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Have NASCAR got it wrong?


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#1 jatwarks

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 19:21

Or, is it just down to the state of the world at present?

Should NASCAR have abandoned their roots in the chase for bigger audiences?

http://www.economist...rsridegetsbumpy

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#2 pizzalover

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 21:01

Or, is it just down to the state of the world at present?

Should NASCAR have abandoned their roots in the chase for bigger audiences?

http://www.economist...rsridegetsbumpy



Maybe they've all finally gone dizzy watching the cars turning the same way all the time?

#3 bigleagueslider

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:45

Or, is it just down to the state of the world at present?

Should NASCAR have abandoned their roots in the chase for bigger audiences?

http://www.economist...rsridegetsbumpy


jatwarks,

The last people I would take advice on running a business from are writers at The Economist. Most people outside the US fail to appreciate how big NASCAR racing is. Despite having over twice as many races each year (all within the US), the average race weekend attendance figures almost match those of F1. NASCAR got where it is because it markets a product that appeals to a loyal base of fans. NASCAR's success is due to a different approach than F1's. NASCAR promotes personalities and drama that its fans can relate to. F1 promotes high tech and glamor. If NASCAR were to make drastic changes to its "product", they would only end up losing fans overall.

Unfortunately, most people who do not follow NASCAR fail to appreciate the high level of competition that exists in the series. In recent history, there have been at least two former F1 world champs (J.P. Montoya and J. Villenueve) that have tried their hand at Cup racing. While Montoya is still at it, neither succeeded in even winning a Cup race, let alone a championship.

The guys running NASCAR are shrewd businessmen and they know what they are doing. They are not a bunch of dimwitted rednecks. NASCAR generates several $billion each year in revenues, and many of the top teams each bring in over $100 million in annual revenues.

Think about how silly this Economist article is. Suggesting that NASCAR abandon its roots to attract a wider following is like suggesting the London Philharmonic abandon playing outdated classical music to gain a wider audience.

regards,
slider

#4 Bob Riebe

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:25

Or, is it just down to the state of the world at present?

Should NASCAR have abandoned their roots in the chase for bigger audiences?

CART and the IRL tried that. Did not work too well.


#5 Todd

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:48

Montoya was a multiple Grand Prix winner and a championship contender, but never won a WDC. He also won the Indy 500, a CART title, and the 24 hours of Daytona twice. He does have two wins in NASCAR's top series.

#6 phoenix101

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:32

Think about how silly this Economist article is. Suggesting that NASCAR abandon its roots to attract a wider following is like suggesting the London Philharmonic abandon playing outdated classical music to gain a wider audience.


It's more silly when someone posts without reading the article. They are inquiring whether the anti-tandem-drafting rules and the manufacturer-specific bodywork are decent changes. Neither represent a particularly big departure from NASCAR's roots.

I don't hold NASCAR in particularly high esteem. They sell one product and one product only--close racing. If you ask for anything else, they pat you on the head and tell you why you should like the artificial product they create. They constantly insult their fans for wanting high-tech "European" racing, NASCAR's past success interferes with NASCAR's future success. Frankly, NASCAR bore me to tears, and their lack of imagination can only be construed as un-American. NASCAR are trying to hang on to their current TV viewership, when they could probably double it with little effort.

#7 Engineguy

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:50

Don't worry about NASCAR's fortunes. They have Danica now!. Now their cameras can follow her 17th place car 80% of the race like the DRL did in their broadcasts for the last few years!

Oh, look! Danica's in the top five! Danica's in the top five! Danica could win! It's because a dozen cars ahead of Danica pitted and Danica hasn't brought Danica's car in yet, but hey look; Danica's in the top five for now! Look at Danica go! Go, Danica, go! Danica's pitting... Danica's pitting! OK, Danica's leaving the pits! Danica's crew did a good job servicing Danica's car... Danica's back out and joins in 19th place! Let's follow Danica around!

Autosport.com's last five NASCAR headlines:
NASCAR: Danica Patrick philosophical after crash on Sprint Cup debut
NASCAR: Danica Patrick takes her first NASCAR pole in Daytona Nationwide qualifying
NASCAR: Danica Patrick crashes in NASCAR Nationwide opener after taking pole
NASCAR: NASCAR to announce name change to DANICAR Monday
NASCAR: NASCAR to drop Sprint Cup series sponsor: Series to be known as DaniCup

OK, I made up the last two. The article about the pole didn't mention if DANICAR gave her qualifying nitrous... funny how often in the past drivers get a pole at the perfect time to make a great tearjerker story or clinch a much needed sponsor. The article about Danica's Nationwide race had one sentence at the end telling who won the race.

Don't forget to watch the DANICAR DaniCup Danica 500 later today!

Edited by Engineguy, 26 February 2012 - 09:52.


#8 cheapracer

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:56

"from around $28m to back a car for a season to around $22m today"

- Pass me a tissue ...

---

Engineguy - I treat all NASCAR drivers equally and am disgusted that Danica is portrayed in a sexually discriminated manner, I provide these shots as evidence ...

Posted Image

Posted Image

- Pass me a tissue ...

Edited by cheapracer, 26 February 2012 - 09:59.


