It Makes Sense
The new 41-3 point system makes sense to me. It seems simple and easy to follow. However, I would suggest one small tweak: give the winner 1,000 points. Leave everything else the same. NASCAR could then claim to have invented the concept that winning a race is a big deal. Vince Lombardi would have approved.
Tim Marr, DeRuyter, N.Y.
Way Back When
I’m starting to place all of my old race tapes onto DVDs and noticed some differences from NASCAR races between then and now. The year 1989 was pretty much in the middle of NASCAR’s rise in popularity, so what was it doing then that made it so exciting?
All of the cars had the same exact shape and looked like the cars in the parking lots. The slope of the windshields and back glass were the same as the real cars. The grilles were the same and the contours of the body panels (if there were any) were there, including the trunk decks.
The car makes were Ford, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick, no foreign makes. Bill Elliott, Davey Allison, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt and most of the field were one-car teams. It seems more driver/team vs. driver/team back then rather than car owner vs. car owner like it is today.
There wasn’t any bump drafting at Daytona or Talladega and the cars were more strung out even though they still had the plates back then. There also wasn’t a top-35 guaranteed starting spot system or a restructuring of the points halfway through the season like the Chase.
The television broadcasts were more exciting. Ken Squier would announce the races as if he was doing radio. Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett were equally excited about the action on track as Squier.
There was no worn out, self-absorbed blabbering at the start of the race. If I could get MRN around here I’d be listening to that instead of the television. The camera shots were pulled back so we could see where everyone was on the track. It felt more like I was actually at the race.
So, what does NASCAR need to do get the fans back? See above. Will it? What do you think?
Steve Gabbert, Port Byron, Ill.
Money For Points
I had a wry smile on my face as I read Mr. Dobbs’s letter proposing a new point system in the Jan. 26 issue. If my memory serves me correctly, wasn’t dollars won the basis for the championship through the ’50s and part of the ’60s?
It might even be a fair system today with the increased purses at all the races. Back then, however, a driver could contend by doing well in the big races, as they paid more.
Like the USAC method in play then that consisted of paying the winner two points per race mile with the Indy winner getting 1,000 points, both systems had their flaw in allowing drivers to cherry pick to some degree.
While Richard Petty and James Hylton ran full schedules, picking up something at every race, the Wood Brothers’ driver was usually in the mix running just the high-dollar races and finishing well.
Fred Hall, Lincoln, Neb.
No Cash For Tickets
Mr. Waltz, I agree with you about ticket prices. Tickets for last weekend’s three-quarter midget race in Atlantic City were $25 and $30 a night. I would like to see senior citizen discount tickets at every track in the United States. I’ve been a race fan since 1955 and I can’t go to the races anymore.
Herman Roeder, Wildwood, N.J.
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