Dewar on NASCAR entitlement sponsor, stage racing tweaks, new manufactures, new pit stop rules and the two-day show
First, Brent Dewar discussed the state of the new primary sponsor.
“They signed late in the season, Dewar told ‘NASCAR Live’ via MRN, referring to signing Monster Energy back in December 2016.
“I worked with them very closely in bringing them to the sport. They were just looking to have a full season. They had to Dec. 31. We’ve given them an extension to go through the evaluation.”
“There’s no question it was a great season with them and any kind of metric that we run we hit the ball out the park with them. They’re different. We’re excited.”
“It was the right thing to do to give them a little more time to evaluate. We’re letting them do that. We’d love for them to stay for many years, but if they choose not to, we’ve got a great product, we’ll continue on in that regards.”
Dewar hints that NASCAR can find different sponsor to support the series if Monster elects not to renew for 2019. But, they are still working to maintain the current deal.
“There are meetings coming up. For the fans that have had a chance to go to the Monster activities prior to the race, they are a lot of fun. I’ve taken my guests that come to the race and we’ve had a great time experiencing how they demonstrate their brand in a very thoughtful, unique way. We love having them around.’’
New NASCAR Manufactures?
“Nothing to announce right now on the manufacturer front,’’ Dewar said. “The earliest one would be able to join would be 2020. We have entry ramps that come in.”
Dewar is referring to a stepping stone for a manufacture. For example, Toyota didn’t just start out in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“We think there are a couple of more brands in America that would be perfectly suited to come join us and race against their competitors. We work very hard at keeping the sport in front of them.”
“We had a number of them at the track last year, joining us, seeing the events and the direction where we’re taking the sport. It’s a work in progress and it’s one of the ones that I personally lead.’’
Tweaks to stage racing?
Lots of NASCAR fans love stage racing. A lot also hate it. The biggest compliant is the number of caution laps that conclude a stage.
“I think we’ll continue to modify it,” Dewar comments.
“We’ve done a lot research on this. When you have 80 million fans we’re going to have people with an opinion on everything, but I don’t think it’s as concerning as maybe some of the conversation at this point.”
Pit stop changes
Come February, pit stops will look a lot different. We don’t exactly know how much different, yet. NASCAR is eliminating one of the over the wall guys and setting up pit crew rosters.
“We really want to emphasize it’s the team,” Dewar explains NASCAR’s latest rule change. “It’s the crew chief and the driver, but it’s the team that brings it together.”
“What we love about NASCAR is the pit stops and so this effort of five over the wall and the crew and identifying the pit crew with their numbers at the track, you’ll start to see and understand the names of the people that make a championship team, a high quality team, that’s the method behind it, that’s the logic behind what we’re trying to achieve”
“I think what you’ll see with five over the wall and the rules we have is we’ll really to start to focus on the athleticism, these great athletes that are really unlike any other motorsports that will be coming over the wall.’’
“Pit stops are still going to be very fast, but they’re going to be a little bit slower so we can accentuate really what is happening. It’s almost too fast in some respects to capture it.”
Two day format
“I think the challenge this year was really on same-day qualifying with the race. We were actually pretty fortunate. We thought it through. There’s really not enough turnaround time in many cases. I think you’ll see less of that.”