#9 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 13:00

Well, the Economist's TV figures are wrong for a start.

And yes attendance is falling the last few years. But that's what happens when you have 36 races, a bad economy, and a working class fan base(at least as far as attendance goes).

The big problem they're having right now is how difficult it is to get a season to sponsor a team for the entire year. I think the only ones at the moment are Miller Lite at Penske and Lowes at Hendrick.

More and more they're having to piece together multiple title deals to fund a team, this is the best example. http://www.jayski.co.../2012/99cup.htm This is a car that finished second in the championship last year so gets plenty of exposure. Sure it will be more expensive to sponsor because of things like driver salary, but it's also a 'works' team so will be getting manufacturer money to lighten the load.

True rate for a competitive team is about $500,000 a race or 18-20mil a year. Some teams are scraping by at 250-350 a race but you get what you pay for.

In past years as front running teams got too expensive sponsors would balk at paying full rate on a top team and spend less on a secondary team. Ie StanleyBlack&Decker tools departing Roush-Fenway and champion Kenseth to sponsor Marcos Ambrose at Petty. Now the reverse has happened. Best Buy has left Petty to sponsor Kenseth for a part season at Roush. So basically StanleyBlack&Decker spent the same or less money and got a full car at a smaller team, and Best Buy spent the same money as at a smaller team to be part at a big team. I think Best Buy is feeling pretty good right now since their car won the second Daytona qualifying race...

At the other end of the ridiculousness scale is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Because of Congressional oversight of military advertising we know the US Army is spending 500k a race on Ryan Newman's car at Stewart-Haas(last year's driver champions with Tony Stewart). We also know that the National Guard is spending 20mil a year at Hendrick to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr. for about half the season. Pepsi is putting in at least another 10mil be the sponsor for the other half of the races with their Mt Dew brand(and in past years Amp energy) so the 88 car is making a very healthy profit. Dale Jr was estimated to have made 26million last year on salary, prize money, endorsements, and merchandise.

In other words he could fund his own ride at Hendrick and still pay himself a few million a year...

NASCAR is a bit like Formula 1 in that it's a good value if you spend enough money to make it work. If you try to do it in a small way you'll never get anywhere. You'll get much more return spending tens of millions rather than single digits.

#10 cheapracer

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 13:22

NASCAR is a bit like Formula 1 in that it's a good value if you spend enough money to make it work. If you try to do it in a small way you'll never get anywhere. You'll get much more return spending tens of millions rather than single digits.


Indeed, the only "vehicle" involved now is the one in the sense of it (motor racing) making money.


#11 jatwarks

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 13:59

It's more silly when someone posts without reading the article.

Barely worth a response.

They are inquiring whether the anti-tandem-drafting rules and the manufacturer-specific bodywork are decent changes. Neither represent a particularly big departure from NASCAR's roots.

They emphasise the following;

The share prices of Speedway Motorsports and International Speedway, two operators of NASCAR tracks, fell by half between 2008 and 2011. Attendance has shrunk, as have television audiences and the value of the sport’s leading teams.

The divide between the richest and the rest is growing: a 2011 Forbes report found that Hendrick, NASCAR’s most valuable team, was worth more than three times as much as the number five team.

Not being a NASCAR fan I can't say whether the halving of the share prices of two operators, or the gravitation of sponsorship money towards the most financially sound teams, is healthy or not.

Racing series generally fail just after their most successful periods, when teams and backers have taken the maximum benefit and have nothing more to prove.

I'm not predicting the imminent fall of NASCAR, but complacency is dangerous.

#12 Bloggsworth

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 14:03

Don't worry about NASCAR's fortunes. They have Danica now!. Now their cameras can follow her 17th place car 80% of the race like the DRL did in their broadcasts for the last few years!

Oh, look! Danica's in the top five! Danica's in the top five! Danica could win! It's because a dozen cars ahead of Danica pitted and Danica hasn't brought Danica's car in yet, but hey look; Danica's in the top five for now! Look at Danica go! Go, Danica, go! Danica's pitting... Danica's pitting! OK, Danica's leaving the pits! Danica's crew did a good job servicing Danica's car... Danica's back out and joins in 19th place! Let's follow Danica around!

Autosport.com's last five NASCAR headlines:
NASCAR: Danica Patrick philosophical after crash on Sprint Cup debut
NASCAR: Danica Patrick takes her first NASCAR pole in Daytona Nationwide qualifying
NASCAR: Danica Patrick crashes in NASCAR Nationwide opener after taking pole
NASCAR: NASCAR to announce name change to DANICAR Monday
NASCAR: NASCAR to drop Sprint Cup series sponsor: Series to be known as DaniCup

OK, I made up the last two. The article about the pole didn't mention if DANICAR gave her qualifying nitrous... funny how often in the past drivers get a pole at the perfect time to make a great tearjerker story or clinch a much needed sponsor. The article about Danica's Nationwide race had one sentence at the end telling who won the race.

Don't forget to watch the DANICAR DaniCup Danica 500 later today!


You forgot to mention: Watch Danica start from pole position, lead several laps and get turfed out of the race by her team-mate Dale Earhardt Jr. Just for a bit of balance you understand...

Edited by Bloggsworth, 26 February 2012 - 14:04.


