I’ve been watching NASCAR religiously for the last few years, but only for a relatively short part of NASCAR’s overall history. But even in my short history with NASCAR, I’ve seen a ton of changes. It’s time to let things settle in.
I started watching soon after Dale Earnhardt Jr. came over to Hendrick Motorsports. His father’s tragic death at Daytona was ancient history by the time I started watching. Immediately, I was learning and soon after, reporting and writing about the sport. I’ve already seen a lot of teams come and go, legends retire and rookies rise.
Even in the short time of watching and learning NASCAR, the sanctioning body has made a ton of changes. All professional sports tweak, evolve and change over time, but NASCAR, more than any professional sport has made wholesale changes.
With my relative short experience in the sport, I feel I’ve been more open, forgiving and willing to give the changes a chance before judging or denouncing, with my relative short history . I don’t have the sheer history, experience or perspective to judge it too harshly.
But that’s starting to erode for me — even with the few years I’ve got with NASCAR. It was just a few short years ago, we switched from points racing to the Chase. Now in 2017, the Chase is now the playoffs. Granted, that change is for all intents and purposes is just a re-branding of the same thing, but with it, stage racing has come in. It too is just a little more than competition cautions in the race.
NASCAR should be applauded for trying to keep up with the times, its audience and the competitors, but it seems like the system formerly known as the Chase is good. Let it be. Let competitors and teams race under the same system for multiple years in a row.
Sure, NASCAR will continue to make their rule book fatter as crew chiefs and teams find more gray area, and find new ways to make more downforce. But let’s leave the bigger rules of racing the same for awhile.
No sport should stay idle, nor stop adjusting for the time, but NASCAR is in a relatively good place. Let it be now. Let the sport, the sponsors and most importantly the fans get some consistency for a few years.