NASCAR gets a lot of criticism for rule changes. Some I get but some of them I don’t understand the fans’ response. But, two big rule changes that they’ve made have recently now shown that they go a long way in helping underfunded teams and their future outlook in the sport. Take the rule about limiting Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers making start in feeder series’. If that rule isn’t in place, and drivers can run an unlimited amount of races in the NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, then the days of Cup drivers winning those championships are still occurring. That means Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and others are racing in Road America this past Sunday. Now, with that rule in place, this standalone event last weekend is full of XFINITY Series regulars and one-off road racers.
That in turn helps a team like Jeremy Clements Racing. Lets be honest here, if the Cup drivers are in that field on Sunday, Clements doesn’t win. Period. But, without them, he has a chance.
That rule in turn helped Jeremy Clements reach victory lane for the first time of his NASCAR career. That in turn spiraled a success story for another NASCAR rule change, the playoffs.
When the Chase was debuted in 2004, NASCAR fans either embraced it or hated it. There was no inbetween. Some to this day still wish NASCAR went with the old points system. But, just last year, they revamped it and added a playoff format to the XFINTY and Truck Series. That in turn helped Clements and his family owned team too.
By virtue of that and the limiting Cup drivers rule, Clements now knows that by virtue of his win, he’s playoff bound. Because of that, he can sell sponsorship to his No. 51 entry. It’s easier for a team like themselves to go to boardrooms now selling themselves. Prior to the win, they were a hard sell to major sponsors. An underfunded team with limited employees and resources racing a car from 2008 against the juggernauts with a new car practically every week. Why put your company name, colors and logo on their car when you can sponsor someone that has a chance of winning?
Well, they can sell the Cinderella story, they can sell that they can win and they can sell that they will be given a much larger amount of TV time in the playoffs. He’s going to be one of 12 cars in the postseason racing for a championship. Do they expect to realistically win it? Of course not. But, for those races that he’s still mathematically in the playoffs, they can sell a lot more sponsorship real estate on that car. They can get some big paying sponsors since they now know they’ll be guaranteed to be shown on TV more. Plus, the playoff eligible cars stand out more on the track than the others due to special decals and colors on the spoilers. That’s great to attract more money from possible companies that way.
That spirals into this team having a surpluss financially now. That in turn means they can buy newer equipment which in turn means he can compete at the front more which in turn means what? More money.
See how much that win did for them and their future? They could also possibly merge with a bigger team and gain resources as a satellite team in the future too. Again, more money and resources.
How does this affect Clements personally?
He can finally show his talent and have a fair fight. He’s not taking a knife to a gun fight anymore.
See how two simple rule changes helped make a longshot dream a reality for a small organization? This team can now operate with newer equipment and make money doing so too.