A thrilling World Series ended Wednesday night when the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to capture the franchise’s first World Series. Seemingly everyone on social media was buzzing about the World Series, and it was one of the best in recent history.
The success and popularity of a pivotal World Series game on a Wednesday prompted a tweet from NASCAR driver Regan Smith where he suggested that there should be NASCAR Cup Series races on a Wednesday night during the season.
Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were in agreement with Smith.
Many drivers would be onboard, and a midweek Cup Series race could be fun depending on the track. NASCAR wouldn’t want it to be a high profile race like Daytona or Talladega because fans likely wouldn’t be able to take off work during the middle of the week for a race.
But a midweek race could possibly work at a less popular track, and a Wednesday night race on rare occasion could be fun for drivers and fans.
Here’s the issue with Smith’s suggestion. First, he’s comparing a NASCAR race to Game 7 of the World Series. NASCAR has passionate fans and it’s a very popular sport, but it’s impossible to compare a regular season NASCAR race to the championship game in baseball.
The NBA and MLB can get away with having games in the World Series or NBA Finals on a weeknight, but it’s not as if regular season baseball or basketball games are killing it in the ratings department.
Keselowski suggested having a weekday race in the summer, but that almost defeats the purpose. NASCAR is one of the few sports that is in its midseason during the summer months, and having weekend races is good for the sport despite the ratings concerns from this season. So, having a midweek race in the summer could possibly work, but it would more likely hurt fan attendance since many fans like to tailgate all weekend before a race.
The disadvantage of the timing of NASCAR’s season is that the most pivotal races on the schedule coincide with the NFL’s schedule. The NFL is the ratings king in sports, and it’s tough for NASCAR to compete with it even when NASCAR is in the middle of the playoffs.
Would NASCAR officials be willing to try a weeknight race in the postseason? The timing would be difficult since there’s also postseason baseball going on at the same time. It might be worth trying during the summer at some point, but it’s hard to imagine the sport holding a pivotal race on a Wednesday when the fan experience is so vital at the track.
But let’s leave this one up to the fans.