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NASCAR World Reacts To Controversial Schedule News

NASCAR driver Chase Elliott wins the Cup Series title at Watkins Glen International in New York

WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK - AUGUST 21: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet, walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 21, 2022 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The final seven races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series will all be contested on Sunday - which puts them in direct competition with the NFL for ratings. NASCAR star Chase Elliott believes that needs to change.

In a recent media appearance, the NASCAR champion asserted that it's not smart to keep racing during the heart of the NFL season. He believes that it doesn't matter how many races they have in a year if they're going up against the NFL for ratings and audience size.

“36 (races)… 45… 50 … I don’t think it matters how many races we have, but I don’t see any reason in competing against NFL football when that starts. In my opinion, that’s not a battle we’re ever going to win. I think we should be smart about that.”

Elliott suggested that a condensed schedule wouldn't be a bad idea either. He believes that "less is more" and that NASCAR could adjust its schedule to maximize potential TV ratings.

“I don’t make the rules and nobody asks my opinion that does,” he said. “And that’s completely fine, I’m not asking for that job. I don’t want that job. But I’m a firm believer that less is more, in the sense of the timing of a schedule and when we could end our season to make the most for TV ratings and things of that nature. I think we could do better, personally.”

NASCAR fans are a bit mixed on the idea though. While some respect Elliott for taking a pragmatic approach, others have pointed out that it wouldn't work logistically if they were to have such a long layoff in between seasons.

It seems unlikely that NASCAR will make wholesale changes to their annual scheduling based on an off-the-cuff comment from one driver. 

But if growing the sport is their goal, the powers that be will find competing with the NFL and college football during the height of the playoff season to be a major hurdle to overcome. 

Should NASCAR listen to Chase Elliott here?