Yes, you could say there is a lot going on in NASCAR right now. Star driver serving commentthe playoffs mark the home stretch with only three races remaining before the season ends, and the team’s owners have publicly expressed their displeasure with that. What they consider a ‘broken’ business modelAnd many other notable events. So, let’s move on to your questions.
(Note: Some questions have been edited for clarity and length.)
As a Bubba Wallace fan, I had no issues with NASCAR with his comment, which was justified. My problem is the inconsistency of the calls. We all know if it was Chase Elliott who did this or someone did the same thing Bubba did to win, NASCAR would look the other way and call it a “racing accident.” Do you think they have the guts to stop Chase Elliott or someone who intentionally destroys another competitor to win no matter the path?
– Michael J.
NASCAR’s inconsistency in imposing sanctions is a valid concern, but thinking that NASCAR only acted on this because it was Bubba Wallace and not, say, Chase Elliott is not.
It is in no way in NASCAR’s best interest to comment on a marquee driver like Wallace, who happens to drive a team owned by one of the most famous people on the planet. But NASCAR did just that, a commendable decision because they could have easily cited a “precedent” and instead slapped Wallace with a hefty fine and a penalty – in line with how Noah Gragson was penalized in July.
Regarding the last point, there is an important distinction to be made. Racing seriously for a win as the driver starts calling another to drive him away – I think Joey Logano crushing William Byron on the last lap in Darlington in May – is acceptable within certain parameters. Deliberately veering into a competitor on a high-speed track and turning it into a wall all because you’re upset is unacceptable. And when this happens, whether it’s Wallace, Elliott, or someone else, the driver in question deserves to park for at least a week. As I wrote this weekIt’s up to NASCAR now to make this a precedent moving forward.
Bubba Wallace’s comment needs to be NASCAR’s new precedent: Bianchi
Why did Bubba Wallace get a suspension, but NASCAR failed to suspend Noah Gragson, Carson Hocevar, Ty Gibbs, etc.?
– Brandon M.
It is about safety. What Wallace did install the back of Kyle Larson’s car on a high-speed Las Vegas track that was reckless, and it’s no exaggeration to say that Larson was lucky to have gotten away from the accident.
The recent incidents involving Gragson and Hossevar, where they also destroyed a competitor, occurred on tracks that do not produce speeds close to what Las Vegas sees. Overtaking Gragson occurred in a lane on the road, with Hosivar approaching a short course. Whether it happened on a track similar in size to Las Vegas, the assumption is that either of them would have faced a penalty like what Wallace was handed over.
“We thought that was intentional and put other competitors at risk,” NASCAR Director of Operations Steve O’Donnell said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “And as we look at the sport and where we are today and where we want to draw that line going forward, we thought that was definitely overstepping the mark and that’s what we focused on in terms of making this call.”
Going forward, we hope the size/pattern of the path is not a major factor. Instead, the decision will center around whether the driver is putting another person at risk of injury.
The current TV deal was the battle of the cable sports networks (NBC Sports and FS1). The next stage is likely to be the battle for streaming services. How do you expect streaming services to change the way we watch NASCAR? Also, how do you expect the current negotiations for NBA and (college football) deals will affect NASCAR negotiations?
– Garrett N.
The emergence of broadcast platforms has significantly changed negotiations, and most importantly, introduced additional options. The NFL, NHL, MLS, MLB and the Premier League are among the professional leagues that have done deals with streaming games services.
NASCAR will likely join the aforementioned tournaments when negotiations begin in earnest early next year. And you never get too much choice when negotiating, which NASCAR hopes will push its next TV deal beyond the record $8.2 billion, as Fox Sports and NBC Sports were merged together to pay over the 10-year contract that went into effect. in 2015.
But while streaming services are more accessible than ever, there are concerns about whether this is a viable option for a sponsor-focused sport.