#13 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 14:06

Cole Whitt

#14 kikiturbo2

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 16:11

Engineguy - I treat all NASCAR drivers equally and am disgusted that Danica is portrayed in a sexually discriminated manner, I provide these shots as evidence ...


SHOCKING!... we need more evidence.. :)

#15 sblick

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 16:33

I see NASCARs problems as people catching up to it only being a marketing exercise and not really racing. There is very little to talk about in any way about the car. In F1 you can talk about flexi-wings and exhaust blown diffusers that keep hard core fans interested. When is the last time we have seen a technical discussion on NASCAR. Although I know the engineering can be difficult to get the gains there no one can sse it and no one knows about it until they fail tech. If Bill Elliot set the speed record at Daytona in 1988(?) at over 210 mph, and ths cars are safer why can't they start working there way up again. Why can't we have a little manufacturers battles of aero and HP. Nothing to talk about equals no interest, this loses the hard core fan who takes casual fans to races, degrading your fan base. My friends and I use to talk about NASCAR all the time and I would see a couple races a year, now, nothing. It is same thing that turned me off with Indycar. Same car every year and nothing to talk about. I think if you look at the off season forum for IndyCar and NASCAR this was the first time in a long time the Indyar forum was bigger than NASCAR. So where is the interst of the fans now? More towards IndyCar? Yes because there is more to talk about. Next year in the off season IndyCars new aero package will be the talk. What will be the NASCAR talk, will Danica win, will Dale Jr win, not to exciting. Off the track annd on the track NASCAR is pretty dull, even though as a good American I will be watching Daytona today

#16 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 16:42

NASCAR has never been about 'tech' and the hard-cores knew that. At most NASCAR is a 'car guy' series, it's not a 'look at that widget!' series. They're certainly not losing people to Indycar. Don't confuse this bulletin board, and this specific area of the forum, for being the man on the street in NASCAR terms. We are arguably the furthest thing from it. Their model is to be entertainment. F1 is competitor focused, NASCAR is customer focused. The customer is the spectator, track or TV.

And **** me, flexiwings and exhaust blown diffusers do *nothing* for the financial value of F1.



#17 cheapracer

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 17:19

And **** me, flexiwings and exhaust blown diffusers do *nothing* for the financial value of F1.


And it certainly doesn't help when they all have the same thing which is absolutely inevitable within a few races at a cost that leaves the small teams behind or out of it so what's the point? Either free it up or lock it up like NASCAR.

The downturn is obvious from 2008, there may be concerns and restructuring to suit but I doubt anyone is panicking

Cole Whitt


That was a witty comeback.

#18 Bloggsworth

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 17:22

Engineguy - I treat all NASCAR drivers equally and am disgusted that Danica is portrayed in a sexually discriminated manner, I provide these shots as evidence ...



For a half-naked woman I find her surprisingly lacking in sex appeal - Just taking your clothes off doesn't make you sexy, that comes from inside. There were thousands of women in Hollywood with better bodies than Marylin Monroe, but they were invisible beside her.

Edited by Bloggsworth, 26 February 2012 - 17:22.


#19 Bloggsworth

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 17:27

NASCAR is NASCAR, why should it be like anything else - That said, I can't watch more than a few minutes of it, but then, that applies to baseball, pool & a dozen others. I did notice that cars were running "offset" in order to cool their engines - I thought that altering the air intake was a nice pice of lateral thinking when it came to the reduction of truck & trailer running - Would that F1 could think that simply.

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#20 cheapracer

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 17:28

So where is the interest of the fans now? More towards IndyCar? Yes because there is more to talk about.


Rubens will gain Indycar more attraction than any car based commentary as will the oppressed* Danica.

* more evidence of oppression, I shed a tear as I force myself to post this but it must be done ...

Posted Image

Please send me money for the "save Danica" appeal to mylambo@Enron.com (donations of $50 or more are tax deductible).





#21 Vanishing Point

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 18:43

Check out the comments on this video.They say it all.NASCAR today has no connection whatsoever to real cars and pack racing amongst regulated cars all fitted with the same restrictors and outputs isn't real racing in which the fastest car wins at all.





#22 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 18:47

All race cars in all series race to the same restrictors, unless your tech inspectors suck.

#23 Vanishing Point

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 20:11

All race cars in all series race to the same restrictors, unless your tech inspectors suck.


That's one of the issues.The idea of NASCAR and production car racing 'should be' based on competition between production based cars in which the idea should be that the fastest car wins with no artificial limiting devices just as in the 1969 example.In the case of all cars fitted with restrictors exactly what is the object and where is the actual 'racing'?.That's even before the issue of the fact that the cars themselves have absolutely no connection whatsoever with anything that can be easily obtained by the spectators for use as/in their own road cars.

Edited by Vanishing Point, 26 February 2012 - 20:14.


#24 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 20:12

They've got far more relevance than any F1 car...

#25 Vanishing Point

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 20:30

They've got far more relevance than any F1 car...


I think 'they had' would be the better description.The whole thing now just seems more like a show than a race which car enthusiasts can relate to and aspire to in having a car that they drive to the track,that's very similar to what they are then watching under real race conditions,without artificial restrictions,just as would be the case with the road cars on which the race cars (should be/were) based on.At least that's how things stood during the better days of the 1960's from the core enthusiast followers' point of view.

