The hot topic since the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race is the used of the reduced speed package to produce side by side draft racing. The fans thought it was a great idea because of all the passing in a race that lost a lot of its luster. The racing was fantastic. As Dave Moody noted on SiriusXM Speedway, the feeling is that when the drivers complained, the fans kind of lost their interest. At the same time, the beat writers, in a lot of cases, have complained about the product. This does not help fan interest at all. However, at some point, something has to change. The All-Star package needs a test in 2019.
Let us go over this a bit. I will freely admit right now that my perspective as an opinionist has a small to no audience. I do not have any internal car knowledge and can only work with what I have researched. This package includes the inclusion of front air ducts, restrictor plates (similar to the ones at Talladega and Daytona), and the rear spoiled raised from normal levels. During the All-Star Race, this kept cars closer together, giving better racing. However, as part of the package, the speed the cars could reach became limited. That is a major complaint and an understandable one. These drivers like to reach the unlimited speed in racing. It is natural to them.
However, the argument with “unlimited speed” is not really a true statement. If these cars were not set up in certain fashions that the basic NASCAR fan is not aware of, we would be going 250 miles per hour at Talladega and Daytona. Instead, the most they go is 205. That is why restrictor plates were added. The safety of the drivers is important. So, if the cars have never reached true speed in modern NASCAR, is this any different than that? I would argue no.
That said, something needs to change in NASCAR. While Chicago and Las Vegas produced some amazing racing this year, there are still problems with a lot of the 1.5 and 2 mile tracks. Cars are still spreading out and half the race is follow the leader. People complained about NASCAR throwing “fake debris” cautions, but some of the best racing on these tracks are at and right after the restart. The idea of more “fake debris” cautions would be problematic from an honesty standpoint. However, the All-Star Package gives us a test chance to try something.
The 2019 schedule is basically the same with the 2018 package. The 1.5 and 2 mile tracks that have two races gives us an opportunity to test the package. If one race at Las Vegas, Kansas, Pocono, Michigan and Texas all were given a chance to run a new package to see how it goes, it would not affect the majority of the races. This way, the NASCAR schedule is still 31 races of normal. If the races are not a success, then you go ahead and can the product.
However, NASCAR has to try something. It may not be successful, but something needs to be done. 5 races of the All-Star package would go a long way.
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