The winds of change are blowing through NASCAR. We’re not talking a gentle breeze here, so much as we’re talking about gale force winds….
That’s just the beginning. NASCAR’s penalty system has been spelled out. While wins won’t be stripped away from violators, nonetheless the governing body believes they have laid out what teams and fans can expect if chicanery has been uncovered, not the least of which a structure for addressing repeat offenders. While there’s a list of infractions and what can be expected, there’s still wiggle room left for NASCAR to exercise discretion.
Group qualifying will replace single-car qualifying. While the presentation will certainly offer greater intrigue and drama, there’s still the potential for concern should a multi-car wreck occur.
That doesn’t even get into all the changes among teams and drivers themselves. Such high profile drivers as Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman- among others- will appear for new teams. Old guard drivers such as Jeff Burton will settle into diminished roles, while it appears the racing careers of Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin are all but over. Juan Pablo Montoya returns to open wheel racing after a pair of road course victories during seven full seasons of NASCAR competition.
New faces will populate the landscape. Kyle Larson will be among those blazing new trails at the Cup level, while Austin Dillon brings the number three back to the Cup track. We’ll also be seeing Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney will be among those writing new chapters in their family racing history.
Love it or hate it, 2014 will be different in NASCAR. Do you fund yourself excited, concerned, or chagrined over all the new developments?