NASCAR in need of some repairs

NASCAR attendance

After years of sagging TV ratings and falling attendance, NASCAR is expected to announce changes Monday.

NASCAR is expected to divide races into segments, and drivers would get points depending on their running order at the end of each segment, industry sources told ESPN. The goal, according to ESPN, is for drivers to compete for spots early in the event rather than having the option to bide their time until the end of the race before making a move.

The changes come a little more than a month after NASCAR changed its Cup sponsor from Sprint to Monster Energy.

Driver Kyle Busch isn’t particularly enthused by the changes:

“Yes … we need to improve something. But no … we’ve made so many changes over the past few years. It’s not made a difference, so why keep going?”

USA Today asked fans why they stopped attending NASCAR races: Click here to read

SB Nation’s Jordan Bianchi says TV executives have ideas on how to fix the problem:

Another idea pushed by TV executives is staging of midweek night race(s) during the summer to better maximize viewership, thereby allowing for a more condensed schedule with fewer events in the fall that have to go head-to-head against the NFL and Major League Baseball. This concept is well received by those within the industry SB Nation spoke with, though any implementation couldn’t happen until 2018 due to the 2017 schedule having already been solidified. But in all likelihood, the Cup Series will have at least one midweek race on next year’s calendar.

The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer’s Thomas Pope says the sport lacks star power:

Oh, there are plenty of great drivers out there. But the sport’s sorely lacking drivers with a natural charisma that can lure fans back to the tracks and TV screens. It also needs one hellacious rivalry to help boost both of those areas. There’s been a slow-but-steady dwindling in fan interest since Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001. Since then, the old-school, blue-collar racing fan hasn’t been able to attach himself/herself to a driver – on a vast scale, that is – with the same zeal.

The Sporting News’ Jeff Owens says racing needs more tension:

What does NASCAR need to change all that and generate some momentum? It needs contact. Aggression. Controversy. It needs postrace fireworks and a developing feud between two compelling drivers. It needs someone or some incident to stir things up and get fans excited. It needs drama to make fans want to talk about NASCAR on Monday morning instead of the conversation being dominated by the NFL, college football and the MLB playoffs.

What do you think? What does NASCAR need to do to improve its product and TV ratings?

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