So NASCAR is at Bristol Motor Speedway this Sunday for the race. Bristol is one of three short tracks on NASCAR's circuit, the others being Martinsville and Richmond. These tracks have a long illustrious history in stock car racing and are considered some of the sport's top draws for fans.
Problem is, the racing isn't what it should be because of the quantum leap in the race cars since these tracks were first opened. In the old days, you were lucky to hit 60 or 80 mph on the straightaways. Pole sitter, Kyle Busch had an average lap speed of over 123mph and was turning laps in just over 15 seconds!
On a half mile track like Bristol, with 43 cars in the field, the guys in the back will barely be up to speed when the front pack cars are bearing down on them after the green flag. Five minutes of racing and the drivers at the rear are already a lap down. That's hardly fair.
It is not a rare at all for a driver to have a problem free day and still end the race a half dozen laps down simply because he couldn't get out of the early hole dug in each restart throughout the race.
Update: Okay, it took 35 laps for the last place to get lapped in the race, but I think my point is still valid. Plus something else, Tony Stewart cut down a tire and could not get down through the continuous line of cars to reach pit road and ended up crashing. Now he's about a dozen laps down and effectively out of the race. Like I said . . . too many cars for the size of the track.
What would I do about it? Glad you asked . . .
Divide the race field into two packs of 21 or 22 cars. Have a half length race with each pack, one on Friday and one on Saturday. Or perhaps even both on Saturday. Then take the top 10 cars from each "heat" plus the fastest of the two 11th place cars and put them in the field for Sunday's full length feature race.
21 cars on the track would allow for better racing and I believe would still lend itself to the bumpin' and bangin' and rubbin' is racin' style that fans want to see.
What's that you say? Fans wouldn't stand for two or three days of racing? Hmmmm . . . Let me introduce you to a little enterprise called drag racing. No, not Ru Paul's nonsense, but the real thing.
I used to go to the GatorNationals down here every year. Four days of drag racing and milling around the pits. Thursday and Friday are packed with fans. Saturday it's crushed. Sunday is a total shoehorn situation! No problem getting four days worth of fans for that. Why not my idea? They do twin qualifiers at Daytona. This is a workable idea. It wouldn't hurt to try it once.
And you know who else thinks my idea is a good one:
Yep. Rosie Jones likes my idea. Or she would, if I explained it to her. At least I think she would. Wonder if she'd give me the chance?