By Racing’ Roger
Despite the assurances of Nascar earlier in the season, the show of trucks at Nashville Saturday reinforces the doubt about the series future. For the teams that entered the race, qualifying was not a concern. The series which starts a maximum of 36 trucks had only 34 entries.
A look back at the 2009 season so far shows that of the 14 races to date, this was the fifth race that started short of a full field of trucks. Only 24 teams have made all 14 races so far, the other 43 teams this year have averaged less than 4 starts each. Only 17 drivers have run all 14 races so far, as teams have been relegated to renting out the teams for one off drivers. Last years champion had an early end to the season as Red Horse Racing was unable to secure enough sponsorship to keep Johnny Benson running the full season.
We all know that Ford and Dodge had pulled their factory support to the series before this season, and Chevrolet followed suit. A few weeks ago Toyota reduced their factory support also. The economy has hurt all of the NASCAR divisions regarding sponsor money, and as the funds disappear even NASCAR takes a hand in steering sponsors to the premier series. As sponsor dollars leave the Nationwide Series for the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide teams are drawing dollars from the Truck Series.
It looks like NASCAR is treating this series like the red headed step child, as they have forgotten about the Double File restarts for the trucks. The new pit rules for this year prove to guarantee more caution laps as teams are forced to do two pit stops in order to change tires and then return for fuel. This may have sounded like a good idea, but it equals boring.