Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NASCARs (Or TVs) 2015 Rule Package

While we're in the midst of experiencing the new elimination race rules package for The Chase for the Cup we find ourselves looking at the new rules for the 2015 NASCAR race season. In the meantime, with regards to the elimination rounds, we wait and see if any solid contenders do not get eliminated by bad luck and undeserving drivers get to the front on sheer luck.

Side Thought: I heard a funny statement the other day on a radio program where where someone asked why half the field isn't allowed to contest for the Chase for the Cup. The answer was that half the field would devalue The Chase.  Where as 37% of the field (16 teams) does not?

But I digress.

NASCAR announced new rules for the upcoming 2015 season, rather than letting this year's new rule package settle out for a few racing seasons.

Some of the new rules include restricted testing.

--Only NASCAR or Goodyear can now conduct tests. Any team caught testing outside of this allowance will be penalized 150 points, a minimum $150,000 fine and a six-week suspension for the crew chief and other crew members.

Now, rather than testing for the Daytona 500, teams will be doing promotional tours.

--Daytona qualifying has its own change, where the front row will now be set via group qualifying sessions rather than single-car efforts.

--NASCAR is reducing horsepower from 850 to 725.

--NASCAR is cutting down the rear spoiler from 7.25 to 6 inches.

(These last two points are another attempt to create green flag passing. Apparently they haven't noticed that changes like this don't necessarily work.)

--Rain tires will now be used at Sonoma and Watkins Glen in the Sprint Cup Series.

--In qualifying, it has been noted that teams were always trying to time when to do their hot lap during the new sessions.  NASCAR will be shortening qualifying sessions to try and eliminate that.


I am not sure about you, but over the years they continue to improve the competitive nature of the sport by making so many changes, like the ones above.

And yet each year, someone or two always stands out above the rest and dominates the new rules. It's a never ending battle where in a competitive sport, someone will always rise to the top and then NASCAR will try to equalize the field.

And yet, it never really seems to work. There will always be someone. Unless they put cost caps on teams to equal the budget of the least funded team, rules will be rules and nothing more.

Over the last few years, there's been a great car package that has created some pretty close checkered flag moments between competitors.  (With the exception of restrictor plate races, where their changes have created the scenario that who ever is our front with a few to go, will stay out there.) 

But to go and to continue and tweak things while teams are still acclimating to the changes that were implemented this year... feels like the networks are pulling the strings around the sport, not the guys who loved leaving well enough alone for many a decade.

But that's just me.

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