Michael Waltrip’s Fix For NASCAR? Make It IROC 2.0

Michael Waltrip spoke to SiriusXM NASCAR’s “Tradin’ Paint” on Wednesday where he advocated for a more cost-effective approach to the NASCAR Cup Series.

Waltrip used to own a Cup series team, three of them in fact. A number of bad organizational moves and attempting to fix a race ultimately killed the upstart Toyota team. Sponsorship woes started for MWR because of that fateful night in Richmond where the worst actors in the world attempted to fix a race. Honestly, a Razzie should have been awarded to them.

When Waltrip talks about the struggle for sponsorship he so conveniently leaves out that little part. As he did Wednesday when he presented his idea to curb NASCAR costs.

Spec Chassis & Spec Engine

Citing what the NASCAR Truck Series has done this year with their spec Illmor engine, Waltrip believes the Cup Series should go that way. He even went as far as saying the series needs a spec chassis to limit what a crew chief and his engineers can do to everything under the body.

It’s a bold idea and one that would certainly cut costs. Currently, the big teams spend millions developing chassis while the backmarker teams are left with the discarded chassis’ of years gone by.

A spec chassis built by a current team would certainly line that teams pocket with dollar bills. Waltrip suggests that maybe RCR could do it which I can only assume is because of the free space the team has from downsizing. It certainly isn’t because of their proximity to the rest of the NASCAR world up there in Welcome, NC.

Waltrip Wants IROC 2.0

Drivers from around the world and nearly every discipline used to get together for the International Race of Champions series. A four race series where drivers showed up and got into identical Chevy Camaro’s, Pontiac Trans Am’s, Dodge Daytona’s and even an Avenger one year. The idea was the best driver would set himself apart.

Essentially that is what Waltrip is advocating for except teams will still have their own manufacturer’s body on the car. Everything else underneath however will be a standard part.

That is not the direction NASCAR needs to go in. Much like the proposed 2019 aero package, the series shouldn’t limit a driver or teams ability to be fast. IROC was entertaining four races a year, a season of 36 would be forgettable. Additionally, it would bring Mark Martin out of retirement and while cool we don’t need to watch him all the races and 5 championships.

If NASCAR wants to do something a cost cap would be an effective way to manage this rise in cost that is sending everyone into a crisis. That’s a more effective solution that could yield actual results. Turning this into a spec series is not the answer.

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