One of the biggest hurdles facing many NASCAR teams is that Amazon, Hulu, Apple TV, and even ESPN+ haven’t consistently generated ratings as high as a game carried on network TV. Is taking more money to sign up with a streaming service worth the NASCAR gambit if fewer people are watching? The trade-off is no different from the current NASCAR contract, receiving a record revenue at the expense of fewer races aired on Fox and NBC and more on FS1 and NBCSN, which ultimately negatively impacted overall viewership.
If streaming platform is the direction NASCAR is going, how will team sponsors locked into a dollar-paying contract react with prediction races on the air on a more watched network or cable channel? Many teams are already making deals where sponsors pay more to race on Big Fox or NBC than to race on FS1 or the USA. It makes sense that some sponsors tend to pay less due to the lower viewership associated with broadcasting the race on a streaming platform.
Again, would the teams be okay with this? Could they be? Or will the money received from the streaming platform make up for any money lost from disgruntled sponsors? All of these questions set the backdrop for a pivotal stage that will go a long way in shaping the future of NASCAR.
NASCAR’s ‘broken’ financial model: Why racing teams are calling for change
More relevant to last week’s race (at Charlotte Roval), but: do you think it would be a good idea for NASCAR to start imposing some kind of “avoidable contact” penalty for road races? It appears that many of this year’s road training sessions have been spoiled by drivers who sent cars too deep into turns and caused others to turn, or just generally drown out other drivers. I know we want regular cars to be able to have some connection, and some are good, but it seems to have gone too far this year and had a definite impact on the finishes (Chase Elliott turned in the Roval, Ryan Blaney turned in Indy, etc.)
– Stephen B.
No. No. No absolutely no.
While we can all agree that road track racing has a tendency to get into a full-on free-for-all brawl, with little respect for rules or propriety, asking NASCAR to get more involved in racing judgment is a slippery slope.
Certainly, penalties should be issued if someone commits a terrible act that goes beyond the limits because a certain level of professionalism must be maintained. There are cases where NASCAR may intervene but refer drivers to the police themselves.
But asking NASCAR to get involved more than it already does will only lead to a set of controversial decisions that will cause a revolution among fans. For a sport that many would argue already has too many provisions, adding a rule that requires interpretation of intent and goes against the spirit of what motor racing in the big league is supposed to represent will create more problems than it solves.
Don’t open this Pandora’s box because it won’t go well.
Do you think NASCAR will give Xfinity and Truck more short-track racing than they once were? I understand why there is so little these days, but would anyone ever come back?
– Andrew L.
Yes, and I’m already starting to see that implementation.
This year, the Truck Series returns to Indianapolis Raceway Park after 11 years of absence, and next year North Wilkesboro Speedway will host its first race since 1996. These two tracks are at the core of what the Truck Series is supposed to represent, and the inclusion of each in the Received a lot of fanfare.
And while the Xfinity Series schedule has yet to see a similar escalation, it is definitely coming. An additional short track will be added when Auto Club Speedway’s transformation from a two-mile to a half-mile track is complete (likely by 2024) with another arriving whenever renovations at the Nashville Fairgrounds are approved, and then completed. And if all goes well with NASCAR returning to North Wilkesboro next year, don’t be surprised if the track finally puts Xfinity history on its calendar.
In an ideal world, the Xfinity and Truck schedules would be full of short paths, just as they were before. We also know that this is unlikely to happen to the degree we all wish. NASCAR has made strides in the field, hoping the races at IRP and North Wilkesboro will explain why short tracks matter.
Any news/rumors about motorsport Kyle Busch next season? And also where will his current drivers go next year?
– Paul C.
There is nothing concrete to report about Kyle Busch’s future in motorsport. Busch all along kept keeping KBM’s doors open was a priority, although he needed time to sort it out now that he’ll have to take on more operational costs with Toyota no longer a partner.
As for what will happen with the team’s current drivers, some are expected to continue driving for a Toyota-powered team in the Xfinity or Truck Series. One notable split is Chandler Smith’s announcement that he will be jumping into Xfinity next year with Team Kaulig Racing, which includes Chevrolets.
(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today)