Geoff’s Journal: Trying to make sense of NASCAR’s new rules

By Geoff Bodine
February 10, 2017

The changes NASCAR has made this offseason are so crazy, I can’t understand them. There’s too much change in such little time.

I love racing. It’s my life. It’s given me a lot, but it’s to the point now where I don’t care about segments, points and cars.

I’m at the point where I don’t care about it. I’m not saying I don’t care about NASCAR anymore, it’s just that the new rules are drastic and it’s not the same sport I used to compete in.

I don’t know who’s come up with the rules, and I don't care. The people I’ve talked to about the changes feel the same way. We want to see racing straight up.

All professional sports are businesses, but they are all sports at the end of the day. We’re not seeing amending of the rules in other pro sports. The people in charge, the rule makers, committees, they always have the best interest in making everything better.

They’re trying to make it better for everyone and are making changes they feel and hope will keep their fan base and attract new ones. But they’re chasing people away.

Plus, who is going to keep track of all the changes during the races?

The Damaged Car Policy
The new rule change announced Wednesday is totally ridiculous.

What happens with a potential big wreck that wipes out half the field? If I was a team owner or driver, I’d be a little upset.

Part of the action in a race is a crew working on a damaged car, trying to get their driver back out on the racetrack. Notice, you’ll see guys come back out so many laps down, not to try and win, but sometimes to points race and more so for the pride and love of racing.

Nobody likes to wreck, but when there is one, that’s what the crew members live for: to help repair the damage and get their driver back to the track.

The fans are the ones who lose the most on this rule. They won’t get to see this play out anymore.

Sponsors may not like this rule either. Even if a company’s logos are adorned on a damaged car, they still want to see their car on the track. There’s an exposure factor.

Overall Takeaway
Everything changes, I understand that, whether we are ready for it or not.

I loved the Chase system when it was introduced in 2004, and I still think it is genious. It brings interest and makes point racing more interesting.

I might be wrong, and I’ve been wrong a lot.I HOPE I’m wrong, because I want to see the sport grow but it the new changes in Cup are way too confusing. It’s way out of line of racing.

I know the new rule changes will turn some fans away, and the avid race fans will stick by the sport as well.

I will still watch NASCAR and see how the new changes play out. It might be very interesting, or we might be scratching heads wondering what’s going on.

They may not be the changes you or I would like to see, but I give the sanctioning body credit for trying to make the racing exciting.

What are your thoughts on the new damage policy?
Love it!
No opinion.
Hate it!
Too soon to tell.