Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council don’t hold back on their opinions but the comments this week were as sharp and direct as they have ever been. They also weren’t afraid to express their opinions about their fellow fans — good and bad.
Fan Council members had a lot to discuss this week. They were asked about how much input they feel they have in creating change in NASCAR. They also were asked about the fan videos used to introduce drivers before last week’s All-Star Race, and they were asked about that race and the final segment.
Here’s what members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council said about those issues.
HOW MUCH INPUT DO YOU FEEL FANS HAVE IN AFFECTING CHANGE IN NASCAR?
45.8 percent said Just Right
27.8 percent said Too Much
26.3 percent said Not Enough
What Fan Council members said:
• Hard to say. But I feel like fans are never satisfied and complain so much that NASCAR is constantly changing things and is losing its credibility that way. I understand they want to please the fans, but no other sport is that reactive to the fans. I’m really not sure if it’s a good or bad thing. I will say that NASCAR has the biggest crybaby fans! Suck it up and enjoy the racing in front of you. It’s fantastic what these drivers are doing. So spoiled.
• NASCAR does a great job — heck, they change rules mid-season to tweak things. What other sport does that? NASCAR fans have such a diverse opinion on a wide variety of topics — someone will always be happy or unhappy with SOMETHING. We are a high maintenance vocal group!
• Why is it I feel like NASCAR is listening to the wrong “fans”?
• I think NASCAR listens. When I first became a fan, it seemed as though they didn’t care about what they heard. Now, five years later, I have a different impression.
• I wonder, if NASCAR REALLY listened to the fans, if we would still have “the Chase” and the Top 35 rule?
• I feel between the Fan Council and Twitter, there are plenty of avenues to reach NASCAR with questions and concerns. I know they do listen to what they are hearing.
• We are spectators. I do not feel like we need any input as to how the business known as NASCAR is run. It really upsets me when I hear people say that there need to be changes because they are not “entertained.”
• NASCAR/Brian France is incredibly stubborn when it comes to listening to the fans. They have been waging war on us fans this year, saying we’re not fans if we like crashes; saying we’re needy if we want to see the debris that causes debris cautions. They are doing a great job at making people less interested in our sport.
• It’s important to keep the fans happy, but I think NASCAR has gone too far giving so much control to the fans. Fans don’t understand everything it takes to run this show. Some of their requests are ridiculous.
• Most fans are knowledgeable and have good ideas. NASCAR should listen to them more.
• It’s disconcerting to me that NASCAR is very quick to make adjustments based on fans’ complaints. From my experience, a lot of fans are biased and largely uninformed. I do not think that watching every race necessarily means you know enough to affect change.
GRADE SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALL-STAR RACE
43.9 percent called it Good
25.8 percent called it Great
19.9 percent called it Fair
10.4 percent called it Poor
What Fan Council members said:
• The first 80 laps were awesome. I was at the race and for those first 80 laps we got to cheer drivers who were driving their asses off and putting on a good race. But as someone who was actually rooting for the 48 at the beginning of the race, the way they won it left me completely disappointed. I get it was perfectly legal, and I get it in points racing, but for the All-Star? You can’t be bothered to race for the whole 90 laps? I’ll be finding someone else to root for next week.
• It was the best All-Star Race that I’ve seen in years. The 10-lap shootout was a little disappointing, but the rest of the segments were action-packed. There was racing going on all over the track at once — that is awesome.
• Stupid! Someone should have realized that the tactic of riding around in the back would come into play. Plus having the option for a stop-and-go only for the final pit stop — who’s dumb idea was that?
• The 20-lap segments were awesome. I just wish the last 10 was more exciting. It was a letdown after so much great racing
• Jimmie Johnson said they KNEW if they won the first segment, they had it in the bag. Really? Then why should we bother watching it? I’m pissed I wasted a Saturday night on that lame show. Jimmie Johnson may have won the million, but he can’t possibly be proud of the way he won that race. Way to go NASCAR.
• The racing itself was great, but I recommend an incentive for the segment winners to stay in the racing action. Say must finish top-10 each segment or they lose the advantage of pitting 1-4 before final segment.
• IMO part of the fun of the All-Star Race is seeing what strategies teams will use to try to win. And to those fans complaining about Jimmie (or Matt or Brad, who employed the same strategy once they won their segments) laying back (they were being smart staying out of trouble and at the same time adjusting their cars) during the middle segments a reminder of one of racing’s rules: To finish first, first you must finish, and Jimmie made sure he was going to be there at the end to finish.
• I finally saw drivers really racing for once. And even doing it without wrecking!
• This was the BEST RACE of the season. It had a little of everything and the drivers seemed to drive hard each and every lap.
• Too much sandbagging by the winners of segments 1-3. It’s NOT strategy, it’s sandbagging, which I abhor.
IS 10 LAPS THE PROPER LENGTH FOR THE FINAL SEGMENT OF THE ALL-STAR RACE?
59.4 percent said No
40.6 percent said Yes
What Fan Council members said:
• It’s not a shootout if its longer. We certainly don’t need another segment. If they change this, they’ll have to tweak everything else too.
• I think it should be 20 laps just like all the other segments.
• I suggest a full fuel run for the final segment or at least 25 laps.
• If you’re not in a position to do it in 10 laps ... ya ain't gonna do it.
• I think 10 laps keep fans more interested since drivers will be racing hard for all 10 laps instead of driving conservatively for 20-40 laps.
• Three segments of 30 laps each would be good. Why do you need a 10-lap shootout? Makes no sense. Most of the cars are just getting dialed in good on a restart at 10 laps. Make it at least 20.
• Johnson’s car was so fast I don’t know if 20 laps would have made a difference.