Out With The Old

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Another year comes to a close and as we sit back and watch the ball drop in Times Square, with the proceedings sadly now overseen by Ryan Seacrest rather than Dick Clark, it's time to reflect on the 12 months that have passed.

The 2007 season will go down as the year of great unrest among "NASCAR Nation," as thousands of fans voiced their complaints over what was happening to their favorite sport.

Some of it was just; the Top 35 rule and some horrendous television coverage for example.

But there was much more wrong in the sport according to thousands of others, who used the instant information world we now live in to voice their complaints and outrage.

I'm convinced there isn't as much wrong with the sport as some might lead you to believe. It's easier than ever to have your voice heard these days with the advent of the Internet, 24 hour satellite radio and nearly 24/7 television coverage.

Back in the day, you had to wait for a racing newspaper to make it to your mailbox for any kind of in-depth news on the sport. And about the only way a fan could voice their thoughts was by writing a letter to the editor or calling one of the weekly radio shows like MRN's "NASCAR Live."

Now whether it's one of the Sirius programs, e-mails to site's like RacingOne, blogs, YouTube videos or programs like SPEED's "Wind Tunnel," a fan can spill their guts pretty much anytime.

And that's a good thing.

Fans should have a voice and NASCAR should listen to an extent.

The perception that NASCAR is focused more on the business of the sport than it is on the actual competition is valid. Rules like the Top 35 or the allowed points swap between Penske Racing's No. 2 and new No. 77 entries personify the believe that it's all about dollars and cents to the decision makers in Daytona Beach.

NASCAR, like all professional sports, is a business.

But I believe NASCAR is as interested in keeping the competition level as high as possible. The best business for any sport is to provide exciting and compelling competition.

My hope for 2008 is that the focus of NASCAR stays on the track much more than it did this past season. There were too many distractions and off-the-track stories that took away from the actual racing.

Yeh having one driver and team dominate like Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports did in 2007 probably isn't something we'd like to see every year. But the New England Patriots' historic season hasn't seemed to slow interest in the NFL this year.

However things play out, RacingOne will be there to cover the story and maybe more importantly, provide you with a voice.

Thanks for taking the ride with us in 2007. Our best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy New Year.


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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2007

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