Blog Entry

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

Posted on: January 27, 2011 2:17 pm
Posted By Pete Pistone

CONCORD, N.C. - NASCAR will stray from last year's standardized start times this season in an effort to boost sagging television ratings.

Specifically NASCAR races in the last third of the season will slide back to a later green flag to avoid going head-to-head with NFL kickoffs.

While the majority of the races televised in the first half of the year as part of the FOX television package will remain in the 1 p.m. ET start range, green flags will slide back later in the year.

A 2 p.m. ET beginning is the plan for most of the races in September through November with west coast venues including Texas and Phoenix near the tail end of the schedule, going to a 3 p.m. ET start.

The Homestead-Miami season-ending Ford 400 will also begin at 3 p.m. ET.

The decision is a major departure from the highly-touted standard start time plan which was introduced last year and attributed to fan request.

Category: Auto Racing

Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2011 5:42 pm

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

i have watches nascar like going to church on sunday since 1992,,,,,,i havent watches a race in 2 years,,,,nascar excs have turned into what happened to all professional sports, they try to change things to spruce them up and attract more fans which means more money,,,,Nascar was the one TRUE sport left without all the other crap. I couldnt stand the points system changed the first time,,,,this one seems even worse,,,,,changing times, and moving out of infamous tracks,,,,,,I HATE NASCAR NOW, what a shame

Since: Jun 14, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2011 4:58 pm

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

I like the recognition that they may not really be America's sport. The NFL in particular is very strong with the cmopact season and the increased competition, especially with the playoff positions on the line. But I agree with some of the other comments, NASCAR needs something, rivalries, someone other than Jimmie Johnson winning every title. And more interesting commentary, like maybe focused on the race being shown rather than talking about the points on lap 5, when by the end of the race nothing has changed. The annoucers are trying to hard to generate interest by looking at all the big picture, chase, points senarios, when the watchers are really watching this week's event. They also need to remember that there are 43 cars not just the 12 in the Chase. If a non-Chase driver is winning let's here about him.

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2011 1:50 am

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

I concur with Mikeyfan1599........I jumped to this story to see the replies and add my 2 cents.  I am a NASCAR fan on the West Coast and I love football too.  I am a Packers fan, but I only watch football on Sundays, after the race.  I would much prefer that the races actually start at 9am to 9:30am Pacific time.  This way I will be able to watch most of the late Sunday football games.  I am a big boy and can be up in time for the races starting that early in the West and having been to races in the East, I know it's quite the pain to have to wait so much of the day for the green flag.  NASCAR need not try to compete with the NFL.  It's a losing proposition.  However, these 2 sports do seem to have quite a few of the same fans.  Some are casual race fans who will only watch the races until football comes along in September and others like me will watch the race and follow the NFL games here on and then watch the rest of the day's football after the race.  Bottom line is NASCAR needed to make the start times at least 1/2 hour earlier during football season, if not 1 hr. earlier.  I believe the start times getting later and later is one of the factors that has led to ratings slipping some.  Not the only factor, but surely one of them.  Oh well, I will still watch the race and enjoy them.  Unless I am watching a race with too many needless cautions.  Needless cautions are what annoys me most about the officiating of the sport.  I'll jump off that topic for now, as I could go on and on about the kind of cautions that aren't needed.    &nbs
p; Jeff

Since: Jan 28, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2011 11:22 pm

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

End the multi-car teams for crying out loud. Bring back the rivalries. If NASCAR really wants to generate more interest in the sport then they need to bring back the rivalries. The only way to do that is increase interest in winning races which I think they may have done with the points change and the second thing is to have every driver out there driving for himself. I am so sick of hearing a teammate asking for help or pit crews being swapped amongst team mates.

Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2011 10:51 pm

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

The NFL is the 800 Lb. gorilla in the room that NASCAR cannot ignore in the fall.  Working around them is tough.  I agree with a couple of Saturday night races early in the Chase might be helpful.  In the end though, if the product continues to get better, the problem will eventually be self correcting to a degree.  NASCAR will have to realize that there are many who simply have an allegience to a team and watch their teams' games from start to finish.  If the sport will embrace the new social media and find a way to count those who follow the races through nonconventional means like cell phones and i-pads, they may be able to at least get convert the people that love all types of sports to pay more attention to the races.  That will be a big boost for NASCAR.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2011 2:21 pm

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

How about some more night races on Fri and Sat , just don't let them end at midnight or later. Nascar will never be able to compete on the same day as the NFL. The sooner they realize this they can take some steps to keep the sport growing.

Since: Apr 10, 2010
Posted on: January 28, 2011 11:41 am

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

how about ending the season at the start of september then there isnt a confict 35 races come on even I get a little tired of watching the races on the cookie cutter tracks they run on now

Since: Nov 9, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2011 9:36 am

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

To get better ratings when competing against football how about starting the races at 11am?  Atleast you will get two hours in before kickoff.  I am a nascar fan but when football season starts my fantasy teams take over and I hardly notice nascar on TV.  I usually just watch the shortened replay.

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2011 7:02 am

NASCAR start times move to avoid NFL

Come on Pete give us the REST OF THE STORY,  ESPN announces the will move the races back to ABC. 

The move to ESPN last year was a ploy so ESPN/ABC could have a 1 hour lead in program as ESPN wasn't going to give up their pre-game football coverage.  ESPN says the kickoff conflict cost them in the ratings.  Sure,  So NASCAR starts an hour after kickoff when everyone is already involved in the football games being shown and will go, Oh, it's race time lets turn away from this game so we can watch the race.  BS all the way. 

If NASCAR wants to stop the NFL conflict then how 'bout starting the races at 12:30 EST 30 minutes before football kickoff and get people interested in the race first.  Wouldn't that work. 

You can also bet that ESPN/ABC will be wanting to move the start times back to 1:00 EST if the NFL doesn't have a CBA in place and there is a season lockout. 

So let us know when ABC decides to retake over the races. 

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