Friday, November 29, 2013

Change of Pace: Five Questions for NASCAR

November, Texas Motor Speedway
Credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs
Life is too short.

It’s a song that needed one more bar of music to be complete. It’s that guy you dated in middle school that only came up to your ribcage (trust me, slow dancing was so awkward). It’s every late-night conversation you’ve had that was more stimulating than good coffee.

There’s been a moment in everyone’s lives where everything is put into perspective. For some, it’s a family emergency. For others, it’s a book or movie. A lot of people wait until Thanksgiving day to determine what they are grateful for at that moment.

Here’s some advice: don’t be one of those people. There is nothing more unnerving than realizing how selfish you’ve become. You’re going through every day, laughing and working and not thinking of tomorrow, and it’s easy and carefree until something stops you in your tracks.

And then you realize you’ve been kicking around the fragile package of life like a soccer ball.

I couldn’t imagine where I would be without the amazing family, opportunities, and readers that I’ve been blessed with this year. I’m thankful for the police officers, firefighters, soldiers who risk their lives every day. I’m thankful for scientists who are trying to cure cancer, and for the doctors who are helping people fight it.

Most of all, I’m thankful for those who are attempting to make a difference in the world. They are the greatest gift of them all.

So don’t wait until Thanksgiving to express your gratitude. Don’t wait until Christmas to spread cheer. Don’t wait until New Year's to make a resolution. Don’t wait until any predetermined day to change your ways. There is no excuse; the time will pass anyway, so why not start now?

Speaking of making a change, it’s time for a change of pace in NASCAR. The season is over, yet there are so many questions still hanging in the air. I chose five of them to ask the sanctioning body in this special edition of Five Questions.

Was the Gen-6 really a success? After so much hype, the latest car model debuted in the Sprint Cup Series. Its true talent didn’t shine at the Daytona 500; in fact, it was very disappointing. The sport’s representatives came out and said they were happy with how the Gen-6 raced the entire year. However, it was also revealed that drastic changes will be made to the aerodynamics. I guess they weren’t that confident in their new design.

Is there consistency in the future? The 2013 season will be known as The Year of Confusion due to various inconsistencies, from restart rules to penalties to conduct off the track. Nothing bums the mood out more than indecisiveness. It’s time for a major sit-down to clarify the rulebook, the intentions, and the logistics of the entire corporation.

Why did you purchase Iowa Speedway? When it was announced earlier this week that NASCAR -the actual sanctioning body- bought the 7/8-mile track east of Des Moines, eyebrows were raised as to what it meant. People have been saying that the track should be added to the Sprint Cup schedule: it produces great racing and crowds. The response? “This isn’t the first of many. This is a unique situation.” A special event will be held at the speedway on December 12th to discuss the future plans, so we will know then.

When are you shaking up the Cup schedule? If they decided to add Iowa to the schedule, it would obviously have to wait until 2015; the schedules for all three series were released weeks ago, and not much changed - to fans’ dismay. “We’re happy with the tracks we have now,” NASCAR executives said at the schedule reveal, “And the fans are, too.” Uh, what? No. The consensus has been that there needs to be a road course in The Chase, along with other changes that didn’t go through. Major moves need to happen next time.

Does it matter what the fans think? It’s weird that NASCAR thinks the fans are happy with the track lineup, because that’s definitely not the impression watchers have been giving off for the past two years. Every time a questionable move is made, it is heightened by the array of opinions that light up comment sections and Twitter feeds. When someone within the sport reads a fan’s thought, do they store it in their mind to dwell on later? Or do they just scroll on by and shrug it off? That’s an answer I’d love to hear.

3 comments :

Pure and simple - NASCAR hears the fans and instead of agreeing they come back with useless statistics and a we know better than you attitude. Gen 6 car looks great but produces the most boring racing I have ever seen, in person and on TV. Admit it and fix it...or do like always and explain to fans how they are wrong and just sit back and watch the $$$ roll in under that ridiculous new TV contract.


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