By David G. Firestone
So far, the stage system in NASCAR hasn’t been as exciting as NASCAR would have hoped. I’m not against it, but I do have a few ideas for making it better:
1-The total number of laps should be cut into three and anything that happens between stages shouldn’t count. For example, the Phoenix race is 312 laps. Stage one should be 79 laps, stage two should be 104 laps, and the final stage should be 129 laps. The laps in between wouldn’t be scored.
2-Pit road should be closed 5 laps before the end of the stage.
3-Once the stage ends, the field is frozen for the duration of the in between section, pit stops included. This would ensure that everyone is on an equal plane when it comes to pit stops.
4-The free pass rule will still be in effect for the end of the stage.
The other problem is the new 5-minute rule for repairing damage. It’s main flaw is that it starts the second the driver hits pit road. Drivers are losing as much as one minute of that 5 minutes because of pit in. The rule should be the instant the driver hits their pit lane is when the clock begins. That would work out better, and be easily enforced. Darrell Waltrip said it first, and I tend to agree.
Moving on to the NHRA, last Friday, I discussed the Wally for best-looking car. I mentioned that many people find the best-looking car Wally to be irritating, and they feel it devalues the Wally as a whole. Well, this Wally has its own sponsor, and the winners are getting recognition on the television broadcasts now. The racing is great, and I’m not going to complain when the racing is great.
IndyCar is up next. Whoever came up with their schedule for 2017 needs to be slapped in the mouth. A couple weeks ago, they had the Grand Prix of St. Petersberg, and it was a great race. As of today, the next race won’t be for another 19 days. From the end of the race to the next race is 28 FREAKING DAYS! Between a gap like that, and the memorabilia issue that I discussed a few weeks ago, I really have to wonder where the heads of IndyCar are at. IndyCar has a lot going for it, but the higher ups won’t capitalize on momentum, or on public demand.
Formula 1 has their season opener on Sunday, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m not a big F1 fan, but the racing is usually good, and I can’t wait.