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09/26/2010

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It's a nice idea for NASCAR but I doubt there's the interest to make it worthwhile. Europeans just see it as a bunch of rednecks driving in circles for hours. Now, you could just as easily (as Penske did) turn their beloved F1 around on them and say it's just a procession of overpaid primadonnas driving in a procession for two hours. But the fact remains I only know of three people (myself included) in the UK who'd take the time to go and see a NASCAR race here.

Yup, NASCAR could use a lot of new ideas and irony of ironies, that medal system Bernie proposes would fit better in NASCAR than F1 simply because there are more teams and drivers capable of winning. In F1 you would automatically see a very defined #1 and #2 driver system as teams would promote their ace to win at all costs. Wonder if Felipe Massa would like this idea or Mark Webber (who will be a #2 driver next year at RB regardless of whether he becomes F1 champ or not; that is if Flavio Briatore does not work his sleazy wizardry on behalf of Mark to transfer Webber to Mercedes).

I am sure many have heard of the MSC rumors about him being replaced at seasons end despite denials. If in fact he sticks around and they truly do build the car around him then Ross Brawn must be dilusional. And I very much doubt Ross is. Just the opposite in fact. I cannot see him putting his design resources into an elder driver when his teammate Rosberg is quietly is having a great season (5th place yesterday) with nary a mention.

One thing Schumacher had going for him in years past was this reputation of ruthlessness to the point of psyching other drivers out on and off the track. As MSC has tangled with just about every mid pack and back marker and embarassed himself more than a few times, I think his intimidation factor is lost.

A medal system in F1 is never going to happen, the drivers are completely opposed to it and Bernie knows it. This is just another Bernie stunt - bring up something controversial that will generate some free press for F1, and then let it quietly die until the next time he feels the sport needs some free press, or something to distract it from other topics (like whether Korea this year, or India next year will actually happen).

I couldn't disagree with you more about the "IndyCar pit stop" style mass pitstops. Aside from the safety issues (most Indy pits are three times as wide as F1 pits and the boxes are bigger as well), I want to see the race won-or-lost out on the track, not in the pits.

If F1 wants to build a real audience in the USA they need to do two things: hold more than one race in the USA, and get either an American team, or an American driver in F1. America is a huge country and very few people in Seattle are going to get excited about a race in Texas. If I was F1 I'd make sure there was also a race in or around Los Angeles (and invite all the Hollywood celebs, turning it into something that can compete with Monaco in terms of glamor). I'd also put a race up in the North East as well (within driving distance of New York City, Boston and
Philly). The other thing to remember is that Americans will only buy into the sport in a big way if they've got one of their own to support. The same way that Alonso's success in F1 is responsible for a dramatic increase in the number of F1 fans in Spain, and the fact that the number of Brazilian drivers in F1 is responsible for the continued success of F1 in Brazil.

While I believe that bringing F1 to the USA is in the best interests of F1, I don't think bringing NASCAR to Europe would be in NASCARs best interests. For starters, F1 gets paid a lot of money for those "flyaway" races from the countries in question, unless NASCAR can get an Eu. track to cough up some serious "licensing fee" money, it simply won't be worth it. Then there's the logistics; F1 has a huge amount of experience managing those "flyaway" races, NASCAR, and NASCAR teams don't. And finally, there's already plenty of motor racing in the Eu.; breaking into that market would be incredibly hard (and expensive) in the best of cases, add in the anti-American sentiment that exists in a lot of the Eu. right now it would be even harder for NASCAR.

The big problem that NASCAR has right now is that there isn't "One Big Problem" that needs to be fixed. Instead there are more than half a dozen medium sized problems that combined are killing NASCAR. Solving the race day attendance problems would certainly help, but that would only get NASCAR off life support, it wouldn't get it back to full health. What NASCAR needs to do is accept that they'll need to make some serious changes, including scaling back the number of races and the number of teams, and suffer some short term pain if they want to be alive 5 years from now.

I agree with the above comments re. NASCAR outside North America. They're not really interested in roundy-round endurance races. Now, if NASCAR could get away from the 1960s spec. cars with fat tires on narrow rims and come up with something modern, like the Australian V8 Supercars, and run a lot more road courses, they'd have something the rest of the world might find interesting.

NASCAR accelerated their decline when they decided to become a spec series. What makes racing interesting is seeing someone charge to the front from the back of the pack. This is impossible in today's NASCAR - with spec cars there isn't room for the innovation that would allow this to happen. Morris - don't know if you got a wrap up of the ISMA race from Berlin, but seeing Teddy Christopher's charge from the back of the pack to the lead, in a car he's never raced in, at a track he had never seen, is why I love short track racing and will never set foot at a NASCAR cup race.

What's the cost of "Jenson" (and the 2 letters indicating the corner of the car) on the tire warmers compared to installing the wrong tire on the wrong car (hefty fines) or wrong side (as demonstrated by Kovalainen a few years ago when the tires were mounted in the wrong direction way and the car was a dog)
As to penalizing Alonso's second block into the corner? Sounds like you're gunning for Brian Barnhart's job!

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