During the last month, the sports blogosphere, including this blog you’re reading, has reminisced over the best, worst, and most annoying things in sports over the last decade.
It’s been fun, but I feel it’s time to do a little something different.
To send the first decade of the 2000s off right, I feel it would be appropriate to share 10 things I believe are going to happen in the NASCAR world in the 2010s.
Now, before I get any comments on this, I will share with you all that I’m not exactly a Nostradamus(I picked Brian Vickers to win the 2009 title back in September…and that log cabins and trampolines would be the hot products that year…I’m prescient!). But I figured this might be kind of fun anyway. So, without further ado, let’s take a peek into “the future”…
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will win a Cup title: Junior “haters”, I know I’m not your best friend right now. But remember what I said just after the ’09 season ended. Hendrick is putting his full effort into the #88 car next season, and if Hendrick puts his full effort into the #88, then so will NASC… wait, never mind.
2. Mark Martin will retire, but Jeff Gordon will go first: Eventually, Mark Martin will be too old to drive a stock car. By the end of the decade, the guy will be 60, and I don’t see him in a car at 60. But eventually, his teammate Jeff Gordon will come to the realization that his back isn’t getting any better, and that it will take literal perfection to win a title under the current system. And when he does, the California Kid will hang it up. Yes, before Mark Martin.
3. Bruton Smith will start his own series: Smitty’s been buying up tracks left and right, and he’s the only multi-track owner in NASCAR not named France, who, by the way, runs a racing series called “NASCAR”. Don’t be surprised if Smith takes his tracks and starts his own series, especially if he can’t get a Cup date for Kentucky.
4. Brian France will resign: Now we’re talkin’! There is strength in numbers, and before long, the number of people that are calling for France’s head will be high enough to force him out of power, and he’ll take Helton and Pemberton with him. Who will take over?
5. A panel of old NASCAR drivers will take over: Bobby Allison will take over as NASCAR President, David Pearson will take over as NASCAR VP of Competition, and the King himself, Richard Petty will take over as NASCAR CEO. And with that…
6. France’s brain-children will be thrown out: With our new “Heads of Sport”, the Chase, the CoT, and the revised schedule will all be thrown out, and replaced by the old points system, car, and schedule. Hmm, this is fun…
7. Gibbs will usurp power from Hendrick and Joey will beat Jimmie’s record: Did you watch the Nationwide Series at all this year? Kyle Busch was unstoppable, save for one man. Joey Logano was the only human-being or robot or alien on the planet that could stop Busch on the 2nd-tier circuit. And in a duel, he beat Busch more often than not. If NASCAR goes back to the old car, Logano will get 5 Cups in a row.
8. NASCAR and Smith’s Series will merge: Once NASCAR becomes NASCAR again and its TV ratings go back up, Smith’s series will start to suffer, and the newer, kinder NASCAR management will gladly buy his series and his tracks. And NASCAR will get more new talent because of it.
9. Video Game NASCAR will rise to national prominence: At least, for a short time. There are many video game NASCAR racing leagues out there, such as the Nuff Racing League, filled with racers that admire what the NASCAR drivers do so much that they wish to do it themselves, but can’t because they don’t have the time, finances, etc. So their second option is a video game racing league. And let me tell you, these guys let it all hang out, and with no safety risks. Get these guys a major sponsor, maybe a television contract and, who knows? Maybe Video Game NASCAR will become the next “Big Thing”.
10. In 10 years, we’ll look back and say that the ’10s was the best decade in NASCAR yet: If everything I say comes true(not likely, but one can dream), the 2010s will be an awesome decade for NASCAR. The sport will return to its roots, get a load of new talent, and maybe even add a video game league, too. It would certainly set up an even better decade in the 2020s, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Fans, I hope you have enjoyed your 2009. I know I enjoyed blogging for you all, and I hope to see you all again in 2010. Thank you all for being so great, and have a Happy New Year!