Debating Bristol, a regular season champion, and Cup dates in Montreal or Iowa
NASCAR north of the border. (ASP, Inc.)
Since starting the Backseat Drivers Fan Council last season, there have been some questions that members were nearly split on but perhaps not as close as one of the questions in this week’s survey. And another question, which had three possible answers, was nearly as close in the final results.
Members said they had some tough choices on some issues. Check out how they answered them:
Iowa or Montreal? Fan Council members were asked if they could choose adding a Cup race at either Iowa or Montreal, which track would they select:
50.3 percent chose Montreal
49.7 percent chose Iowa
What Fan Council members said:
• This was tough since I love road course racing but the calendar lacks short tracks and I haven’t watched a boring Iowa race yet.
• After seeing the last Cup race at Watkins Glen and the Nationwide race at Montreal, Montreal needs to be on the schedule and possibly even a Chase race … mix up the Chase with some different tracks other than the cookie cutters that some guys are always good at. Give the boys a challenge!!
• Iowa, hands down. The NNS races that have been there have been outstanding. Can you imagine how much better it will be with all the Cup drivers?
• Montreal, for numerous reasons: 1. Brings Sprint Cup into Canadian market. 2. The racing is phenomenal there! 3. The Chase needs a road course!
• I attended the very first Nationwide race at Iowa. It's a fantastic track with great racing. It's a great place for those of us in the true Midwest whose only other track is Kansas. Would love to see Iowa get a Cup race some day.
• Let's make NASCAR Sprint Cup a bit more international ... even if it's only baby steps. I also think you will have a larger crowd in Montreal than in Iowa.
• NASCAR is a USA origination — let’s not put it in another country. Enough stuff has been sent to other countries, keep the money and jobs in the USA!
• This was a really tough decision as I think either race would be great. My love of Canada won me over. I also think Canada is starved for NASCAR (if my Twitter followers are any indication!) and adding a Cup race there would bring in tons of fans.
• While the racing at Montreal and the road courses is excellent, it has gotten to the point where the races are almost as random as a restrictor-plate race. NASCAR is in desperate need of more short tracks, so Iowa is a much better choice.
• Tough one because I live a half hour from the Iowa Speedway, but I honestly think NASCAR needs a road course in the Chase before Iowa needs a Sprint Cup race.
• Iowa has been a great venue for the Trucks and Nationwide. As I learned last week, (Iowa) has the most race tracks of any state! And the fans have packed the place. Time to reward the loyal fans in the seats, not behind the TVs.
• The sport needs more road courses!! I'd love it if NASCAR could move away from the oval image it has had for YEARS. Montreal would be PERFECT. The race fans are very excited every time the Nationwide Series comes, there's a great crowd, and it's a great market that is unserved. Plus Montreal produces great racing. It works out on both sides for sure.
Racing in NASCAR's Colosseum. (ASP, Inc.)
What will happen this weekend at Bristol? This week marks the Cup Series’ first visit since changes were made to Bristol to narrow the groove and create closer racing. Fan Council members were asked what kind of impact the track change would have in Saturday night’s race:
39.7 percent said the change will work and provide great, tight racing 30.1 percent said the change will have a minimal impact 30.1 percent said the change will ruin the racing and turn it into a crashfest
What Fan Council members said:
• Some say that side-by-side racing at Bristol is “real racing.” However, what made Bristol more appealing than other tracks were the tempers and contact not many others offered. While the three-wide racing at Bristol might have been good, it wasn't what made Bristol great. It was like Bristol became a mini 1.5-mile track. These changes will hopefully make the half-mile race like a half-mile again.
• As a Bristol resident and longtime season ticket holder, I am praying the track changes bring back the intensity of the old Bristol. That doesn't mean I want huge wrecks, but rather the beating and banging that made Bristol so unique and exciting in the past.
• Bumping and beating is the polite way of saying "lots of crashes.” I'm not excited about that, but I do love it when they race close to each other. I hope the racing is good and that they can pass and move around without just slamming into one another the whole race.
• I don't think it'll turn it back to the “old” Bristol, but there may be more tight racing and side-by-side racing. I liked the racing the “new” Bristol provided and will be disappointed if it's a wreckfest. That isn't racing.
• Since I am going to the race and it's a bucketlist item for me, I want bumping and beating and an exciting race with my favorite driver as the winner!