By losing that core type of support and interest the series then just probably becomes subject to the unpredictable levels of support that seems to have led to the subject of the topic ?.


#26 phoenix101

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 20:37

Barely worth a response.


They emphasise the following;


Not being a NASCAR fan I can't say whether the halving of the share prices of two operators, or the gravitation of sponsorship money towards the most financially sound teams, is healthy or not.

Racing series generally fail just after their most successful periods, when teams and backers have taken the maximum benefit and have nothing more to prove.

I'm not predicting the imminent fall of NASCAR, but complacency is dangerous.


I'm confused. Did I quote you in my post? I thought I was replying to slider, who didn't read the article or who didn't understand that The Economist were insinuating NASCAR had already sold out, and now they were lost at sea, scrambling to find aesthetic upgrades. Danica Patrick is surely a part of that strategy.




#27 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 20:40

Hands up everyone who follows NASCAR regularly. Or at least pre-Economist article.

#28 Vanishing Point

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 20:50

Hands up everyone who follows NASCAR regularly. Or at least pre-Economist article.


Followed then gradually lost interest over the years as the rules and regulations went further and further away from those 1960's ideas that got me interested to start with.Now I prefer to watch 'proper' American cars winning in historic race series here like Goodwood Revival etc.I'm also sure (hope) that historic race rules don't require the use of restrictors to level all the competition and that the car I'm watching is a real production based car not a purpose built racing car.


#29 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 20:53

So you basically watch no racing at all then. Except maybe SCCA, that's about the only place where they run showroom stock anymore.

You know they only run inlet restrictors at Daytona and Talladega right? And that they do so because the speeds would be awfully high if they didn't?

#30 Vanishing Point

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 22:16

So you basically watch no racing at all then. Except maybe SCCA, that's about the only place where they run showroom stock anymore.

You know they only run inlet restrictors at Daytona and Talladega right? And that they do so because the speeds would be awfully high if they didn't?


It's probably a bit unfair to say that just because it's historic racing that it's not racing and,as in many other types of race series,I don't think that the modern ideas seem to be as good as those older ones in NASCAR etc and it's those large ovals that are/were most suited to running unrestricted cars.Whatever the issues concerning speeds NASCAR certainly seemed to be a totally different type of racing during the 1960's than that now of close packs in which no one seems to have any clear advantage at all ?.

The same issue seems to apply in Le Mans and GT race series in which the control freak regulations seem to have sanitised the level of competition between cars to the point that defeats the object of the racing which (should be) all about the fastest car wins not on who happens to be ahead after hours of close pack racing that can often just be decided on small differences in time spent on pit stops.








#31 phoenix101

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 22:45

I see NASCARs problems as people catching up to it only being a marketing exercise and not really racing.


This is generally what happens when promoters/organizers become the sanctioning body. Every decision NASCAR makes is predicated on the challenge: How can we make as much money as possible while reducing variable costs (including commercial rights payments to the teams)?

Sanctioning is governance. Traditionally-speaking, sanctioning has always been the responsibility of a not-for-profit organization who were dedicated to some greater good for society or for the industry. Unfortunately, the not-for-profits are victims of their own success. When they demonstrate a governmental competency (indirectly: revenue growth), but an indifference to profitability, the business sharks see the vulnerability, and a feeding frenzy breaks out. First it was just two-bit promoters fighting for control and organizational power, but if the sport continues to grow (i.e. F1) eventually the manufacturers get in on the act. Even the FIA are having trouble holding on to F1 after Mosley's 100-year-lease to Bernie's outfit.

I think people respected Bill France Sr. b/c he was a decent human being who used integrity and wide-reaching ambitions to create profit. Modern NASCAR is not that smart. NASCAR has realized Bill Sr's ambitions. They have no secondary plan. No ambition of anykind other than profitability. No vision but to keep spreading the sport to new markets/media while driving around in counterclockwise circles at an increasingly efficient cost-point. These people have no existential basis; therefore, no justification to live, let alone to run the world's biggest motorsport.

They appear to have no idea what to do, and they show little creative inclination, so they obsess about consolidating control and maximizing revenue b/c that's what "smart" business people do. Racing fans can only look at NASCAR and ask "why?". When the question becomes overwhelming, you simply look away and deny it even exists.

#32 Bob Riebe

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 22:50

That's one of the issues.The idea of NASCAR and production car racing 'should be' based on competition between production based cars in which the idea should be that the fastest car wins with no artificial limiting devices just as in the 1969 example.In the case of all cars fitted with restrictors exactly what is the object and where is the actual 'racing'?.That's even before the issue of the fact that the cars themselves have absolutely no connection whatsoever with anything that can be easily obtained by the spectators for use as/in their own road cars.

The heads, blocks, trannies etc. are obtainable but at greater cost with no advantage over less expensive after market items for the street.

Edited by Bob Riebe, 26 February 2012 - 22:51.


#33 phoenix101

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 23:21

The same issue seems to apply in Le Mans and GT race series in which the control freak regulations seem to have sanitised the level of competition between cars to the point that defeats the object of the racing which (should be) all about the fastest car wins not on who happens to be ahead after hours of close pack racing that can often just be decided on small differences in time spent on pit stops.


