Darlington, Nascar, Rep. Bella discussed on O'Reilly Auto Parts Pit Reporters


Rep. Bella glad to have you with us all right tom. This year darlington of this other. Five hundred or labour weekend was the first race of the ten race playoffs. I think it's been hugely popular to have that raises the first race of the playoffs. We know nascar would like to have their season and probably we've heard early october. If that's the case how do you keep darlington as the first race of the playoffs and keep the southern five hundred or labor day. That's up to the schedule. Makers who are lots more. I i told. I told you the no death and i will tell you that and i will also tell you. They rarely if ever actually never have called me to ask my opinion how they should arrange the show. You got some good opinion But i think having darlington on labor day is fantastic. it's perfect. It's like walking through a gate into the playoffs. You know it's. It's like walking into the kingdom of playoffs is it's it's just such a perfect way to start the season out and you know just my opinion we. We have a few years left on the current. Tv package. I would imagine they're going to. They're going to want to maintain continuity for the the tv advertisers In terms of of keeping the number of races the same. So i don't know what they could do jordan. What do you think. I don't think if the idea is you shorten the nascar cup series scheduled. Thirty six points races down to. I don't know thirtyish or whatever that number is you then are not going to have the southern five hundred on labor day weekend be the first place. So it's gonna if that is the goal and i don't think that is the goal anymore from the conversations with people they they're happy with where the schedulers they like it. Television partners like the the inventory they have. Yes you don't like going against the nfl in the fall but nascars numbers while down compared to earlier in the year where they're not competing against the nfl are still pretty good and they still have a value there so if the idea is to continue to have inventory of races into the fall then yes darlington. Could well be the first playoff race if eventually that schedule is knocked down a little bit. Darlington isn't moving off labor day weekend. Nascar's done that once before. Thompkin talk about this. He knows as well that that was a huge mistake and it took a long time to rectify that mistake and it was a big backlash. I don't think they would ever do that again. The powers that be or that are now running. The sport are much more tuned to what fans will want. so yes. i could see darlington. Not being the first playoff race by could still seeking being in the playoffs. So maybe the elimination race or something of that nature and that still would be an entertaining race on tom. I mean you. And i are both experienced that we know when they moved the race off labor day. And i think this is one of the biggest mistakes nascar has ever made was moving other five hundred labor day and trying to get the la market engaged and finally they have rectified. That because this is one of the great tradition to the sport. And i think if you have to sacrifice of being the first race of the playoffs if your goal is to shorten the season in by early october. That's what you're gonna have to do. I think the keeping darlington in the playoffs is essential. I mean it's a great track. You you know we we forget. Sometimes you want racing to be hard okay. You don't want it to be. You just put your foot down and never lift going around the entire track. It's hard racing at darlington. Guys wreck guys make mistakes. How many mistakes did we see. On pit road sunday night jordan. A lot loose tires people people Going too fast in there it is a place that forces you to really test your own limits and as such i think it makes for extremely compelling television. I mean i saw your your your pal and in my pal all our pals. Jeff klux Rankings this was one of the most popular races of the last ever. Ever since he's been doing the f. was a good race poll. So i mean yeah. Let's keep it in the playoffs and to echo. Tom's point you want challenging tracks. You want the playoffs to be challenging. You want it to be tough. You want drivers to be put in situations where they're in. It's not comfortable. You want them to be uncomfortable. And there's very few tracks that are uncomfortable. Like darlington darlington bristol and martinsville in the playoffs. To me is three outstanding driver tracks. It's not necessarily about aerodynamics. And in horsepower. Those those those things do matter but it comes down to driving ability of the day. You know a guy like corlett. Joy driving for a mid pack team can still drive his way into the top ten because that is a driver's racetrack. I always want darlington in the playoffs. We didn't have it before. I never wanted to leave. And the thing is. I mean you look at the schedule. Is we talk about it and to keep the schedule as it is with the southern five hundred starting the playoffs and goten weeks from there you know we had the two week break this summer for the the nbc wanted the two week break for the olympics. I wouldn't be opposed to having a two week break there every year which i know runs contrary to what you normally think tom. Because you're thinking okay we get in the stands in the summertime because it's easier for families to travel but at the same time i thought it was actually pretty successful. I think the cruise loved it because he said it's the first time i've had a chance to take a vacation with my family in forever. I think this is one of the best schedules we've ever had. Since i've i've been in the sport which is a pretty long time We have a really compelling miss mix of tracks this year. The road courses have added some excitement going back to road america. Going to coda for the first time which despite the rain was still pretty entertaining. And i you know everybody. I talked to like the sport of nascar's coming back. It's maybe not two thousand levels of popularity but it's on the rise again. People are excited. People talk about it at work. You know people you know my friends who are not in the business. Say wow i saw this race and it was really cool and now there's a buzz that there hasn't been in a long time and that's really exciting. I i would agree with that. There is a buzz and the television ratings are relatively stable attendant. Seems to be kind of an on the upswing a little bit and the addition of new tracks got rid of a big thing that a lot of people that issue with which was the schedule is very stagnant. Especially through the summer months we went to a lot of tracks some of them twice. That weren't very good work a very competitive. We got eliminated them either. Got rid of them down to one date and now you're going to road courses. You've you're getting more short tracks. Were going to add another short-track article speedway years nascar's working together at the national fairgrounds. You look at what they're doing with the scheduled. They're going to exciting tracks now. More exciting tracks. They're putting on big events. I think that the ingredients are there for nascar to really kind of. Have a a resurgence again. As just they need that. Catalyst that one seismic event. That kind of launches it up that next level. Like almost like a jeff gordon coming in in ninety in the early nineties. I don't know what that is. But i think the next gen car. You know what. maybe. I don't know. I mean we're seeing new owners to another thing too where we're longtime it was well. The same group of guys have only teams for forever. Where's the new blood coming in. Well look at. What's going on danny handling michael jordan. Matt colleague all these teams. Bj mcleod justin marks. That's that's great. You want new ideas you want fresh people coming in and saying what we try this. I like nascar's at lake the direction at that and i do think that the match just needs to be.

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