So Brian France has sent out another open letter to NASCAR fans.
My open letter in response:
To NASCAR Chairman Brian France:
So you've sent out another open letter basically patting yourself on the back for the fact another season has wrapped up. You defend yet again the misbegotten Chase format, citing 2004 and Kurt Busch's forgettable championship - a championship he wrapped up just by qualifying for the Miami 400 - and the artificially close 2011 Tony Stewart-Carl Edwards title tilt as justification for the concept.
Here are a couple of facts refuting your love for the Chase -
It is an entirely artificial construct, locking 4/5ths of the field out of the last ten races in terms of the top 12 in points while locking in twelve cars for the championship despite over half of them having gained a chance solely on a mid-season points rerack. Racing is not like other sports - it is 1 versus 42, not team versus team, and the ENTIRETY of the season is what matters, not the last ten races.
A true champion is one who wins a lot of races, not one who just racks up a best average finish during the season. The Chase format feeds the bastardization of racing because it refuses to require winning - it refuses to require performance.
You mention the Generation Six racecar and refuse to face the obvious - it is a failure. There was nothing on the racetrack that the Generation Six generated that was particularly memorable. You also say you're testing possible changes for better racing.
I can give you the rules package that will succeed at such right here -
Mandate a roof blade for all NASCAR divisions - the same roof blade used on restrictor plate tracks in Winston Cup in 2001 and in the Busch Series 2004-10.
Mandate a larger rear spoiler and make it out of clear material so drivers can see through it out the lead car's windshield.
Mandate restrictor plates and/or smaller carb spacers to more greatly restrict horsepower and thus reduce speeds; the goal not only should be to reduce the speeds to what the tracks can safely handle, but also must ultimately be to take handling out of the equation and make the draft more important, because passing is opened up when the draft is more important than handling - this has been amply demonstrated over the decades of NASCAR history and was also visible at Kansas Speedway this past season with the Truck Series and the Busch Series and yet again in the Truck Series finale at Homestead. Underpowered and overgripped is what increases passing.
Open up radiators and cooling systems to allow tandem drafting - as witnessed in the Truck Series 250 at Talladega this past October, opening up cooling to allow tandem drafting increases passing while the evolution of tandem drafting is returning the racing back to exciting "conventional" drafting without the need for radiator restrictions.
Eliminate the Chase format altogether.
For all NASCAR classes, return to the Latford Point System used in the latter 1970s until recently, and add strong point bonuses for winning the race and for most laps led - 125 bonus points for the win, 10 points for leading, 100 points for most laps led. This is a point system that thus requires the competitors to race for the win - and eliminates the kind of fixing incidents witnessed at Richmond's Capital City 400 this past September.
Force the disbanding of elements of multicar teams such as Hendrick Motorsports to where they field no more than two cars; this will open up the series for new team owners who are presently locked out of the series.
Encourage other manufacturers, such as Dodge and Honda, to participate in NASCAR's varied series.
Eliminate the absurd exclusivity deal with Goodyear and allow other tire brands to compete - they can provide revenue to the sport as well as race teams and increase competition; they've done so before. They can also better solve handling issues that consistently pop up with Goodyear and its squabbles with "aggressive setups."
Switch some television and other revenue streams into NASCAR's smaller divisions such as the Trucks, the Busch Series, the Modifieds, etc. Smaller car counts are bad for the health of these divisions, which produce superb racing just the same as the Top Three divisions in NASCAR as well as help create the next generation of big three stars.
Take away rules that give the officiating tower too much control over the racing - yellow line rules, declaring rundowns via scoring loops instead of the start/finish line - they take away from the purity of the competition and do so without reason.
The sport needs to get better because there is simply too much anger and bitterness toward it now to be able to enjoy it. The days when 60 lead changes was a norm in the sport need to return; the days when fans could support drivers instead of hate them need to return. The days when teams could maintain themselves in all of NASCAR's varied divisions instead of just barely scrape by need to return.