This is the poison chalice of horsepower regulations. At first it was just displacement, but organizers saw the problems with cost overrun and lack of participation. Eventually, they embraced strict horsepower regulations like air-restrictors or rev-limits. Not hard to trace the history of racing from there.

If horsepower is limited, teams want aero and downforce. Sanctioning bodies had to equalize drag and downforce, or create a performance balance to get people in. If horsepower is limited acceleration and power curve are critical. Everything goes big-bore titanium with 6-valves per cylinder and zero valve clearance. Sanctioning bodies specify components, engine layout, etc etc. If horsepower is limited handling is crucial. Mass is centralized and reduced at every available opportunity. The sanctioning body must specify center of mass, minimum weights for individual components, and placement specification for various components. Eventually, electronics enter the fray, and the sanctioning companies are often at a loss. At some point, some lazy a-hole says "**** it, let's just go spec; it's cheaper and easier, and we own the car design".

Companies like SRO and DMG realize that spec racing is another poison chalice so they concoct elaborate performance indexing. If you read about GT3 car manufacturing, people claim there aren't really any rules. The teams must start with a mass-produced car, but they can tune it almost anyway they please, with few restrictions on equipment. The SRO/FIA tweak the car with air-restrictors, weight, wings, etc until it goes the same speed as everything else. GT3 isn't too horrible (it is production racing after all), but Grand Am is "prototype" in the loosest possible sense of the word.

#34 wrighty

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 23:30

This is generally what happens when promoters/organizers become the sanctioning body. Every decision NASCAR makes is predicated on the challenge: How can we make as much money as possible while reducing variable costs (including commercial rights payments to the teams)?

Sanctioning is governance. Traditionally-speaking, sanctioning has always been the responsibility of a not-for-profit organization who were dedicated to some greater good for society or for the industry. Unfortunately, the not-for-profits are victims of their own success. When they demonstrate a governmental competency (indirectly: revenue growth), but an indifference to profitability, the business sharks see the vulnerability, and a feeding frenzy breaks out. First it was just two-bit promoters fighting for control and organizational power, but if the sport continues to grow (i.e. F1) eventually the manufacturers get in on the act. Even the FIA are having trouble holding on to F1 after Mosley's 100-year-lease to Bernie's outfit.

I think people respected Bill France Sr. b/c he was a decent human being who used integrity and wide-reaching ambitions to create profit. Modern NASCAR is not that smart. NASCAR has realized Bill Sr's ambitions. They have no secondary plan. No ambition of anykind other than profitability. No vision but to keep spreading the sport to new markets/media while driving around in counterclockwise circles at an increasingly efficient cost-point. These people have no existential basis; therefore, no justification to live, let alone to run the world's biggest motorsport.

They appear to have no idea what to do, and they show little creative inclination, so they obsess about consolidating control and maximizing revenue b/c that's what "smart" business people do. Racing fans can only look at NASCAR and ask "why?". When the question becomes overwhelming, you simply look away and deny it even exists.


i have to say this is one of the most inept and ridiculous posts i've seen on this forum, and when you consider some of the stuff that gets posted on RC then the bar is pretty high. For starters, i can't think (off the top of my head anyway) of ANY sanctioning body for ANY sport where their ethos is solely as a not-for-profit organisation....all sanctioning bodies listen to their competitors and promoters and fans and, if they have any sense at least, they take those opinions on board as they do their best to develop the series on technical, sporting and financial grounds that they oversee....is that so hard for you to appreciate? All sanctioning bodies, promoters and competitors realise that it is better to ensure you have a series that is technically and financially stable, and then the fans get a better product as a result, because in the end the fan's money is as important to motorsport as the sponsorship money is, at least in longer-term as a sport considers its sustainability in the leisure market.
The irony is that your 'No vision but to keep spreading the sport to new markets/media while driving around in counterclockwise circles at an increasingly efficient cost-point.' diatribe could more happily sit on the shoulders of F1 than it ever would on oval racing in general, never mind on NASCAR's shoulders. Oval racing exists on every continent, but that isn't at the behest of NASCAR.....their input is solely restricted to the American continent and their sanction support of one series in Europe, but that series already had FIA accreditation anyway, so rather than NASCAR attempting to force their brand on an area, they are trying to help an isolated series have a more 'family' identity......they're evil and sinister and self-serving, that NASCAR lot.....

You may not have seen the coverage of the 3-day Daytona test that NASCAR conducted last month, but it was targetted to try and cure the oft-maligned (by the fans....remember them?) pair drafting, and at the start of each day NASCAR had prepared another set of modifications for the teams to try....they told the teams to be on track at certain times and to try certain things that could be studied, and then further modifications could be made.....if this had been F1, that kind of development couldn't have happened in 3 years, never mind 3 days, but that's because NASCAR and the teams all know that if the fans walk away then they're f**ked.
Oval racing, my dear, happens everywhere and in grass-roots terms it's very very successful......For every 'racing fan that looks at NASCAR and asks "why?"' there's another who looks at that racing fan and asks 'why are you such a self-centred narrow-minded prat?'

