The 2019 MENCS season has been an interesting campaign that has been filled with plenty of fan opinions on what they want out of the racing. On one side there are the fans that hate the changes and want to see “old school” racing back when occasionally someone would win by a wide margin. While others see the intervals between car being smaller which must mean the racing is better. I’m going to dive into both sides and give my opinion on whether close racing is good racing.
The Good Old Day’s
To give you a little background on myself I am 30 years old and have been watching NASCAR since I was in diapers. So while I wasn’t born in the 70’s I do have memories of what many people consider to be the end of the glory days. The days when many races weren’t close racing. Now that being said the 90s weren’t nearly as full of dominating performances as past decades but it did happen. And the general consensus I remember when that did happen was “well they had the best car.” When I got old enough to really be into it that never bothered me. It was just a possibility that it would happen. Now that said if it happened every single race I am sure it would have gotten old. And when there was a close finish it was super exciting because it didn’t happen all of the time.
Where We Are Now
So, here we are in 2019 with the new aero package. I know it’s a point of contention with almost everyone but the close racing is what this article is about. It is well known that it hasn’t worked everywhere. That isn’t what this is about, but I figured I’d address that before going further. There have been plenty of exciting moments this year and most of those wouldn’t have happened last year. The thing is though in races where the field gets spread out does the fact that the cars are closer to each other mean that the racing is better? There are a lot of people that seem to think so. Obviously a close battle for the lead is what we want to see but if cars are about a second or so apart and no one can really gain on each other that really isn’t ideal either. Not every race has been this way of course but it has happened a good bit. And while not every race has been a pack race by any means some fans aren’t as keen on the draft being as big of a factor from week to week.
So now we get to how I really feel about this. I will say this package isn’t all bad. It’s just not the kind of racing I want to see all the time. Someone outright killing the field every once and a while is ok. I think that those races can still be good as long as there is some close racing throughout the rest of the field. Obviously it’s hard to create rules that are guaranteed to do this. Frankly I’d like to see some of the rules loosened up though that is unlikely to happen. I am all for safety and those elements should definitely be there but I believe the inspection process and just how much things have to be a certain way has created some of the problems that have occurred with the racing at times. So, at the end of the day regardless of how you feel on the matter we should be trying to find someplace in the middle to agree instead of being so opposed to each other. A split fan base isn’t going to make things any better. Which sadly could kill the sport we all know and love.