NASCAR’s annual media tour has come and gone.
As teams transition from talking about the 2016 Sprint Cup season to planning for the 2016 Sprint Cup season, here’s a look at some random NASCAR odds related to news from this week.
Odds the Sprint Cup Adopts Caution Clock: 10/1
The biggest news coming from the media blitz is the caution clock concept. The Camping World Truck Series will have a caution every 20 minutes. The idea is avoid long runs, which can make truck racing less a bit of a bore. More cautions, in theory, will bunch competitors and create opportunity for more strategy. Plus, if a big name has a Indirectly pit road penalty or issue, it’s easier to get backup front. Fans don’t want Kyle Busch running 20th in a truck race.
On one hand, the trucks don’t have many drivers running the entire season. The events themselves can matter more than the series title. The clock inherently creates action because of all the different strategies in play. On the other hand, if the truck races suddenly become must see television, wouldn’t NASCAR officials test the concept at a Sprint Cup race? The All-Star Race has had a million different formats. It could also be tested at the Sprint Unlimited; competition cautions are common.
Personally, I don’t see the clock coming to the Sprint Cup for an entire race; I can see more competition cautions in the first half of races to prevent a driver from just running away from the field.
Odds a Drive Makes The Chase With A New Team: 25/1
Clint Bowyer moves to a team with fewer resources and hasn’t won since 2012. As much as everyone seems to like Chase Elliott and Chris Buescher, both are rookies. Other well-funded teams stayed put with their respective driver lineups.
So the real question is if David Ragan or Landon Cassill or Regan Smith can pull a rabbit out of their hats, eek out a win and make the Chase. AJ Allmendinger showed it was possible, and there’s always Talladega and Daytona. Still, I just don’t see a good fit in 2016 for drivers with new teams.
Odds Roush Fenway Racing Makes The Chase: 8/1
So if Bowyer doesn’t make the Chase, that opens up at least one spot for a new driver to make NACSCAR’s version of the playoffs. The interesting stat teams went back to a bunch this week related to NASCAR’s new aero package, which takes a page from Kentucky and Darlington (both pretty fun races by the way.)
The idea is that teams that did well at Kentucky and Darlington could be more frisky in 2016. Thanks to Yahoo for reminding everyone that the Roush Fenway drivers finished 11th, 13th and 16th at Kentucky. It might have been one of the team’s top two or three races of the year. Add the idea of a random win or more information sharing and you can see the formula for Jack Roush to get back to the Chase.
On the other hand, Kasey Kahne missed the Chase last year. So did Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon. This is also Tony Stewart’s retirement bonanza. If there are only two or three changes in the Chase field, the competition for those spots will be tight, especially if an underfunded team pulls off an upset.
Chances NASCAR Fans Are Ready For Daytona After This Snowstorm: 1/135,235
Let’s get to racing. Be careful this weekend, and insert a random catchphrase here.