1) The NASCAR Throwback Weekend developing at Darlington Raceway has confirmed to be the most effective advertising and marketing concepts in NASCAR over the previous decade. In case you have been the Advertising Director for NASCAR, what thought do you are feeling is value making an attempt within the sport subsequent?
Jim Utter: One thought I feel that could possibly be embraced amongst all tracks is one thing Charlotte Motor Speedway has had success at to encourage followers to purchase tickets early. In case you purchase tickets to a NASCAR occasion by a sure date, give these followers the possibility to return to the observe someday (maybe main as much as the precise occasion) and provides them the chance to drive their private car across the observe for a number of laps. Possibly attempt to get a driver to steer them across the observe. One of many hardest issues proper now could be to get followers to extra linked to the occasion and its members, which in flip encourages them to wish to attend in particular person, not simply watch on TV.
Kenny Bruce: Shifting the location of the annual All-Star Race. Charlotte has performed an incredible job with the occasion by the years but it surely has turn into stale and I don’t assume regularly revising the format is the reply. I feel taking the race to areas/tracks that maybe don’t have Cup races is unquestionably value exploring.
Nick DeGroot: On the identical vein of throwback weekend, how a few true throwback race. Sure, I imply a dust race. Only for the novelty of it, I would like to see a single Cup race on a dust observe as a technique to pay homage to the game’s roots and in addition to placed on a novel present in contrast to every other occasion on the schedule.
Tim Southers: Though I really like Charlotte Motor Speedway and have many good mates and colleagues that work there, I feel the following massive transfer could be to have a look at transferring the All-Star race. I feel the schedule must be dropped to round 30 races and having the particular occasion rotating would give tracks that host one occasion an opportunity to a minimum of get a second occasion on a rotation. I additionally assume altering up the venue may convey some pleasure again to the occasion.
2) Justin Allgaier is having fun with his finest season so far in NASCAR after choosing up his fourth win of the 12 months final weekend at Highway America. Do you are feeling he is now the favourite to win the NASCAR Xfinity Collection championship?
Jim: I am undecided I might rule out Christopher Bell as the favourite simply but however Allgaier definitely is exhibiting unimaginable consistency and pace this season and reveals no signal of slowing down. I feel it is fairly secure to say this 12 months’s Xfinity title may right down to a showdown between Allgaier and Bell and that might doubtless be a really entertaining one to witness.
Kenny: Whereas his current run has been spectacular, and the momentum will likely be a bonus for the workforce because it gears up for the playoffs, I nonetheless assume Christopher Bell holds the higher hand. If Bell charges No. 1, Allgaier is 1a. However given the tracks that make up the playoffs, I are likely to lean towards Bell and his Joe Gibbs Racing group because the championship favourite.
Nick: I am stunned as a result of Christopher Bell gave the impression to be the favourite going into this 12 months, however sure, I would dare say Justin Allgaier is the driving force to beat for the 2018 championship.
Tim: It’s good to see this veteran having such an ideal season and he’s actually one of many good guys within the sport, however I agree that Christopher Bell continues to be the one to observe within the playoffs. I feel Allgaier will likely be there your complete manner within the playoffs and if Bell slips up, I feel Allgaier will likely be proper on his heels.
three) As soon as once more, the ultimate lap at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park produced an thrilling end with sparks flying within the final nook. Do you are feeling this observe has a fame the place you need to wreck a driver to win.
Jim: I am undecided that is the fame that is developed but it surely’s definitely indicator of the outcomes. The widespread denominator for me is that the race usually produces a late warning, which in flip prevents the race chief from constructing any type of vital lead. In the event that they did, the final flip antics could be irrelevant for the reason that chief could be too far forward for any last-lap, last-corner strikes to be efficient.
Kenny: It’s turn into apparent that if the chief isn’t away from everybody else because the race is wrapping up, there’s a good likelihood followers will see contact. There isn’t one particular purpose for that. It’s partly a results of younger drivers with restricted highway course expertise and partly the results of typical close-quarters highway course competitors. Add in the truth that this 12 months’s race was the opening Playoff race and such contact is nearly inevitable.
Nick: It is simply the character of that nook. Nevertheless, this case was avoidable. If Gilliland gave Gragson the area, they each make the nook, however I can also’t blame him for squeezing Gragson with it being the ultimate lap. That run down the backstretch and people ultimate set of corners are simply the right storm for these wild finishes that by no means stop to amaze. However sure, there’s a precedent now the place if contact is made, it is considerably anticipated and even accepted to a degree.
Tim: I feel it’s a product of a mixture of hungry, younger drivers and the format of the course that results in this after a late warning. I truthfully assume Gragson felt he had a gap to dive into and considering that Gilliland would have stayed vast however all of us noticed what occurred. Was it a ‘soiled transfer’? I don’t assume so, but it surely was very aggressive. I feel the observe has simply supplied conditions that has led to dramatic finishes and I don’t see it ending anytime quickly.
four) Solely two races stay within the NASCAR Cup Collection common season. Who do you assume can win this weekend at Darlington that should win in an effort to make the playoffs?
Jim: For my part, I do not see any of the “should win” drivers all of the sudden creating the race-winning pace which might permit them to compete with the likes of Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch or Martin Truex Jr., which anybody would in all probability have to do in an effort to earn a win at both Darlington or Indianapolis. If I needed to decide somebody, it could be Daniel Suarez, whose efficiency has picked up over the past month and had a powerful run at Pocono.
Kenny: Nearly all of these on the skin have both restricted expertise (Daniel Suarez, William Byron) or just aren’t good on the tough 1.336-mile format. For these causes, I might lean towards Ryan Newman or Jamie McMurray – skilled drivers with a number of top-10 finishes at Darlington. McMurray as soon as received the pole and completed second (to Denny Hamlin). Man, that should look like ages in the past to the Chip Ganassi Racing driver.
Nick: Daniel Suarez could be my decide, however I agree with Jim in that I doubt it is going to occur. The Massive three will dominate and if they’re challenged, it is going to come from drivers already in comfy positions reminiscent of Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer or Denny Hamlin.
Tim: I must go along with Daniel Suarez or Ryan Newman and lean in direction of Newman simply because he has a lot extra expertise there than Suarez does. I do know Denny Hamlin received there final 12 months, however he simply doesn’t appear to have racing-winning pace this season. With that being stated, watch Hamlin win this weekend.