Apparently NASCAR is kicking around the idea of ending the 2021 season in September.
On the Door Bumper Clear podcast, this week Clint Bowyer’s spotter Brett Griffin who has a tendency to leak news (thankfully) said they’ve heard NASCAR wants to end the season in September. The idea behind that being the finale can be at essentially any track. Currently, the finale takes place in mid-November limiting the number of tracks the sport can hold the race at.
IndyCar ends its season at the end of September in an effort to avoid competing with the NFL. NASCAR appears to be taking a page from their open-wheel brethren and running away from competing against the NFL as well.
Is This Smart?
Listen you’re not going to hear this blog championing for less racing. Is it smart to not go against the NFL? Sure, 100% they’re a god damn behemoth. An unstoppable force backed by like likes of white trash NASCAR wishes they could win back.
However, why is NASCAR scared of the NFL? Ratings are the obvious question but in all honesty, will the ratings be any higher if the season ends before the NFL season? Probably not, it’s not like the races that happen before football season are setting recording high ratings.
In all honesty, the ratings pretty much stayed the same. The NFL season started on September 8th, NASCAR raced at Indianapolis that same weekend. The Brickyard 400 on NBC got a 1.9 rating. The last race on NBC before Indianapolis was Watkins Glen got a 1.4 rating. Essentially a race during football season drew more viewers. The next race on NBC during football season was the Roval which got a 1.8 rating.
The idea that ending before football season will help ratings doesn’t seem to be true.
Ending In September Allows For More Tracks To Host The Finale, That’s A Lie
Let me take you back to November 2001, after the 9/11 attacks NASCAR moved the New Hampshire race that should have happened that weekend in September to November. While cold, NASCAR still managed to host a race at its most northern race track.
In 2020 NASCAR will host the penultimate round of the championship at Martinsville on November 1st. If you think that’s going to be warm you don’t understand whether, my friend. But if you can hold it on 11/1 why can’t you hold it 7 days later on 11/8?
Of all the tracks that would be suitable hosts for the championship race Chicagoland it the furthest north and they got snow in October. So maybe you take that chance in November with Chicago.
Ending in September feels so early. If they even extended into mid-October that wouldn’t be too bad. If we absolutely have to end in September at least bring back the Southwest Tour so we have something to watch.
Follow us on Twitter @ApexOff