The Nationwide Series is Broken; Time to Fix it

The Nationwide Series is Broken; Time to Fix it

by November 11, 2013 1 comment

Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR

It’s been going on for years:  Cup drivers racing in the Nationwide Series. It has been a great way for younger drivers to get experience racing with the sports best stars but have the Cup guys completely killed NASCAR’s second national touring series?

This year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series could have a champion that did not win a race.  If Austin Dillon was to win the championship on Saturday night at Homestead and not win the race, Dillon will be the first champion in series history to accomplish that feat. A series that’s been around since 1982 has never had a champion that has not won a race. Just think about that. That says a lot in and of itself.

Long gone are the days of the Jason Keller’s, Tim Fedewa’s, Randy LaJoie’s and the likes winning races on Saturday before the Cup races on Sunday.  The Nationwide Series no longer has an identity of its own and most fans think of it as Cup Lite these days. It does not help that it is so easy for the Cup guys to run on Saturday with just a quick walk from one series to the other.

In 2013, the Nationwide Series had six standalone races.  Those races were contested on two road courses, two at the Iowa Speedway and Chicagoland and Kentucky.  The latter two races struggled to get good crowds in the stands and that says a lot seeing as ten years ago, Kentucky was sold out for the standalone Nationwide races.

Gone are the days of 10,000 fans packing the stands at places like Hickory Motor Speedway or South Boston Speedway.  Gone are the days of standalone events at Gateway and Memphis. Maybe one day we will see those two great race tracks return to the schedule.  Time will only tell.

For a series that bills itself as the series that grooms young drivers for the Cup Series, only one driver in 2013 has won a Nationwide Series race that did not have Cup series experience and that was Ryan Blaney at Kentucky in September.

It is time for NASCAR to rethink its second national tour and give it the identity it’s lacked for years.  Bring back the V6 racecars that toured the country in the early 90’s.  Let’s go back to some of these short tracks that hosted the series not even 13 years ago.  Sure those places will need some help getting them back to NASCAR standards, but it should not be impossible.

With all the talk of NASCAR shaking up the Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2015 with the new TV contracts, 2015 would be a great time to bring new life to a series that is stuck in a rut and can’t seem to climb itself out of that rut.

Time will tell, but the current Nationwide Series is broken and many fans and media members know it.  It is just a question of when NASCAR will wake up and see that Kyle Busch dominating and winning each week is not what the series needs.

Chris Owens
For years, Chris has been traveling the country shooting photos capturing some of the sport's most unique moments and writing articles about grassroots racing and the NASCAR. Chris is the track photographer for Dillon Motor Speedway, and he has created websites for regional racing media outlets as well as for a few clients in the various traveling Late Model divisions. He also created a website for NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Danny Efland.

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  1. Josh Roberts
    #1 Josh Roberts 11 November, 2013, 20:09

    It seemed better when they let the Cup guys race and get points. You had the possibility of someone winning both in the same season. It’s just dumb now that the guys winning most of the races aren’t even running for points.

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