Tyler Reddick, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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The 2023 NASCAR Cup season may still be months away, but this is the time when the series typically looks at the past season.
What changes need to be considered and what tweaks may help NASCAR going forward? Every season delivers something new and exciting, and 2023 is no exception.
Next season will feature a downtown street race in the city of Chicago, a return to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the All-Star Race, as well as a number of new faces in new places.
Kyle Busch is moving to Richard Childress Racing, Ty Gibbs is driving for his grandfather (but not in the famed #18 Toyota), and Tyler Reddick is replacing Kurt Busch at 23XI Racing. Oh yeah, and then there is the whole Jimmie Johnson return as he takes on his new driver/owner role at Petty GMS Motorsports.
As the Next Gen car enters its second season, the spotlight will land on another topic. What could that be? Perhaps one of a few possible rule changes or schedule tweaks that will be different than this past year.
Here are a few ideas that could potentially improve the overall product for NASCAR next season.
Possible changes for NASCAR: No. 1 – Eliminate caution flags at stage breaks
Stages have become a hot topic in recent years, with fans screaming from both sides of the fence. While some hate the idea of stage points and would like to go back to the way it was pre-2017, others are adamant that it has a much better effect on the competition during the race. Either way, this change needs to happen.
The stage breaks are fine, but why does the action need to come to a halt for 15 minutes every time? Just because drivers are racing to the start/finish line to collect stage points doesn’t mean they should stop racing once they get there.
With all of the technology and timing/scoring loops around the tracks, NASCAR doesn’t need to stop the action to tally up who got what points and try to figure out the running order for the next restart.
Waving the flag and handing out the necessary points can be done while the race is still going. This is similar to the “take foul” that has been plaguing the NBA in recent years. It is a foul by the team at a disadvantage in order to stop the other team from a fast break. It essentially kills the flow and excitement of the game. That is what these yellow flags are doing in these races.