but to me the point of being a NASCAR driver is to be well rounded and proficient on all race tracks.

Furthermore, I think other then in the event of illness or injury, there should be no subbing for specific tracks. So and so races better on a short track, so he will fill the seat but driver X races better at the intermediates...that is uncalled for. One driver needs to race the entire schedule to be able to get the skills at all tracks, give it time and quite pulling them out of their given seat.

Rebecca Kivak: The road course ringers have lost their luster. Part of the reason we don't see them running upfront could be because of the equipment they are often in (from smaller, less-funded teams). Also, for the Cup or Nationwide regulars, every win counts, even more now than before in Cup with the advent of the wild card spots. It's to Cup regulars' advantage to go for the win on the road courses instead of chalking it up to a mulligan. As I would like to see a road course in the Chase someday, I believe having road course prowess also makes a driver more well-rounded, which is what I'd like to see in a champion.

I don't see a need to limit the participation of road course ringers. Owners have the right to put the driver of their choice in a car. When the road ringers do run, I realize they may not run in Cup or Nationwide races often and want to make an impact when they do, but I think they should show respect to the Cup regulars as well as others they race on the track. Respect means a lot in this sport.
Speak Your Mind: Have road ringers lost their glory in NASCAR? Speak Your Mind: Have road ringers lost their glory in NASCAR? Reviewed by Admin on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 Rating: 5