And now it begins. Since the NFL rewards less than mediocre performance, Rusty Wallace Racing apparently has caught the fever. After 5 years and 157 Nationwide races yielding 0 wins, 4 top 5’s and 29 top 10’s, by NFL standards it’s time for Steve Wallace to go Daytona 500 racing. I’m sure Harry Hogg would say “So you just want to up and run Cup!” RWR success in that endeavor would be a great story, but I don’t see a Cole Trickle ending to it.
For decades the NFL’s goal has been every team have a .500 record. Monetarily, this is good for everyone but the fans. For the fans – although we pay more for the privilege – we get to believe our team is as good as any.
Although Nascar keeps trying to become the NFL, the parity route won’t work the same way. There aren’t any “home” teams to root for per se. Pretty much, Charlotte is everybody’s home. So when they go on the road, the local fans pick their favorites based on a variety of factors – not just because they’re the “home” team. Of course, the “home team” concept in the other sports lost its meaning a long time ago when free agency was born. “Your” (or “my”) team used to be more than a matter of geography. There was a continuity of rosters over a good number of years. Identification with your team consisted of more than a logo.
Nascar has the advantage of their fans identifying with a team (without regard to geography), a driver (regardless of his team), a number, a sponsor, a paint scheme, a car make, etc. I don’t think Nascar fans really want parity. At least not in the ways Nascar can try to implement it – continual rule tweaking and IROC cars.
Speaking of rules, Kenny Bruce of Scene Daily has 7 changes he would like to see. Some I’ve wished for for years, a couple I never thought about, but all I agree with. You can read it here.