NASCAR and lots of other oval racing series all around the world are not having the best of times right now, but they know that the fans are the centre of their success. I only wish you could ever hope to attain that kind of wisdom.....shall we talk about your existential basis and justification to live? what exactly do you bring to any 'motorsport progress' discussions?

#35 Engineguy

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 23:36

... You know they only run inlet restrictors at Daytona and Talladega right? ...


Not entirely true. They only run the restrictor plates with pinky finger throttle bores at Daytona and Talladega as you said, but the mandated throttle body they run everywhere else is smaller/fewer than one would use if the tech inspectors weren't looking. Each manufacturer's cylinder head castings have to be approved by NASCAR too... another form of induction restriction that sorta goes unseen by the public. That said, they've got it about right... they're remarkably dependable, and they'd have "too fast" problems at some of the 1.5 and 2 mile tracks if they let the boys open up the induction (let alone add 16 more valves to make a proper engine).


#36 phoenix101

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:49

For starters, i can't think (off the top of my head anyway) of ANY sanctioning body for ANY sport where their ethos is solely as a not-for-profit organisation....all sanctioning bodies listen to their competitors and promoters and fans and, if they have any sense at least, they take those opinions on board as they do their best to develop the series on technical, sporting and financial grounds that they oversee....is that so hard for you to appreciate?


No it isn't. As a matter of fact, I just said that not-for-profit sanctioning institutions (FIA, FIM, AMA if you can't think of any) have traditionally taken that approach--deferring to the greater good of the industry, competitors, or society-at-large (the fans). Shortly after, I typed that sanctioning bodies have been acrimoniously dispatched by promoters and organizers (some necessarily dispatched). The question is whether or not you can appreciate the difference between not-for-profit membership-oriented sanctioning bodies and profit-driven commercial rights organizations who control the rulebook.

The battle between these factions (and the teams/manufacturers) has been an indelible part of motorsport, and I'm certainly not the first person to suggest that neither promoters nor the teams should exert direct control over the rulebook. Your ignorance to the fact, particularly in the guise of normative empiricism, is not terribly amusing. Furthermore, you seem to think that F1's mismanagement somehow makes NASCAR look more intelligent.

No one cares that you are a NASCAR fanboy. What people notice is that you are not aware of the polarizing effect NASCAR has on motorsports fans. I know no one cares that I am a NASCAR hater, hence I speak about the underlying existential, systemic, or structural issues that percolate to the surface and ultimately damage the sport for fans and business-interests alike. In this particular instance, I'm not that concerned with the specific structure as much as I am concerned that commercially oriented companies tend to manage motorsports in a perverse way. Bernie has damn near ruined F1 by selling it to private equity firms who are over-leveraged. Thankfully, NASCAR answers to no one else, but, since NASCAR is also a commercially dominated institution, and they make many of the same decisions anyway.

Edited by phoenix101, 27 February 2012 - 01:55.


#37 cheapracer

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:07

This is the poison chalice of horsepower regulations.......


Actually the way they have gone about it has made current mass production V8's a whole lot better engine in every way so there has been a direct and very positive result. And they haven't regulated HP at all, you are free to obtain whatever HP you can within the engine rules - is there a professional race class existing today that doesn't have engine rules?

The heads, blocks, trannies etc. are obtainable but at greater cost with no advantage over less expensive after market items for the street.


Err you just nominated almost every race series in the world! (don't know if to put a laugh or cry emotion after that one ...)


Hands up everyone who follows NASCAR regularly. Or at least pre-Economist article.


I follow it (and like/respect it) within the bounds of a semi-casual fan. Watkins Glen last year would be on my list of best races watched in 2011, didn't hurt that Ambrose won of course.

I'm confused. Did I quote you in my post? I thought I was replying to slider,


Then use the PM function otherwise expect response from others in a public forum.


Check out the comments on this video.They say it all.NASCAR today has no connection whatsoever to real cars and pack racing amongst regulated cars all fitted with the same restrictors and outputs isn't real racing in which the fastest car wins at all.


So there should be more Jag V12's?


I have to say this is one of the most inept and ridiculous posts i've seen on this forum,


- "bizzare" crossed my mind....

Edited by cheapracer, 27 February 2012 - 06:13.


#38 jatwarks

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:36

I'm confused. Did I quote you in my post? I thought I was replying to slider, who didn't read the article or who didn't understand that The Economist were insinuating NASCAR had already sold out, and now they were lost at sea, scrambling to find aesthetic upgrades. Danica Patrick is surely a part of that strategy.

Sorry, my mistake.

Truly ironic that I made the mistake by not reading the quote !

#39 phoenix101

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:50

Actually the way they have gone about it has made current mass production V8's a whole lot better engine in every way so there has been a direct and very positive result. And they haven't regulated HP at all, you are free to obtain whatever HP you can within the engine rules


Don't play semantics. Auto racing, NASCAR in particular, has regulations to tightly restrict horsepower. In most circumstances, the major teams have variations in the power curve that are just a few percentage points. The horsepower ceiling, and the small variance between major teams, are intentionally engineered into the regulations. Achieving performance parity, without BoP, requires the strict regulations sblick was lamenting.

