Denny Hamlin just won the Daytona 500 by the slimmest margin ever. Sounds like it was a good race. Only problem is that I didn’t watch because I’m not much of a racing fan. I’ve made a few attempts to get into it but it never sticks. The crashes are cool (if no one dies) but I don’t want to be one of those casual fans who is only looking for blood. What can we do to help the sport reach more people? Here are a few thoughts on how to fix NASCAR.
Change the track
For many folks, watching a bunch of cars make all left turns for 500 laps isn’t the most thrilling. What if each track had a different layout? More like Mario Kart. Maybe the Brickyard is now a figure eight or something crazy with a tunnel. Then we could really see the talent of the driver. Make each raceway more like a pro baseball park. Those places are all unique and have different attributes. This will also make the season more interesting as the races move from place to place. The change will create more separation between the drivers and make for some excellent racing moments. More importantly, we get to see these pro drivers make some right turns.
Add some new events
If diehards don’t want to change the track then let’s add some fresh new events to the Sprint Cup series. Like we add parallel parking. I’d love to see Jimmie Johnson try to wedge is number 48 car between an SUV and a Trader Joe’s dumpster. Winner gets points toward the Sprint Cup. Or maybe when teams come in for time trails they do the lap backwards. Make this determine pole position. Really, I just want to see the drivers use the full gear box. Park and Reverse need love too.
Go totally crazy
Add bananas and red shells from Mario Kart. Make everyone switch to a Toyota Prius and make the driver pump their own gas and change their own tires. Add traffic and potholes. Maybe they have to chug a beer every 100 laps. Wait, that could be dangerous. Do not drink and drive. Do throw banana peels at other motorists. What if NASCAR gave drivers cell phones and they had to send a text if they needed to pit? Or there was a drive-thru they had to visit (good spot for a corporate sponsor) and the driver must finish the meal while driving. You know, like we all do. Granted we don’t do it at 220 mph but then maybe they have to slow down a bit. You eat your fries and burger then you can go fast again. Or they have a really, really hot cup of coffee (more sponsorship) they have to drink while driving. Try not to spill.
I’m sure any normal race fan hates all these suggestions. That’s fair, because they like racing already. I’m trying to add stuff that will draw more eyes. Maybe we just need a second, more fun NASCAR league. With celebrity drivers. Let’s call it BADASSCAR. That’s not great. Don’t judge the new league just on that. Instead judge it on Guy Fieri driving his nacho cheese colored number 69 car as it tears through candy cane lane. Wait, I think I just invented Wacky Races.
If you’re not fast, you’re last.