Well, as promised, here’s my ‘Christmas Wish List’ for some of the sanctioning bodies, as well as the final points where available.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: It’s beyond time to reduce the lengths of the races. The ‘next generation’ has an attention span of about half a millisecond and they are turning to the hour and a half Formula One races!! Everybody will save money with shorter races.
Get rid of the ten-minute rule. Watching cars get repaired and coming back out makes for great entertainment. Let’s face it, NASCAR is NOT selling racing, they are selling entertainment.
Final points – Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell.
Most laps led – Chase Elliott, 857.
Most passes – Chase Elliott, 2,360.
Most laps completed – Michael McDowell, 9,380.
Most stage wins – Ryan Blaney, nine.
Rookie of the Year – Austin Cindric.
Next race – Sunday, February 5 – LA Coliseum.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Not much to say about a series that normally gets more entries than the top dog!!
Final Points – Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier.
Next race – Saturday, February 18 – Daytona.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: Please, please, please arrange a retirement party for Michael Waltrip. His cloying, servile style has grown wearisome!!
Final Points – Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, Chandler Smith.
Next race – Friday, February 17 – Daytona.
FORMULA ONE: Get rid of the race-ruining stewards program. Book a flight to Daytona Beach and go talk to the guys who run the NASCAR races. They know how to properly run races and do not, I repeat, do not ruin the race for the spectators the way that the stewards program does. Hire ONE imminently qualified Race Director and let him/her call the races. This ‘manage by committee’ program is a complete failure.
Get rid of the Mickey Mouse ‘Track Limits’ nonsense. You have, reportedly, the BEST drivers in the world, so let them race. If you don’t want them going off track then add gravel, curbs, ruts, bollards, whatever. If it’s paved, let ‘em race. You too are selling entertainment NOT racing.
Final Points – Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez.
Next race – March 5 – Bahrain.
NHRA: Still the most fan-friendly sanctioning body of all!! However, work is needed in the track prep department. I print the qualifying and ladders for every race and follow both online and on TV.
Nothing is more disappointing than seeing one (or both) cars go up in smoke. I also run a spreadsheet measuring the number of runs, upsets (lower qualified car wins) and loss of traction (smoke shows!!). Here are some stats!!
Top Fuel – 2022 – Upsets 32%, Smokers 39%. 2021 – 25% & 33%. 2020 – 33% & 21%. 2019 – 32% & 40%.
Funny Car – 2022 – 25% & 36%. 2021 – 30% & 32%. 2020 – 33% & 42%. 2019 – 28% & 42%.
Pro Mod – 2022 – 37% & 24%.
Pro Stock – 2022 – 26% & 11%.
For T/F and F/C, that shows that one in three pairings had traction issues. Is that acceptable?
Final Points – Top Fuel, Brittany Force. Funny Car, Ron Capps. Pro Mod, Kris Thorn. Pro Stock, Erica Enders. Pro Stock Bike, Matt Smith.
Next race – March 12, Gainesville. Pomona, the traditional season opener, is now the third race, on April 2. I guess I missed the memo on that change. Something big happening at the Fairgrounds perhaps?
INDYCAR: The series has slowly returned to its former glory under the stellar leadership of Roger Penske and will only get better going forward. Have a separate pre-race show instead of the yawn-inducing current intro.
Final Points – Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon.
Next race – March 5, St. Petersburg.
IMSA: Please, please, please STOP with all the different name changes for the classes. Settle on a name for the class(es) and stick with it. I go all the way back to the Continental at Daytona (60 years) and have seen umpteen name changes since. Why confuse the fans? Top Fuel is still Top Fuel!!
Also, your website needs help, a LOT of help. Trying to find information is VERY difficult. It may be fine for the insiders but for the average fan (and blogger!!) it is tough to find stuff.
Final points – go to IMSA.com as there are far too many drivers and classes to list them all.
Next race – January 22, ‘The Roar Before the 24′ (I think – it doesn’t say), Daytona.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES (NASCAR CANADA): My only suggestion is to be more flexible with start times. Delaware Speedway sat silent for an hour and a half while the skies darkened to the west. The Big Show can do it down south!! Think of the fans.
Final points – Marc Antoine Camirand, Kevin Lacroix, D.J. Kennington.
APC SERIES: Not much to say about this fast-growing series. Well run, well promoted and well received. Building on the standardizing of the rules at the local track level.
Final points – Late Model – J.R. Fitzpatrick, Kyle Steckly, Rick Spencer-Walt.
Super Stocks – Pete Vanderwyst, Gerrit Tiemersma, Lane Zardo.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: An entry level series not requiring a huge investment to just have fun.
Final points – Kevin Trevellin, Michael Hryniuk Jr., Chad McGlynn.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: Definitely on a roll under the new ownership group. Many changes, great upgrades and increasing car counts.
Late Model – Ray Morneau, Kyle Steckly, Connor Pritiko.
Super Stocks – Jay Doerr, Pete Vanderwyst, Trevor Collver.
V/8 Stocks – Kyle Mezenberg, Ethan Orr, Jeff Ferguson.
Bone Stocks – Jo Lawrence, Jeremiah Rabideau, Phil Givens.
MY VIEW: It has been a great year for racing this year, possibly due to our emergence from ‘COVID confinement.’ Hopefully 2023 will be even better.
Stay tuned. It has been fun. Until next year!!
– Dave Mathers