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Does the Truck Series Have the Right Mix?

Does the Truck Series Have the Right Mix?

by November 16, 2013 0 comments

 Photo Credit:Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images

Over the past few seasons the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series have struggled to keep the attention of fans and keep the crowds coming to the tracks. For Cup recent changes to the cars and tires have turned usually exciting races into boring, follow the leader, passing only on pit road event. The Darlington race in May was green for the first 125 laps until NASCAR threw a “debris caution” and then continued for another 150 or so laps before there was a caution due to a spin. Darlington resembled the usual racing at the many 1.5 mile tracks on the schedule, few cautions, almost no actual on track racing.

Nationwide hasn’t been much better, the series that is billed as a stepping stone to Sprint Cup seems to be dominated by Cup drivers.  Only a handful of the more than 30 races on the schedule were won on Nationwide regulars, all the rest were won by Cup regulars with 17 racing being won by the duo of Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Race attendance at Nationwide events has suffered too, with camera shots of seemingly empty stands confirming that the series is losing support.

The Camping World Truck Series in contrast seems to be on the right track. The shorter races and the ticket prices much lower compared to the other two series along with some of the best racing yet seen this season have started attracting crowds.  A race at a dirt track and a return to road course racing appear to have been wise decision. The Eldora dirt track race was heavily attended and gave the fans some fantastic side by side door banging action.

Last nights season finale at Homestead was a major indicator that the trucks were more than up to the task of entertaining even the most hardcore race fans. Lap after lap there was racing throughout the entire field. Drivers traded spots back and forth, went 3, 4 even 5 wide at points and for the most part stayed off of each other and just raced. By the end only 8 of the 36 trucks had retired early and there were 25 on the lead lap. Everyone in the stands and everyone watching on TV more than go their monies worth from that race.

The entry list for last night’s race had only one Cup driver, Kyle Busch, the rest were a good mix of rookies, regulars and a few returning to trucks after racing in other series. Kyle Busch took the checkers but he in no way dominated. He was raced hard by first season racers like Ryan Blaney and Jeb Burton as well as veterans Ron Hornaday and Brendan Gaughan. At one point in the last half of the race, Busch, Blaney and Hornaday went 3 wide for the race lead. No one seemed to want to back down and no one got crazy and wrecked the others.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is racing the way it should be. This is what fans want and I’m sure it’s what the early pioneers of stock car racing envisioned for the future of their sport. The truck series is on the right track, let’s hope NASCAR lets it stay that way and let’s hope they soon apply the lessons learned to the other two series.

Christopher Neal
Christopher is a happily married father of 3 very active boys. He is a full time law enforcement officer and part time web designer. Chris is currently the chief editor of TheFourthTurn.com as well as has personal blog TheDadsPlace.com

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