NASCAR Changing the Rules, Again
It's no secret that attention spans are getting shorter every day. In a society where nearly everyone has a computer in their pocket, answers are found instantaneously and millions of websites, companies, and advertisers are vying for people's attention. This is a real problem for a sport, which is primarily a long, 4-hour race. The new generation, millennials typically don't want to watch racers go around a track for that much time and getting new fans into a sport is the key to its longevity. NASCAR's answer for this is to change how it runs its races.
In what is now the "old format" racers would earn points during a single long event, between 400 and 500 miles depending on the race. Driving teams in the top 16 points at the end of the season moved on to the post-season. Now NASCAR races will be split into three races with point earning possible in each race. The goal is that the shorter race times will help attract a new audience who don't want to spend their entire day at the track.
NASCAR crowds have been dwindling for the past 10 years. Today, stadiums are half full which is a big hit to the sport. Now with the breaks between races, fans will have a chance to hit up the concession stands or do something else with the rest of their day. Die-hard fans will most likely stay for all three events and not notice much of a difference but hopefully find race day even more enjoyable.
For the upcoming Daytona 500 the race (Sunday, February 26th) will consist of two 60-lap stages followed by a final 80-lap stage. While points can be earned in all 3 stages, they will be awarded at the end of the final race. Keep in mind that this new format is still in trial and stage lengths for the majority of the 2017 races haven't been announced yet.
If you're heading to the Daytona 500 and get to see this new format in-person, tell us how you like it compared to the traditional race. Head over to the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Page and leave us a comment.