This year in NASCAR has been one of the best seasons in recent memories. I really have been enjoying the stage racing and the effects that is has had on all three majors series in NASCAR. The racing has been more aggressive, more intense and teams are working harder to prove that they are the best. One of the things I noticed is how much attendance has dropped. I was recently at the Firekeepers Casino 400 in Brooklyn, MI for an incredible race. The Center Grandstands at the Start-Finish line were pretty full but the other Grandstands were pretty empty from the videos I saw when I got home from the race. The attendance issue isn’t just an issue at Michigan. It’s happening at a lot of tracks which is not good for the sport. It’s really time that NASCAR shakes up it’s schedule and make their presence known in other places.
NASCAR holds 36 races a year. Currently the circuit travels to Daytona, Phoenix, Charlotte, Talladega, Bristol, Michigan, California, Richmond, Kansas, Texas, Martinsville, New Hampshire, Dover, and Pocono twice a year. I believe that Daytona, Talladega, Martinsville, Bristol, and Charlotte are a must for multiple races during the year. These are the hot beds for the circuit and have always been great for the sport. I personally think Kansas, New Hampshire and Michigan need to be once a year. The Monster Energy Series should run in Iowa, the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario, and the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City. This accomplishes two very important things that could help improve you the circuit. Ontario and Mexico city will allow two new markets to expand that could allow for additional sponsors, marketing and development of new drivers. Ontario and Mexico City are also Road Courses, which is something the circuit needs more of. I feel that the playoffs are not really playoffs because there is no Road Course. They have every other type of track except a Road Course. It would shake things up and make the playoffs even more exciting.
With Dale Earnhardt Jr. retiring at the end of the year I believe the sport is going to take a major hit. Next year will be the first time in forty years that that someone with the name Dale Earnhardt won’t be on the track for NASCAR. Dale Jr. really carried the torch that was thrust upon him from his fathers death. Dale Jr. has won the Most Popular Driver Award for fourteens years in a row. Earnhardt will continue run and own Jr. Motorsports which currently has Elliott Sadler, Michael Annett, Justin Allgaier, and William Byron in their stable. The best case scenario is that fans will associate these drivers with Dale Jr’s name and fully support them like they have Dale all these years. The sport is full of some great young drivers and more are being discovered all over the country. They need to show their personality, their grit and their willingness to win at all costs. It was these traits that made the sport so great in the past. If the guys want to fight then let them fight as long it’s not endangering other drivers or fans. I believe the personalities of the drivers is what is going to carry the sport forward.I believe the combination of changing the schedule, establishing new markets and letting the drivers go all out is what will help NASCAR in the future. It’s time for the Monster Energy Series to have some new energy and markets to make a monster amount of cash.