Changes For The Better

There's a not so double secret probation meeting scheduled at NASCAR's R&D Center next Tuesday in which drivers and team owners have been asked to attend.

Speculation has the sanctioning body addressing the Jeremy Mayfield situation and NASCAR's substance abuse policy, which has come under scrutiny in light of Mayfield's suspension and now legal proceedings.

But there is word NASCAR will also solicit ideas in a town hall meeting forum about the sport's current state as well as the future direction.

Attendance issues, lower television ratings and mundane racing in the bulk of the season's first eleven races have punctuated the first third of the year.

It's a great idea to get team personnel together as well as the guys who are the show and discuss what can be done for the betterment of the sport.

But there's one faction missing from the group and it's the most important - than fans.

I'd love to see a select group of fans invited to sit in on a meeting like this one and voice their concerns and ideas to NASCAR brass.

Now all anyone connected with the sport's decision-making process has to do is look at RacingOne's community message board or listen to any show on Sirius NASCAR Radio and they'd get an idea of what fans' hot buttons are any day of the week and I do know many NASCAR officials do just that to be better plugged in.

However bringing fans into the inner circle as attendees at something like Tuesday's meeting would be a good way to demonstrate just how important they are to the sport and its future.

Just based on what I hear through fan interaction via e-mails, R1 message boards or hosting radio call-in shows, these seem to be the most prominent issues:

  • Lack of excitement
  • No brand identity with the new Sprint Cup car
  • Poor television coverage
  • TV start times
  • High ticket prices
  • Long races

    But I want to hear directly from you. Send me an email at pete@racingone.com and tell me what you'd offer NASCAR officials as a way to better the sport if you were an attendee at next Tuesday's race. Or give us a call on next week's Tuesday or Wednesday edition of "The Morning Drive" on Sirius NASCAR Radio and share a constructive idea on the air.

    My personal belief is NASCAR is far from broken and although everything is by no means perfect, the sport is much healthier than some people believe. So I want to make this a positive experience and not a "NASCAR sucks" exercise.

    Here's your chance to have a voice. I invite you to use it.
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    NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2009

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