The Camping World Truck Series races Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway. Does NASCAR need more dirt races? If so, what series and where?
Kyle Petty: No. NASCAR doesn’t “need’’ any more dirt races! Unless you believe that NASCAR “needs” gimmicks to draw fans and attention. I love dirt racing so don’t get me wrong. I just don’t believe the sport/business that NASCAR has grown into at the Cup/Xfinity levels “needs’’ dirt. Having said that, I would like to see another dirt track added to the Truck Series to eliminate the gimmick feel of Eldora.
Nate Ryan: Yes and a Cup race at Eldora would be a good start. The (incorrect) narrative goes that having another NASCAR national series on the short track somehow would dilute the concept of racing on dirt. But its appeal isn’t rooted in uniqueness … it simply stems from the racing being high quality. I think an annual NASCAR on dirt weekend at Eldora would be a fine idea.
Dustin Long: I like that the Truck race is special. Sometimes, it’s better to want more of something than to have more of it. NASCAR does not need to run a Cup or Xfinity race on dirt. Let the Trucks have the spotlight on dirt and don’t get caught up in the fantasy that more of something is better.
Denny Hamlin scored his 30th career Cup win Sunday. Every eligible driver for the Hall of Fame with 30 or more wins has been inducted. Should 30 Cup wins be viewed as automatic for Hall of Fame enshrinement?
Kyle Petty: Thirty wins are huge in the sport right now! So at this time I would probably answer yes! But my view is skewed. I grew up watching my dad, Pearson, Yarborough and Allison! So when I was in my 20s, I would have said the number should be 70 or 80! Thirty wins, as BIG as they are, is a LONG way from those guys’ numbers. I realize it’s apples and oranges and that’s the problem with having a “standard’’ with which to measure achievement in this sport. The “standard’’ for those already in the Hall is what? The Hall has stated “there are many ways in.’’ That’s why we have the eclectic group we have already in the Hall. The word or use of “standard” cannot and does not apply .
Nate Ryan: Thirty victories should be enough to qualify for a Hall of Fame induction (even without a championship), but the Hall of Fame criteria and selection process are in need of some tweaking that also could affect how long a 30-win driver would wait to be elected. The nominee list needs to be sliced and voting percentage requirements will be necessary in the future.
Dustin Long: In this era, 30 wins is an apropos standard for Hall of Fame enshrinement. Typically, it has taken active drivers who have reached that threshold more than a decade to do so. That’s a good standard for today’s drivers.
What’s the next penalty NASCAR should give teams if they continue to fail inspection?
Kyle Petty: After failing initial inspection or qualifying inspection “X’’ number of times, the offender, at the following race, will be allowed one practice session only and will attempt one qualifying session. They must qualify 30th or better but will start the race from the last position. They will also have the last pit pick. If the competitor fails post-race inspection “X’’ number of times they will forfeit one race. They will be allowed to practice, qualify, and race. But no points will be awarded, finishing position will be listed as “last’’ (even if they win) and no money is awarded. Plan money will be divided and one race deducted. That’s my plan … Boys Have at It!
Nate Ryan: NASCAR has hinted at reduced race tire allotments, and that seems a suitable option. Practice holds don’t seem to be an effective deterrent in the slightest.
Dustin Long: I like the idea of the pass-through penalty or something stronger, especially if it is not a first-time offense. One key issue is there have been questions in the garage about the reliability of NASCAR’s equipment. If these penalties are going to continue to ramp up, NASCAR must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt not only to the garage but to fans that its equipment is reliable and consistent.
Watch Kyle Petty on NASCAR America from 5-6 p.m. ET today on NBCSN. He joins host Carolyn Manno and Parker Kligerman to discuss the latest issues in the sport.