Daytona Beach, FL – NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has witnessed many changes in NASCAR over the years and he would welcome more. Regarding the emphasis on winning, he’s all for it.
“The way you win a championship is the same -- you have to win races,” he said shortly after arriving in Daytona from snow-bound Charlotte. “(The revisions) build excitement and then there’s the elimination process. I feel very good about it. When we look around at sports, everything is changing. The Olympics look far different than they used to. The world is changing; our viewership is changing, so the sport has to change”
Johnson said time will tell whether NASCAR has made the right changes but he fully supports the decisions made.
“I commend them on making bold changes and I think it is going to bring more excitement to the final 10 races,” he commented.
He went on to say that he believes more changes could be done on length and number of races.
“You can argue the first 26, ...and the overall premise that there’s a little too much NASCAR at times, maybe we race too many times and the races are long. Also, there could be some format and procedure changes during the course of an event.”
He acknowledges there is a major time commitment for a race weekend, factoring in traffic and length of event, all of which affect fans. He wondered out loud whether there was the need to race twice a year at the same tracks, particularly when there are empty seats at each event. He said he has friends that will come to a track once a year but not twice.
Johnson caught wind of the changes before they happened and thought other areas were going to be addressed, such as heat races preceding the main event on a given Sunday. “I thought there was going to be a big shake-up, and I was shocked to hear the changes that were coming,” he said, reiterating there is still room for change.