Re: How would you change mainstream American motorsports (Crazyquik)
I have something of an 8-year plan for NASCAR...
1. Dismantle ISC. I feel this is NASCAR's biggest Achilles heel. The corporation owns nearly all the tracks and thus makes insane amounts of money from ticket sales, as it can set ticket prices to whichever level it likes. ISC is the reason North Wilkesboro was stripped of its Cup races, NHIS got a second Cup date (it's not a bad track, but NASCAR has more than enough double dates as it is), and courses like Chicagoland and Kansas came to fruition. Enough is freaking enough.
2. Production-based cars.
I'm talking something similar to Australian Touring Car Series; the race cars must be based on a rear-drive, V8 powered, 2-door production coupe. NASCAR stayed true to this formula until the '80s, when the Big Three started the big switch to front-drive. Despite the rantings of a few deluded extremists on these and some other forums, NASCAR fans know that today's stock cars have damn near nothing in common with roadgoing domestic midsize cars. Go to any local short track and you'll see that most of the stock cars with any production roots running are pre-GM-10 Olds Cutlasses, Chevy Impalas and Monte Carlos, and Ford Thunderbirds that have had so many dents hammered out of their bodyword over the last decade that they look like Pepsi cans that have spent the last couple years lying on I-94. I would demand that the basis for any NASCAR race car be a rear-drive, 4-or-5 passenger coupe with V8 power. Furthermore, each manufacturer would be required to build at least 1,000 homologation specials with the exact displacement (358 ci, 5867cc) as the race car. Being production-based, the cars would be allowed to have electronic engine management, ignition, and fuel injection; however, antilock brakes and any sort of electronic traction control would be strictly verboten
. 6-speed manuals would be the order of the day, as would limited slip differentials (though I doubt the Detroit Lockers currently used on Cup cars would be very streetable, regular limited slip diffs would be specced for both racers and homolgations). The cars would have stripped interiors with full roll cage and racing seat + belts, though the stock dashboard would be kept rather than the fabricated dash current stock cars use. Windows would be Lexan, and no door windows would be used.
3. More road racing. I believe NASCAR is squandering a great opportunity to expand its focus by sticking to these damnable cookie-cutter ovals that ISC specifies (Kansas, Chicagoland, et al) instead of reaching out to the sports car crowd. Road Atlanta would be a good Cup track, in my estimation; twisty, slowish section for the first few turns, then a loooong, undulating backstretch that would allow the cars to stretch their legs, plus a rather fast final turn onto the front straightaway. Heck, as boring as the Homestead race last fall was, I'd probably be inclined to turn them loose on the roval section of that circuit as well (unlike the oval, it has actual passing zones
4. No more provisionals. All 43 positions will be determined on time. 'Nuff said.
5. The only way to increase action on the restrictor plate tracks is to make drafting much less relevant. Reducing downforce enough to make them at least lift from the accelerator for turns might be one way, though I'm not sure of any others. Clemson University is gearing up to build a wind tunnel south of here, in Greenville, that NASCAR will use; the effect this will have may play a pivotal role in stock car racing's future.