NASCAR is wasting a golden opportunity right now and I fear if this cycle keeps churning the way that is has that they’re going to miss out on capitalizing on a very good thing. They keep putting out news to distract you from a playoff race occurring that quite honestly, is among the best ones that we’ve ever seen.
There’s been way too much noise around the motorsports world over the last few months which has taken the attention away from the playoffs itself. That’s a shame. The playoffs should have a spotlight on it and instead, there’s barely a flicker of a candle in the shadows of a windowsill.
Between the Coke Zero Sugar 400 and the Southern 500, we talked about the rain that sparked the melee in Turn 1. After the Southern 500, it wasn’t the fact a non-playoff driver won and that it was a Richard Petty named car going to victory lane, we were talking “crappy parts” and Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch.
After a weeks’ worth of off-track stories and nothing focusing on Kansas, we showed up for the 2nd playoff race. Instead of a quiet week going into Bristol, you had more news geared Kyle Busch moving from JGR to RCR and what that means for Tyler Reddick and KBM. It was the 2023 schedules being released and Jeremy Clements’ Daytona win being reinstated. It was Brandon Jones moving from JGR to JRM. More about next season than this actual season itself.
After Bristol it was tires and power steering problems from the Saturday night race. There was more penalty talk about Ryan Blaney. The only thing discussed on the upcoming race at Texas was that challenges lied ahead for the race.
After Texas it was a plethora of news in just the 1st four days of the week. We were talking the Byron vs. Hamlin spat, how NASCAR missed that call, air pressures etc. We weren’t talking Talladega. Even race weekend at Talladega we were talking safety and not playoffs.
The most popular driver won in front of NASCAR’s core fan base in Talladega and could have turned the onus back on the postseason. Now we head to NASCAR’s homebase in Charlotte for an elimination race.
Instead, no talk so far on the playoffs. It’s Alex Bowman and Cody Ware being out. It’s Kaulig’s 2023 plans. It’s William Byron’s appeal decision. When do we just stop this nonsense and talk playoffs?
Moral of the story here is we’re onto the 6th week of the postseason and the storylines in the most important part of NASCAR’s season aren’t for playoffs. It’s outside of that.
Which is why I feel like the fact that the most commodious season in NASCAR history is being wasted by problems, drama and 2023.
It’s a shame. A slow news week is better than this drama because this isn’t the kind of drama that sells. None of the news that has transpired over the last 6 weeks have made new fans of the sport or have made common fans want to make a postseason event appointment TV.
The news cycle has to slow down. It has to get more geared towards the playoffs.