At Phoenix International Raceway on February 5, 1995, a new series was born under the NASCAR banner. Brian France, then NASCAR Vice Chairman, planned for the series to be run at smaller venues so that up and coming drivers and teams could have a national series to race in, without having to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars for hotel rooms, traveling, trucks, etc.
The series would feature 20 races in its first year. Many races were located in the western section of the United States, in slightly smaller markets such as Phoenix, Tuscon, Santa Clarita, Bakersfield, Portland, Evergreen, I-70, Louisville, Bristol, The Milwaukee Mile, Colorado, Topeka, O'Reilly Raceway Park, Flemington, Richmond, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro, Sonoma and Bakersfield.
That's nothing compared to the schedule that now contains 25 races with stops at larger markets; Daytona, Fontana, Atlanta, Kansas, Charlotte, Dover, Texas, Michigan, Memphis, Nashville, Chicago, Loudon, Las Vegas, Talladega and Miami.
These tracks have taken the series outside of its "home grown" roots -- a natural theme for NASCAR these days. Instead of hotel rooms for teams at under $100 a night, you will see hotel rates at tracks like Las Vegas and Miami top limits as far as team by team budgets are concerned.
However, location isn't the only problem with this dying series. Its "unique" rules have been on the list of number one things to fix since they were added to the series this year. Namely, the new pit road rule that doesn't allow team to change tires and few on the same stop.
This rule, of course, is one of the things keeping the series from double-file restarts as seen in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.
Originally added as a way to cut costs for the teams in the Truck Series, the new pit rule has done nothing to save the teams money. There are just as many crew members doing just as many things as there always has been.
The racing has stayed the same, the ratings and attendance have stayed uniform as well.
That's the problem with this series. Staying the same as it is now will lead to a slow but painful death for the series that is known for it's rowdy ways.
NASCAR and its Camping World Truck Series are struggling right now, that much is obvious.
But a fix in the series would be just as easy as looking back to the way it was in 1995. Small markets and a short schedule equaled better racing. The way it was in 1995 when France conceived the series got it to where it is now. However, the Truck Series decline is evident as one of the largest sports organizations in the world continues to move more corporate with its other two national touring series.
For old school fans of the sport, the Camping World Truck Series is the only thing they have left. However, as the pockets of many NASCAR executives continue to draw nearm the old school fans of the sport will be left out in the dry, yet again.
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