If Daytona Is Any Indication, NASCAR Has Become Unwatchable

Lets be clear, I am not a fan of the current direction in which NASCAR is headed. I am not at all in favor of the changes they made this season. This past weekend marked the start of another season and every one starts with the Daytona 500. The granddaddy of ’em all. The single most important week on the NASCAR calendar.

The truck race saw a lot of aggressive driving which lead to wrecks. If anything, the Xfinity race was even more out of control. To top it off, The Daytona 500 was more of the same; wreck after wreck made the race damn near unwatchable. Something has got to change or ratings and attendance are going to continue to drop.

NASCAR skyrocketed in popularity thanks to simple, extremely close racing. No fancy technology, just good old-fashioned American Muscle. The racing was intense and extremely entertaining. Then NASCAR introduced “The Chase” and, while not my brand of whiskey, it was okay and it did add interest in the later races of the season. Not being able to leave well enough alone, NASCAR tweaked the rules again to the bracketed format they have been using for the past few seasons.

While being worse than the original Chase it was still livable. Now this year they changed damn near everything. Now we have three sessions per race, playoff points and all sorts of complications that are just not necessary. These changes may have contributed to the carnage, delays, and wrecks we all witnessed on Sunday. So if you’re anything like me you want NASCAR to return to its roots. Go back to simpler rules and get this gimmicky crap out of the sport.

Unfortunately, I just don’t see that happening. If anything, they are going to continue pushing the rule book until NASCAR becomes something we don’t recognize. All is not lost though.

If you long for the good old days help is at hand. Last week a new documentary was launched chronicling Jeff Gordon’s first Daytona 500 victory back in 1997. Gordon was my favorite driver and couple that with this excellent documentary makes “Refuse to Lose” a must watch for any motorsport fan.

Check out the trailer below.


This is what the sport needs more of, not all of this stuff to make it seem more relevant. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that as soon as they started to mess with the formula, NASCAR has been on the decline.

Written by Chad Kennedy

Chad burst from the womb wearing a racing suit and a helmet. Chad's passion for cars is in his very DNA. His father was a gear head and passed on the tradition through owning such classics as a '66 Mustang and a '59 Corvette all while taking him to various race tracks in the area. Chad likes to wrench on his rides whenever possible, forgoing the stealership. Chad is an avid motorsports fan with particular interest in endurance/sports car racing. When not online writing for Shifting Lanes, you can find him working at the local golf course teaching people how to swing or hooning a golf cart at impossible speeds.


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