Rusty Wallace, recently selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, loves plenty of things about the sport. Except maybe the increased schedule.
“It’s the classic case of supply and demand,” Wallace said Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. “Too much supply and not enough demand.”
Wallace won 55 Sprint Cup races in a career that stretched from 1980 to 2005. He thought the series was at its best in the mid-1990s, when NASCAR ran 31 or 32 races.
This year, drivers will race in 36 events, as they’ve done since 2001.
“Personally, I wish the schedule were 32 again,” Wallace said.
Wallace still believes in NASCAR’s popularity. However, he hopes the sport’s leaders don’t water down the product with too many races.
“I love NASCAR. It’s been good to me. It’s made me a lot of money,” Wallace said. “I think it’s OK for me to give my opinion. I don’t think NASCAR would get upset about that. Maybe take four races off the schedule and increase that demand that means so much.”
Wallace, an ESPN broadcaster, was selected for the 2013 Hall of Fame class Wednesday, along with four pioneers of the sport in Leonard Wood, Herb Thomas, Cotton Owens and Buck Baker. They will be inducted in February.
Wallace likes the safety improvements and what NASCAR’s doing to keep cars racing side-by-side. Wallace saw that in Saturday’s Nationwide Series won by Brad Keselowski.
“It’s going to be slick. These cars are going to be slipping and sliding, that should make for a good race,” Wallace said.
Montoya beats Franchitti
Dario Franchitti didn’t win everything Sunday.
Chip Ganassi Racing announced that driver Juan Pablo Montoya claimed the All-Time Greatest Chip Ganassi Racing Driver title after fans participated in four rounds of voting. Montoya beat Franchitti, who won his third Indianapolis 500 title Sunday, in the final round of the voting to decide the overall winner in the social media promotion.
With both the IndyCar Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series holding two of their largest events Sunday, Ganassi Racing launched its first greatest-driver bracket to encourage fans to vote for the best driver. Nearly 12,000 votes were submitted.