NASCAR's three series are starting to wide down for the 2012 season, but the Silly Season has certain issues unsettled.
The Camping World Truck Series is searching for new teams to fill out their fields for next season. With 10 to 12 teams not returning for a full season in 2013, a 36-truck field may be hard to come by next year. The truck series is the shortest, least expensive and general proving grounds for young talent, but sponsorship is hard to come by for this series. The average team spends $250,000 to $500,000 each year to field a competitive team.
Experienced drivers competing in the series use their past accomplishments to attract money, but the younger drivers on teams fight for every penny each race.
Richard Childress Racing has added to the series the past couple of years with the Dillon brothers. Austin, who is now driving in the Nationwide Series, was the champion last year. His younger brother Ty is competing for the title this year. Both of these young drivers are the grandsons of Richard Childress, who will never have a hard time finding funds to help support his for love racing.
The Nationwide Series seems to be fairing the best of the three series, but has one unanswered question. Who will be the standout star since Danica Patrick is moving up to the Cup series next year? I think the aforementioned Austin Dillon will fill the bill. Dillon is challenging Elliott Sadler for the championship with two races remaining on the 2012 schedule.
The elder Sadler has yet to announce his driving plans for the 2013, but all clues lead to a driving job with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Dillon is driving the No. 3 in the Nationwide Series for the first year and has won two races this season. I think Austin is the future star for NASCAR.
The Sprint Cup series is altering qualifying, top 35 points, points system and bringing in another redesign for cars next year.
Cup teams are hurting for sponsorship this year. All the changes will end up costing more money and the shortfall of funds will be passed on to the fans in the way of more expensive tickets and souvenirs next year.
The most difficult tickets to purchase during the Cup season were the two races at Bristol Motor Speedway, but for the past two years the venue has seen a decline in fans due to the cost of tickets. I pose that NASCAR officials drop some of the races and competitors, and allow ticket prices to drop to an affordable price. The series is sporting too many 1 1/2 tracks (cookie cutter tracks) on the schedule, two road courses and too long of a season. Trim the season to 28 to 30 races and eliminate both road course races and half of the cookie cutters. This might increase the fan bases at the remaining tracks and boost the TV coverage back to a level in the mid-90s.
* One point of discussion concerning the only female competitor in the Nationwide and Cup series this year. Danica Patrick will compete in the Cup series full time next year for Stewart-Haas Racing, but she wants to try her hand at the daily double of the Coca Cola 600 and Indy 500 on the same day. Patrick has yet to post a top 25 finish in any of her 10 Cup races this year. She needs to put her entire thoughts, talent and efforts into the stock cars next year to show she is worthy to compete on the big stage that is NASCAR.
Contact Eddie Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org