My reply to “Fired Up Friday” on the daily Sirius-XM satellite radio show The Morning Drive with Mike Bagley and Pete Pistone. Because of work I don’t have time to call in every week but I will respond on here! Comments to the blog are more than welcome!
Side Note: Actually this week the morning drive is with Nate Ryan and Dustin Long.
FUF #1: What will have the biggest impact in 2013 besides the new car?
The new qualifying rule. Not because its going to cause an A level driver or probably even a B level driver to go home, but because it does add a ton of excitement to the C level. And more importantly it has the potential to single handily mold the future landscape of the sport. Its effect on “start and park” teams, good or bad, will change the future teams coming into this sport. If it negatively effects the “start and park” guys then look for all new team growth to be killed for the most part. If it positively effects the “start and park” guys(which I don’t see it doing, the best we can hope for is a neutral effect) then we could see a growth in new teams.
FUF #2: What is one way NASCAR can improve viewership among the fans?
I don’t believe there is any one thing they can do that will make a night and day difference or that this is something that really needs a lot of time spent on it. Fans are watching the races on their phones, tablets and computers. Following the race on Twitter and Facebook The way people watch and get their racing has changed, I don’t think bad ratings are an accurate reading of how many people are watching the race anymore. The racing is pretty good, the excitement is defiantly there. Shorting some of the 500 mile races up to 400 miles might help a little bit but its not the answer. I think the only thing that does is give more of a “big game” feel to the 500 mile races that are left. If anything a total revamp of the T.V. coverage would help more than anything because lets face it, its pretty stale. Fox is doing the same stuff it did when it came into the sport back in 2001.TNT’s coverage is unique but still not the greatest. Personally I like ESPN’s coverage the best but even its gotten dull over the years. Start with full time side by side coverage and go from there. Mix in plenty of social media aspects and really go after the younger crowd with your coverage. That, if anything will help the ratings.
FUF #3: What team or driver has to step it up the most heading into the 2013 season?
It has to be Chip Ganassi/Earnhardt/DEI whatever they are calling it now a days racing. McMurray has been hit or miss, more miss than hit lately. Ganassi has proven once he is not afraid to let McMurray walk away. Montoya is a big name but lets face it, if he doesn’t “get it” by now he’s probably not going to. But with Target reportedly firmly behind Montoya he may be secure for a year or two more. But McMurray is defiantly on the hot seat. There are WAY too many hot young drivers hunting for a Cup ride. If McMurray isn’t in the Chase this year I think he is looking for a 2014 ride.