• I'm not expecting much. All this talk about it makes me think we are all going to be very disappointed in the race.
• The concept that Bristol “had to change” was disheartening to anyone who loves racing for the sake of racing. I guess the folks who like wreckin’ more than racin’ won.
• If there's not helmet throwing, I'm never watching a race at Bristol again.
• The Chase has ruined Bristol. Because of the proximity to the Chase cut-off, drivers are hesitant of attacking because they might get wrecked. The back markers are afraid to challenge contenders as they don't want to be the one that causes a top driver to miss the Chase.
• The laws of unintended circumstances will reign supreme and spoil everyone's expectations.
What should the points leader after Richmond receive for winning the regular season title?
35.5 percent said ensure that they start atop the reset point standings
26.4 percent said “other”
23.4 percent said nothing, they’re in the Chase and that’s enough
7.7 percent said pay them at least $1 million
7.0 percent said give them a trophy
What Fan Council members said:
• I always thought that the person leading the points at the end of the regular season should be first in points when the Chase starts. I know that we wanted wins to matter, but the person in first when it starts should stay there.
• The winners of the regular season in other sports get home field advantage. Maybe give the leader the first pit stall choice for the Chase or something along those lines.
• What does an NFL team get for winning there division? A hat and shirt (that) says “AFC South Champions.” The New York Giants barely made the playoffs last year and won the Super Bowl. Do we remember where the Packers finished? And they had the best regular season record! Or who barely made the Chase and went on to win five out of 10 races and won the title. Oh that's right Tony Stewart ... we only race/play to win the TITLE!!!!
• Race wins need to be rewarded, so guaranteeing the regular season winner the Chase lead, despite possibly having no or only one win, doesn't work. However, having no reward for the points leader is ridiculous. The points leader deserves about a five-point bonus — enough to matter but not enough to disqualify meaning for winning races.
• Drivers get three points per win in the first 26 in the seeding, I would give the points leader three points as well.
• The Chase has rendered this position completely, utterly and totally meaningless. Why recognize something of no significance whatsoever?
• I'd like to see them at least get to stay at the top of the standings and receive a trophy. I don't think any of those drivers needs another million bucks.
Grade Sunday’s Cup race at Michigan
62.3 percent called it Good 30.6 percent called it Great 6.1 percent called it Fair 1.0 percent called it Poor
What Fan Council members said:
• A lot of drama made this one of the best 2-mile races in the last few years. The blown engines, racing for the lead and conflict between the 88 (who did outstanding in a backup car) and 24 made the race very entertaining.
• The racing at MIS was actually good enough to change my dad's mind about going there. He's always been in the camp that the racing wasn't good enough to warrant going, but he said it was exciting enough to make him want to go to the track for a race. We were both born in Michigan, but live in Florida. It’s on my bucketlist is to go to every track on the NASCAR schedule before I die, so I want to get to a MIS race sometime in the future.
• Strategy (both fuel and track), lead changes, unforeseen mechanical issues, not knowing who was going to win until the checkers fell — all of which makes a great race.
• One of the best races Michigan has ever had. The repave worked well!
• Wow, a race I can rate as “great!” No phantom cautions, no red flags not thrown when they should have been, no long stretches of boredom! Plenty of good, side-by-side action. Other than my favorite driver losing so many laps because of a broken valve spring, I can't think of much to complain about. So happy for Greg Biffle, in my opinion he's one of the most underrated drivers out there.
• Kudos to Goodyear for bringing back a better tire that made for great racing!!
• Although the racing action wasn't that great, the real suspense was wondering which Hendrick engine would have an issue.
• Michigan is typically boring, and the only reason that I give it a “fair” was Mark Martin's odd crash and the last three laps. How does Michigan have two races? Who cares that it is close to Detroit? Detroit is not a big deal anymore.
• I was at MIS. The crowd was up and there was a buzz at the track I haven't seen since the early 2000s. I think the Dale Jr. factor was in place since he won in June. It was one of the best races I've seen at MIS and the track is top notch. Roger Curtis and the MIS gang deserves a high five. GREAT WEEKEND.
The Backseat Drivers Fan Council was founded and is administered by Dustin Long. Fans can join by sending Dustin an email at email@example.com.
Please include the following information:
Name, city, state, Twitter name, e-mail address and favorite driver.