No, there is not an auto series today that doesn't have engine rules. More importantly, there is not an auto series today that does not have strict horsepower controls. MotoGP is the last international series without strict horsepower regulations (fuel limits), but even that situation is in jeopardy.

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#40 cheapracer

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:35

Auto racing, NASCAR in particular, has regulations to tightly restrict horsepower.


......... and yet they will find more horsepower this year as they do every year and has paid off handsomely for road car engines, as I mentioned.

The moment you rule something like "Maximum engine capacity: ****cc" which every professional and most amateur forms of motorised sport in the world have, you are regulating horsepower.

NASCAR is no different and I kind of miss the big "427cu" etc. blazoned across the bonnets.

Edited by cheapracer, 27 February 2012 - 10:36.


#41 Vanishing Point

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 13:46

This is the poison chalice of horsepower regulations. At first it was just displacement, but organizers saw the problems with cost overrun and lack of participation. Eventually, they embraced strict horsepower regulations like air-restrictors or rev-limits. Not hard to trace the history of racing from there.

If horsepower is limited, teams want aero and downforce. Sanctioning bodies had to equalize drag and downforce, or create a performance balance to get people in. If horsepower is limited acceleration and power curve are critical. Everything goes big-bore titanium with 6-valves per cylinder and zero valve clearance. Sanctioning bodies specify components, engine layout, etc etc. If horsepower is limited handling is crucial. Mass is centralized and reduced at every available opportunity. The sanctioning body must specify center of mass, minimum weights for individual components, and placement specification for various components. Eventually, electronics enter the fray, and the sanctioning companies are often at a loss. At some point, some lazy a-hole says "**** it, let's just go spec; it's cheaper and easier, and we own the car design".

Companies like SRO and DMG realize that spec racing is another poison chalice so they concoct elaborate performance indexing. If you read about GT3 car manufacturing, people claim there aren't really any rules. The teams must start with a mass-produced car, but they can tune it almost anyway they please, with few restrictions on equipment. The SRO/FIA tweak the car with air-restrictors, weight, wings, etc until it goes the same speed as everything else. GT3 isn't too horrible (it is production racing after all), but Grand Am is "prototype" in the loosest possible sense of the word.


Within that is contained most the modern day pc ideas of 'racing' that makes anyone with any sense turn their back on the sport.If the object of the excercise is to make 'everything go the same speed as everything else' one way or another,which certainly seems to be the case,then how can that possibly be 'racing' in the sense of manufacturers putting their products against each other in a race environment.

There are no rules on the road in which X manufacturer can run whingeing to any 'rule makers' because their latest product has just been blown out of the water by Y manufacturer's latest idea for a faster car with a bigger,better,more powerful engine so why should that not be the case when things get transferred into the race competition environment ??.The idea of making everything run at the same,or as close as makes no real difference,speed just defeats the whole object of 'racing'.The object of the excercise,in this case,'should be' to race and to win using whatever cars and componentry are available from the manufacturers' stock lists.Without any interference by jobsworth rule makers who's idea of racing is to see a load of regulated cars all driving around a 'race' track in a group at more or less the same speed.

Edited by Vanishing Point, 27 February 2012 - 13:59.


#42 Vanishing Point

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 13:56

......... and yet they will find more horsepower this year as they do every year and has paid off handsomely for road car engines, as I mentioned.

The moment you rule something like "Maximum engine capacity: ****cc" which every professional and most amateur forms of motorised sport in the world have, you are regulating horsepower.

NASCAR is no different and I kind of miss the big "427cu" etc. blazoned across the bonnets.


Series like NASCAR and and production saloon car racing certainly didn't have any rules whatsoever concerning maximum engine capacity or restrictors etc etc which is why in the 1960's it was possible to go and watch 3.8 Litre Jaguars getting beat by 7 Litre Galaxies in saloon car racing just like those unregulated battles in NASCAR between the Ford 429 and the MOPAR 426 Hemis .No one whinged and no one complained because that's exactly what everyone went to see.It's called progress.

As I've said if 'real racing' fans want to see something similar now they've just got the historic racing series left.It's no surprise therefore that interest in historic racing is increasing as those with any sense turn their backs on modern day over regulated so called 'racing'.

Edited by Vanishing Point, 27 February 2012 - 13:58.


#43 ray b

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 14:38

nastycar needs to get in the 21st century

and allow euro and jap cars in too

lots of RWD V8 cars like M-B BMW jag and the up market japs
that should be racing

go to a 4 cam 4 valve 4.5L motor with 10k rev limit
all the majors have one or close except mopar [fiat can build one]

but base the cars not on kits with decals
and old teck pushrods v8's
but the real as sold street cars with mods
maybe play with spoiler size and angles
want to win build a better street car base

#44 kikiturbo2

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 14:43

want to win build a better street car base



sorry to say, but that will not happen again.. :cry:

#45 Bob Riebe

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 17:25

Don't play semantics. Auto racing, NASCAR in particular, has regulations to tightly restrict horsepower.

That is your opinion and only your opinon.
If keeping up in horse power, with the competition, was not a concern, Chevy, Dodge and Ford would not bring out new cylinder heads and blocks as often as they have.

