In this special pre-Christmas edition of Dave Mathers’ Monday Motormouth Blog for InsideTrackNews.com, Dave offers up his Christmas Wish List of things he’d like to receive from various sanctioning bodies.
FORMULA ONE: This one will have my most ‘wishes’!
1: Get rid of the ‘race-ruining’ stewards. Period! Full stop!!
2: Get rid of the club racing style ‘track limits.’ F1 is in the entertainment business with reputedly the ‘best drivers in the world.’ Think of how much more exciting things would be if they could race wherever they wanted. Yes, it would be a steep learning curve, but it would be VERY entertaining.
3: Get a Race Director who can actually handle the job. Charlie Whiting was the best. Masi, not so much. You’d almost think that F1 was owned by a media company. Oh, wait!
4: No working on the cars during a red flag.
5: More ‘sprint races.’ Much better than another practice session.
6: Rolling starts only on restarts, after red or yellow flags. No standing restarts.
Their 2022 season begins at Bahrain, on March 20. It will be followed by – wait for it – Saudi Arabia AGAIN on March 27. Should be fun, fun, fun.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: I don’t have a lot to ask of NASCAR.
1: In light of the world’s focus on the environment, these days, it may be time to reduce the length of the races. F1 races are about an hour and a half long and I have never heard complaints that the races were too short.
The bigger problem is the youth of today have an attention span of about half a millisecond. And if Volusia Ave. wants to attract the younger crowd, they will have to change how they do business. If one goes to a movie, these days, they are in and out in about two hours.
2: Continue the two-day format that worked so well over the last two years, instead of three days. Teams and tracks will save a lot of money. That might slow the constant complaints and perceptions that NASCAR is ‘too expensive!’
3: Try to get at least one new manufacturer into the fold. Maybe look to Europe?
4: Take the website’s focus off videos and get back to real RACE information. Most fans I know never go to nascar.com but rather they ALL use jayski.com.
The next race for the Cup series is at, wait for it, the Los Angeles Coliseum. It will be the ‘Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum,’ a non-points race February 6 on the tight little quarter-mile track.
The track could fit into the grassy area between the track and pit road at Daytona International Speedway! The points racing will begin in earnest at Daytona on Sunday, February 20 at 2:30 p.m. I can hardly wait… Bring it!
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES:
1: Pretty much the same as Cup except please, please, please keep the Cup drivers away from this series. You don’t see LeBron James playing with his old college team or Auston Matthews on the ice with his Junior A team. Let the fans cheer for the up-and-coming future stars of the sport.
Their next race – the first of the 2022 season – will be at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS:
1: Try to find a way to reduce costs for the class. Trucks are outselling cars at a rate of about 5:1 these days, so trucks are very popular.
The next race for the series is at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 18, 2022 at 7.30 p.m., their first race on next year’s schedule.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES:
1: Please get a CANADIAN webmaster. It used to be possible to follow the races lap by lap, online, but that ship has sailed. And timing is VERY critical. Get the information out now and not wait for the next day to post. Maybe have somebody apprentice with Jay Adamczyk, the BEST ever for everything NASCAR.
2: Maybe relax the rules a bit and possibly get some more entries? The APC Series is looking really good to teams AND sponsors. Bear in mind that everything is at least 25% more expensive up here in God’s country, without even considering the big differences in the dollars!!
I go back to the heydays of CASCAR, and I can recall non-qualifier races with 16 to 20 cars in them.
APC UNITED LATE MODEL SERIES:
1: This fast-growing series offers a viable, cost-effective alternative to the Pinty’s Series. Right now, it is based solely in Ontario, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it expand in the future.
With strong ownership, leadership and sponsorship it will only get better going forward. Their 2022 season opens May 21 at Sunset Speedway.
Aa few things would be nice if found under the ‘tree.’
1: Bring back the ‘Pre-Start Line,’ a line 25-feet back from the actual starting line. Nobody other than one crew member is allowed past that line. With 300” Top Fuelers, that might require making it 30 feet.
Too many people up near the line are a major distraction for the fans, especially on the TV coverage. And don’t get me started on the clowns crowding the line and the burn boxes for the Outlaw Street Car races that everybody sees on YouTube!!
I can almost guarantee that in the very near future there will be a driveline explosion (clutch, driveshaft, etc.) and somebody will get hurt.
2: Bring back the ‘Break Rule.’ If a car cannot make the next round, then the quickest loser from that round fills in. NHRA is in the entertainment business, putting on a show. But nothing is worse than one car running solo. Hard to explain to new fans, those very fans needed to grow the sport.
3: Do away with Pro Stock and replace it with Pro Mod and Factory Stock. There are LOTS of Pro Mods all over the country and they are all different (i.e., not just Camaros). Pro Stock’s ‘Best Before’ date was about 2010.
4: Try to smooth out the website. Look to dragracecentral.com for guidance. I do ladders and qualifying sheets for every race and follow the race online and on
TV filling out those ladders. Really tough to do that on the ‘house brand!’
5: No more double losers. We have seen where a pairing results in both cars getting DQ’d for reasons such as breaking out, crossing the centre line, etc. Get back to ‘First or Worse’ and the previously mentioned ‘Break Rule.’
The NHRA returns to action on the weekend of February 20 for the Winternationals at Pomona, California.
Just a couple of things for these guys.
1: Name the classes, stick with those names, and do NOT change those names for at least ten years. I have watched IMSA for well over 50 years and I still get confused. How do the new fans manage?
2: Fix the website. DEEP dives are required to get results. Put the results front and center. Put a button on top of the homepage that actually works and goes straight to the results.
Having said that, once those results are reached, their content is far better than any other sanctioning body in terms of details.
They return with the ‘Roar Before the Rolex 24’ the weekend of January 21-23. The Rolex 24 Hour follows the next weekend January 27-30.
Not a lot needed thanks to the magic touch of Roger Penske.
1: Speed Weeks (Month??) at Indy are painful; there’s no other way to describe it. I realize it is tradition, but at what cost? Teams spend a fortune to be there for nearly a month. Shorten it up to one week.
2: Have a separate, pre-race ‘talking heads’ session. NASCAR starts their races twenty minutes after their intros, but IndyCar seems to take hours for theirs!!
3: Go Hinch!! He will be great on the NBC announce team. A wonderful addition. We will, sadly, miss Paul Tracy.
They return with the ‘Streets of St. Petersburg’ on February 27 in Florida.
Until next YEAR!!