The Speedway Motorsports has come out with its Q3 financial results, and in it, SMI praises itself for a number of innovations and notes the challenges it faces. There’s one line, attributed to O. Bruton Smith, the company’s executive chairman, that will raise eyebrows among some fans:
NASCAR remains more focused than ever on improving our sport – the recent, very well received ‘stage-based’ racing format and championship point structure for all three of the premier national series being just one example.
Stage-based racing and the NASCAR points structure are among the more contentious changes, especially for die-hard fans who long for the days of “real” racing.
Even Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, told ForTheWin that fans didn’t take to stage racing right away — though he thinks they’re warming to it.
“I know that fan response initially wasn’t all positive, but I think as the season has worn on and they’ve seen the benefits of the increased action around the stage finishes, I think that, by and large, most everybody is in support of the stage racing,” he said.
NASCAR implemented stage racing to promote more aggressive driving and strategy on the track.
“Simply put, this will make our great racing even better,” Brian France, NASCAR Chairman & CEO, said at the time stage racing was implemented. “I’m proud of the unprecedented collaboration from our industry stakeholders, each of whom had a common goal — strengthening the sport for our fans. This is an enhancement fully rooted in teamwork, and the result will be an even better product every single week.”
But the points system, for many, is just flat out confusing, though this is an excellent breakdown of how it works.
So, what do you think? Do you like stage racing, or not? Here’s our poll.