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Author Topic: Great Article on Nationwide Series  (Read 320 times)
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Cheryl
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« on: May 06, 2009, 12:38:39 PM »

Bby Terry Blout at espn.com.  I'm cutting and pasting it below because there are obnoxious commercials and a bit of NASCAR Now when you try to go to ESPN.com to read it.  He's saying all the same things I said in my article back in January.  The Nationwide regulars have no chance anymore...

"Are you tired of Cup drivers in N'wide?
by Terry Blout

NASCAR officials have a little ruse going.

They think you don't know, don't care or both. Do you?

Sprint Cup regulars are 9-0 this season in the Triple-A minor league, officially known as the Nationwide Series. Seven of those races were won by drivers who made the Chase in 2008.

The past 18 Nationwide events, dating back to the end of last season, were won by Cup regulars. Sixteen of those races were won by drivers who made the Chase.

And this isn't a new phenomenon. The past three Nationwide Series championships were won by drivers who finished in the top 10 in the Cup standings, including two who finished in the top 5.

Until 2006, no full-time Cup driver ever won a Nationwide Series (formerly known as the Busch Series) title. Since 2006, Cup regulars have won 90 percent of the Nationwide races (103 of 114 events).

The Cup stars are shooting fish in a barrel, and you're letting them do it. NASCAR officials think you don't care. In fact, they think you like it. Do you?

They think you won't come unless you can see Kyle Busch (among others) run roughshod over lesser competitors trying to learn their craft. Will you?

They think you don't care about whether up-and-comers like Justin Allgaier, John Wes Townley, Steve Wallace and Michael Annett have a fighting chance to compete. Do you?

They think it's OK with you if a talented kid like Stephen Leicht, a Nationwide race winner in 2007 at age 20, can't get a full-time ride in the series because sponsors want Cup stars in the cars. Is it?  Stephen Leicht won in 2007, but is trying to find a full-time ride in 2009.

They say it doesn't matter to you if stand-alone Nationwide teams, like Baker-Curb Racing with driver Jason Keller, struggle to stay in business against big Cup operations racing in the series with Cup drivers. Does it?

Team co-owner Gary Baker talked about the uphill battle of trying to make it work against the Cup guys.
"It can be frustrating," Baker said last month at Nashville, one of eight stand-alone Nationwide events this season. "Do we look at it as if we're second-rate? No, we don't.
"But it is frustrating to look at the incredible budgets like the No. 60 [Carl Edwards' car]. If we had the budget of the 60 car, we could kick them in the teeth. But I'm a realist, and at times, that frustration gets pretty great."

NASCAR officials believe you like it when members of the Cup elite run the entire Nationwide schedule and win the championship, celebrating as if they achieved a major accomplishment. Do you?

Two years ago, NASCAR floated the idea of a major fix. Cup drivers ranked in the top 35 in the standings would not earn points in Nationwide events. They still could run every event, but only Nationwide regulars would compete for the title.

It sounded good at the time, but it never happened.  "We still talk about it," NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said. "We always review those things at the end of the year. But really, it kind of goes against everything we stand for." 

Hunter is talking about the spirit of open competition, in which every driver has a chance to race in any NASCAR event.  It's a noble ideal, but isn't it more noble, and more fruitful in the long run, to have an actual developmental league with an identity, a place where young drivers can make names for themselves?

It's up to you, the fans.

If NASCAR officials are right, no problem exists. The Nationwide Series will continue as a hybrid league, sort of a warm-up event or B feature for the Cup guys to loosen up and dominate things before the big race the next day.

Is that OK with you? Do you care?"

Here's a link to the actual article which has a place to comment at the end.  I encourage you to let them know how you feel.  It might not help, but at least someone in the media is asking the fans.

http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/nationwide/columns/story?columnist=blount_terry&id=4138982

Cheryl

« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 03:42:53 PM by Cheryl » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2009, 03:34:55 PM »

Cheryl, do you ever feel like a voice all alone in the wilderness?

If it were not for articles like these, I certainly would feel lonely, 'cause I like RACIN' not the trumped up "shows" that Nascar is putting on these days.

I would love the Nationwide series if it were mostly NON cup drivers, but as it is, who cares?

JMHO, but I think it all goes back to the money interests who have, as someone put it, "done growed the sport" of stock car racing. I cannot really fault a sponsor for wanting Kyle Busch driving in the N Wide series instead of a lesser know driver, because of the huge amount of $ paid to be the sponsor. But as a fan, I hate it. Good grief!! My fav could have been killed or maimed in a dad gum NWide race at Dega, for pity sake. Why?? Why was he even driving?

Now you all know that I am an old car nut. I am an enthusiast, a hobbyist. But there is a whol 'nother group involved in the collector car group, the COLLECTORS. See the January Phoenix auctions for examples of those folks. Two separate and distinct groups in my opinion. It took an non car lady friend to bring this point home to me a few years ago.

Same with racing. There are race fans, and then there are those who dig the "show". Currently, the "show " folks have the upper hand. So, I'm going to an old car meet Saturday, and the hell with what used to be my favorite stock car race,....

End of rant. Grin
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