Despite having six different winners in eight races to start the season, NASCAR fans have been overwhelmingly disappointed with the racing. If you’re on Twitter at the end of the race you have probably noticed that every race since Bristol with the exception of Martinsville, the fans have been calling the races boring.
The reason for that seems to be the lack of cautions. Bristol only had five caution flags, Martinsville had seven, California had one caution for rain and that ended the race, Texas had two for debris, and Kansas had three with only one being for a spin. Last race at Kansas and the week before that at Texas set records as the fastest races run at each track. The Texas race saw the final 200-plus laps run under green. After the Texas race, fans on Twitter said that the race was “the most boring race ever run.”
Now I’m left wondering what fans consider an exciting race to be. Does there have to be a lot of wrecks and cautions?
NASCAR fans have long claimed that “we don’t watch NASCAR for the crashes.” But lately it seems that isn’t necessarily true.
Bristol Motor Speedway was long known for having many crashes and caution flags. Talladega and Daytona are known for their fast, pack drafting style, but also for “The Big One.” Those tracks are considered by many fans to be the best on the schedule. At least, Bristol was included in that category before the track was reconfigured in 2007 with progressive banking to produce more side-by-side racing and less cautions. Attendance has declined sharply at Bristol and fans have been claiming that the track has been ruined. After the last race at Bristol last month, track owner Bruton Smith announced that he is going to try to put the track back the way it was before it was repaved, because that is what the fans want to see.
Do fans want to see a hard-fought battle right to the end of the race? It doesn’t seem that way either.
That is what happened in Texas and Kansas but fans still claimed both races were very boring. In Texas Greg Biffle stalked Jimmie Johnson for a few laps until he made his move with just a handful of laps remaining. Johnson tried to come back but ended up putting the car in the wall. In Kansas Denny Hamlin passed Martin Truex Jr. for the lead, but Truex came back. Truex was able to get alongside of Hamlin in turn four on the last lap but wasn’t able to pull ahead.
So what is it? Why have so many people found the racing to be so dull?
It seems that the only way a race is considered to be exciting is if there is about 15 cautions, multi-car wrecks, and a photo-finish at the end.
Unfortunately ever race cannot be that way. But they still can be exciting nonetheless.