We have the news the Nationwide is canning its sponsorship after 2014 to focus on sponsorship at a higher level. Should this be a surprise? No way! Who would want to sponsor this. I'm going to help break down the folly that is best known has the "tier-two" series. In "NASCAR: Enterprise" (TBC) I will try to break down issues with points and NASCAR's three-tier structure, but that's another show.
Let's start with the issue at hand. What IS the Nationwide Series? Is it Cup-lite? Is it a developmental series? NO! It's neither of those things. It was, in fact, conceived to be NASCAR's de facto short track series. The Cup Series was to run the big tracks with some short tracks dabbled in, and the Late Model Sportsmen Series was to run the short tracks with some big tracks dabbled in. How far we have strayed. These are really supposed to be two separate professional series. Likewise, the LMSS was supposed to feature different cars with different engines... a whole different ball game. They are supposed to be running Ford Focus's at tracks like Hickory and Kil-Kare while the Cup cars run the Ford Fusion's at tracks like Daytona and Chicagoland.
Second, should Cup drivers be running it? Yes, and no. As a professional short track series, it would be no different than running USAC. USAC Silver Crowns, Sprint Cars, and Midget cars are the professional level of those cars, just as the NNS should be the professional short track stock car tour, and the Cup should be the professional speedway stock car tour. As it stands though, letting the Cup drivers run NNS IS the EXACT SAME as letting people simultaneously play MLB and AAA. If it is to be a developmental tour, than it should be open only developmental drivers as NASCAR is the only professional auto racing sanctioning body in the world to allow such stupidity. They complain that if they ban Cup drivers, all the sponsors and networks will pull out. That doesn't make sense. The NNS survived for 40 years before the 90s as a
separate entity with its own drivers and sponsorships. Business is about risk, and you have to take the risk of losing the sponsors to allow the NNS to bloom into something great.
Truthfully, it would be best to return to the old structure of NNS with the North Tour being a companion and possibly reducing the West to a companion as well (hard to believe the West was once equivalent to Cup!). This needs to happen imminently, because otherwise you will have to rely on the CWTS for development drivers, and even that series is a separate pro-series of its own type really.
There is ONE long-term solution: independent vehicles, independent tracks, independent drivers.
Opinions expressed in blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of racing-reference.info.