Mark off the calendars. Mark them off the next week too. Oh, and the next few weeks after that…because this weekend marked only the first of five without NCWTS races.
The trucks stormed into Daytona in their usual fashion – putting on the best show of the weekend in the eyes of many – only to be sidelined for nearly two whole months. When the trucks finally get back on the track, the spark created at Daytona will have subsided, meaning that there is no justifiable reason to have such a long break.
When the truck schedule went from 25 to 22 races in 2012, it made championship standings and drama extremely hard to follow. Though the racing is thrilling, inconsistency of race weekends scatters the excitement into isolated events rather than flowing from event to event. A championship battle lasts for an entire season, not just one race. It needs continuation, not separation, of drama.
While less races make seeing trucks on the track a rare commodity, something to look forward to, there are many people that wouldn’t mind seeing truck races 52 weeks out of the year. Every time the trucks take the green flag, craziness ensues, inevitable drama occurs, and a unique aura fills the grandstands and the living rooms for those watching at home. How could that ever get old?
If, monetarily, the NCWTS can only put on a show for 22 weekends of the year, that’s completely understandable. However, kicking of the year in February and letting the excitement created be nearly forgotten by the next time the trucks take to the track again in April is simply not a good game plan for the drivers or the fans.
What could NASCAR do to change this? To keep the momentum going after Daytona? Of course, truck races will attract larger audiences when partnered with Cup races, but even if the truck series didn’t visit Phoenix, Vegas, Bristol, or Fontana after their season opener, why not throw in a race at Iowa or another track that never fails to bring out a huge crowd?
Sure, the trucks may never have as many races as they should, or even get back to the amount they had in their 2011 season… but the races should at least be in closer proximity to each other on the calendar. The only time fans should have to mark their calendars off for more than one or two weekends should be during the offseason.
…and if NASCAR fans had it their way, they wouldn’t have to mark it off more than once or twice between Homestead and Daytona either.
By Alanis King