#46 Bob Riebe

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 17:36

Series like NASCAR and and production saloon car racing certainly didn't have any rules whatsoever concerning maximum engine capacity or restrictors etc etc which is why in the 1960's it was possible to go and watch 3.8 Litre Jaguars getting beat by 7 Litre Galaxies in saloon car racing just like those unregulated battles in NASCAR between the Ford 429 and the MOPAR 426 Hemis .No one whinged and no one complained because that's exactly what everyone went to see.It's called progress.

As I've said if 'real racing' fans want to see something similar now they've just got the historic racing series left.It's no surprise therefore that interest in historic racing is increasing as those with any sense turn their backs on modern day over regulated so called 'racing'.

Get your facts straight.

NASCAR engine rules until the seventies were based strictly on production available homologated engines. To equalize different production sizes, for many years NASCAR had an X pounds per inch cubed rule, which was supposed to allow smaller engines a chance against larger ones.
Through the entire big-block era NASCAR had an absolute maximum inch cubed limit of 430 Inches Cubed.

During the sixties the factories started using the pound per inch limit to break the supposed "spirit" of the rules which is why for a time 405 inches cubed was being used.

The other extremely successful production saloon series in the U.S. had a strict homologation and inch cubed limit of 305 inches, during its best known years.

Edited by Bob Riebe, 27 February 2012 - 17:37.


#47 Bob Riebe

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 17:44

nastycar needs to get in the 21st century

and allow euro and jap cars in too

lots of RWD V8 cars like M-B BMW jag and the up market japs
that should be racing

go to a 4 cam 4 valve 4.5L motor with 10k rev limit
all the majors have one or close except mopar [fiat can build one]

but base the cars not on kits with decals
and old teck pushrods v8's
but the real as sold street cars with mods
maybe play with spoiler size and angles
want to win build a better street car base

The sad thing is, both Nissan and Toyota had OHV push-rod engines for years, obviously Rolls Royce and Bentley did.

In the early years a Jaguar won a NASCAR race, too bad either Big Bill France kept them out, or the "foreign" car companies did not see any value at trying to compete in the U.S. stock-car series.

Although as for years NASCAR was just another regional series among a multitude of stock-car racing sanctions, I would say probably apathy on the part of non-U.S. car companies was reason more than being kept out.

A two-valve verses four-valve equalization should not be too hard as NASCAR knows a lot about restrictor plates if one gets to far ahead.

Edited by Bob Riebe, 27 February 2012 - 21:40.


#48 phoenix101

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 20:19

Within that is contained most the modern day pc ideas of 'racing' that makes anyone with any sense turn their back on the sport. If the object of the excercise is to make 'everything go the same speed as everything else' one way or another,which certainly seems to be the case,then how can that possibly be 'racing' in the sense of manufacturers putting their products against each other in a race environment.

There are no rules on the road in which X manufacturer can run whingeing to any 'rule makers' because their latest product has just been blown out of the water by Y manufacturer's latest idea for a faster car with a bigger,better,more powerful engine so why should that not be the case when things get transferred into the race competition environment ??.The idea of making everything run at the same,or as close as makes no real difference,speed just defeats the whole object of 'racing'.The object of the excercise,in this case,'should be' to race and to win using whatever cars and componentry are available from the manufacturers' stock lists.Without any interference by jobsworth rule makers who's idea of racing is to see a load of regulated cars all driving around a 'race' track in a group at more or less the same speed.


I agree, but I see the situation differently. In the production market, fans/consumers can go to the government and whinge about lack of competition in the marketplace. Regulators or sanctioning bodies can respond to stimulate competition.

I don't mind that the organizers are trying to create rules systems to enhance competition. I care that they have created some bad sanctioning systems, but they turn a blind eye to the consequences. If fans point out the consequences, sanctioning bodies become righteously indignant. If criticism persists, rules-makers eventually blame the fans/media for creating discord, and they attempt to control media outlets and public discourse.

In the case of NASCAR, almost everything is spec so sanctioning is a bit of a misnomer. It's closer to product development. I accept that NASCAR have decided to swallow the blue pill, but they've used it to do nothing. NASCAR is still 4,000lb steel tube-frame production prototypes with heavily regulated 358ci pushrod V8s driving in counterclockwise circles for 3 hours. The product is unnecessarily weak.

#49 jatwarks

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:54

MotoGP is the last international series without strict horsepower regulations (fuel limits), but even that situation is in jeopardy.

MotoGP has had an allocated maximum fuel capacity for several seasons now, which limits maximum horsepower during races.

It's the only thing that stops Honda completely dominating the series. Although, if Ducati had sorted out their chassis they would probably match Honda on maximum BHP, if not usable maximum BHP!

#50 cheapracer

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:40

nastycar needs to get in the 21st century

and allow euro and jap cars in too


Yeah, no - they did tried that in Australia, you could hear the crickets at the race tracks.

They now are back even tighter in makes than ever before with only 2 Manufacturers, ie; GM Vs Ford, yet it is the most popular it has ever been and yet Japanese are regulars at the top of the real car sales charts.

People care what they drive daily and they care what they see racing and apparently the 2 are not as closely related as one might think.

NASCAR is based on big V8 iron grunt and thats what the fans expect to see, ever considered the current fall may be in part to Toyota being there?