Why Horsepower Reduction Is A Horrible Idea

phoenix speed_0

So NASCAR (well, the powers that be) is looking at reducing horsepower, eh? It will improve the racing? Imagine me doing my best Phil Robertson impression “Nnnno.”

This is why racing people need to run racing. Could you imagine telling Usain Bolt he would have to sprint in snow boots? Maybe the runners in the Boston Marathon should have to tow a Volkswagen with a rope. Yeah, slowing the racing down, this should make it better. Good luck selling that one, though high speed doesn’t always necessarily mean good racing if one or two cars are lights out better.

It’s another example of how the boy in Daytona Beach are completely out of touch with the fans, and the spirit of racing in general. It doesn’t matter what kind of racing you’re talking about- be it cars, running, swimming, or heck, racing lawn mowers- the idea is to push it to the edge, to test the outer limits.

This is where NASCAR has gone in reverse with all the rules and restrictions. Unless you’re talking about inexperienced kids, and you want restrictions on horsepower to regulate safety, then you go the other direction. The whole idea of racing is to find the edge, and stop just short of it. As teams did with tires at Auto Club Speedway recently, sometimes you step over that edge and you crash and burn. Unless you’re insanely bent on wadding up as much equipment as possible, you learn from it, you adjust.

Sometimes in a race, a good team is just going to dominate. They didn’t ask me, but if you really want to improve the racing, do something about the plethora of intermediate tracks. Fontana is like Michigan, Chicagoland resembles Kansas, and so it goes. Look at the popular tracks: Darlington, Martinsville, Bristol and Richmond. They have character and their characteristics have a way of organically reducing speed. Take a lesson Iowa; now there’s a newer track with character that produces good racing. This isn’t Indy Car.

Reducing horsepower? Let’s just hope this is one of Brian France’s trial balloons, you know where he measures the reaction of the fans and thinks “Memo to self: DO NOT reduce horsepower.” The bottom line: that’s just not racing. One can understand the principle behind it, but if you reduce horsepower, you might as well just go put the drivers in go karts.