With speculation of format changes for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, one track president said he doesn’t want to see anything “radical,” but would be for a halftime break or quarter breaks in a race.
Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway, said Friday he would be for breaks in races but is against anything that shortens races.
“I think a format change is a good thing, but it needs to be a tweak, not a radical change,” he said on a conference call Friday announcing the track’s repaving project. “If I could wave the magic wand, we’d have at least a halftime and maybe periods. Something like that. Football games have four quarters. Hockey games have three (periods). That kind of thing.
“Pit stops? I don’t know if you would have five minutes or 10 minutes or just throw a caution flag like a competition yellow. Those aren’t radical departures.’’
Gossage also said he would be for paying a bonus to the leader at halfway again. He even suggested awarding points based on segments of races.
“Those kind of things as opposed to, I’ve heard people talking about heats and things like that, I think that is a radical departure,’’ he said.
Discussion of any format changes has increased with Monster Energy becoming the title sponsor for NASCAR’s top series. Some believe this could be a natural time to make such changes.
Monster Energy sponsors the Supercross Series — it was announced Thursday that Monster has extended its deal to sponsor that series through 2021 — and that series is making changes. The Supercross Series will go to timed races this year instead of races based on laps.
Would timed races be something that could work with some NASCAR races?
“My personal opinion is that timed races suck,’’ Gossage said. “It’s funny, I hear all these kind of things from the people that travel the circuit, the teams, the sponsor reps, the media, but you don’t hear these things from the fans. Our fans, they don’t want less. They’ve been waiting all year long for this. They don’t want less. They want more.
“No fan wants us to go away from 500-mile races (at Texas). I don’t know if timed races make any sense, to me personally. I watched I think the longest college football game in history the other night. The Rose Bowl game. Didn’t it go 17 hours or something like that (actual time of USC’s 52-49 win over Penn State on Monday was 4 hours, 12 minutes)?
“But it was thrilling. You didn’t want to turn it off. What we’ve got to work on is make sure the product is thrilling and it doesn’t matter how long it goes.’’