Texas a prime example on why Cup start times need to go back to earlier

How much longer are we going to do this? How much longer is it going to be until NASCAR and their TV partners to wisen up and make sure the start times of these NASCAR Cup Series races go back to being earlier?

Is this situation going on in Texas right now going to be the deciding factor to help here? I mean, fans have been asking for this change lately and all we keep hearing is the later start times are decided by TV to help boost the ratings. They’re doing so to help the west coast viewer. Make the times better for all four time zones. 

Newsflash, it’s not helping the ratings. 

Nothing against the west coast fans because I love you just as much as the east coast fans. I have no coastal bias here. This doesn’t have to be a Biggie vs. Tupac escalation. But, I’m just wondering that if moving the start times truly were moved back to cater to the west coast in order to help boost the ratings, then why are they still so low. 

Yes, I’ll give you the ratings are somewhat trending up year over year. That’s the low hanging fruit. But, they’re still not to the levels to where they could, nope let me correct myself – SHOULD be. They’re still down in comparison to when they made the move to start most east coast races in the late afternoon time range. 

If we can be honest and say that the move to the later afternoon window is to help the west coast fans, then we can be honest that the west coast fans either –

A. Don’t Care

B. Failing miserably to hold up their end of the bargain.

It’s one of those two and on the overall look at the bigger picture, it’s still hurting NASCAR. How many races are getting delayed or postponed until a whole new day because it started raining late in the day. 

It’s happened far too often. In fact, it happened in the first race of the season. 

The Daytona 500 went green around 3:30 p.m. ET. It rained shortly thereafter. If that race started at Noon or 12:30 p.m. ET, we either get the full race in or it ends shortly before the scheduled distance because we made it past halfway. Either way, we’re not back a day later. 

It happened in Talladega in June. If we started like normal around 12 or 12:30 p.m. ET, the race could have had a large enough window to get in before it started raining. Nevertheless, it would have been done on Sunday and not have to return on Monday. 

It almost happened in Pocono in June too. Now, it’s occurring in Texas. 

The Truck Series started at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday. Their whole race was completed. 52 laps were completed in the Cup race after. If the Cup race started at Noon, hell even 1 p.m. ET, the race would have been completed before the rain began to fall and we’re not in this situation that we’re in now to where it’s going to be chaos to get this race in. 

Yes, I get that the Fall Texas race has typically started later in the afternoon, but maybe this is now a wake up call to move it up. 

The aspirations of getting this race in today seem like it’s not going to happen now. Tuesday and Wednesday’s forecast doesn’t look much better. What happens next? 

There’s a storm in the Gulf that could impact travel. Martinsville is Sunday. If this race is run on Thursday, is there enough time for TV to get everything changed from Texas to Martinsville in just a matter of a few days? I mean the Xfinity Series race is Saturday in Martinsville. That’s around 48 hours of time to get everything torn down, packed up from Texas, moved over to Virginia, and set back up for a new race weekend. 

I also have a feeling that it’s in contracts that Martinsville has to be the final race of the Round of 8, so moving Texas back isn’t necessarily a good option now either. Plus, wouldn’t everyone rather see Martinsville instead of Texas as the cutoff race to the Championship 4?

This is just a logistical nightmare that could have been avoided if this race was scheduled earlier. There’s absolutely no reason anymore that Cup races shouldn’t start between 12-1 p.m. locally at all race tracks if the race is going to run during the day. Period. The west coast viewer isn’t picking up the slack like they’re supposed to and now it’s creating a nightmare for planning. I mean, this nightmare is so bad, it makes the one on Elm Street look like a chick flick. 

What happens if Tuesday and Wednesday are rained out in Texas? That’s a Halloween thriller.

Plus, in the COVID era now, overnight stays are trying to be avoided. They want teams to just show up on race day and get out of town. Some states have that as a requirement. What happens if this scenario happened in one of those states?

What’s frustrating is this could all have been avoided. Say it with me –

E.A.R.L.I.E.R. S.T.A.R.T. T.IM.E.S.

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