American racing, both NASCAR and IndyCar may very well be the best on the planet right now. NASCAR anyone in the top 20 have a shot at winning and, so far, in 15 races there have been 10 different winners. In IndyCar, there have ben 8 race winners in 11 races.
(I say 15 due to the fact that the Quicken Loans 400 has been rain delayed more than an outdoor electrician’s convention in South Florida during a storm. It has now been called giving Kurt Busch his second win of the year.)
Compare this to Formula One with 3 winners in 7 races, which may seem competitive but is really among two teams, Ferrari and Mercedes. 2015 will be a major Mercedes rout. Ferrari won’t catch up this year. Scratch the word competitive from F1 this year.
What this means is that, despite the ludicrous cries of the villagers, NASCAR is more competitive than it’s ever been. It is poised to become even more competitive at Kentucky where more rules changes, so it’s being touted, come into effect. Namely less down-force.
When you put more control back into the drivers hands you naturally discover who can drive a racing car at this high level. So far, they seem to be doing a great job of mixing it up just fine. On the other hand, the drivers want more.
According to Carl Edwards, a long-time proponent of less down-force: “I’d be in favor of anything that makes the cars able to race around each other and to put more of the speed into the drivers hands,” Edwards said. “I know NASCAR is all for the same thing. Everybody wants this thing to be the best possible show for the fans and I don’t think NASCAR is scared to make changes.
“I think it’s really cool that they’ve been talking with the drivers more, they’ve been more involved with it and without knowing really the details, I think we’re heading in the right direction. I have a sense that there will be some neat things coming.”
What more do the NASCAR fans want? The cars leaping through fiery hoops on the straights? Humpy wheeler would surely approve, but anything other than bringing the cars back down to the wheelman’s control is not in NASCAR’s long-term interest.
The more competitive the better. NASCAR needs to stand out among the myriad of leisure decisions American sports fans have at their disposal. So far, the general press has been kind to the sport giving it it’s due.
The one thing that has everyone nervous at the moment is NASCAR floating another balloon revealing the possibility of tailoring the aerodynamics to each individual racing track. One only hopes that they give the lower down-force option a solid chance.
Rushing something that has an obvious and definite complexity to it is tantamount to the recent legislative shenanigans of our esteemed Congress.
I sincerely hope that NASCAR implements the changes at Kentucky, takes stock over the next few races on different style tracks and then makes a decision on tailored aerodynamics.
The last thing we want to see is a repeat of IndyCar’s first few races with Frankenstein add-ons. This is NASCAR and it should remain as simple as possible.
That is what breeds competition, that’s what shows whose got what.