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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Has One Big Suggestion for NASCAR to Improve Product for Fans

Gowtham Ramalingam

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Revisits NASCAR’s “Phantom Yellows”

NASCAR announced earlier this month that it would be setting up a 32-driver, in-season Cup Series tournament beginning 2025. The contest will take place over five regular season races, hold a prize money of $1 million, and aim to appeal to the casual fan. Discussing the prospect on his podcast, Dale Earnhardt Jr. pitched an idea that would make the entire ordeal much more exciting.

He contended that monetary prizes do not thrill drivers nor fans as much as they did three decades back. The icon believes that there ought to be an added incentive for the winner that will make the field desire to be victorious in the tournament. His suggestion for that is an automatic qualification to the second round of the playoffs.

He said, “What’s a million dollars to Denny Hamlin? Well, the dude has won 50 races! It means a lot different than it might to Harrison Burton, right? Definitely, a million dollars is a lot of damn money to Harrison Burton. He would be thrilled to get that check, right? So, it doesn’t mean the same for all the drivers whereas a boost into the playoffs holds the same value for anyone in the series.”

Any driver who races well enough over the five tournament races will, without help, have fixed himself a spot in the playoffs. Citing the same, Dale Jr. says that a pass to the second round would be a fair compensation that could impact the entire season and also want people to closely watch the tournament. Notably, he will be a part of the TNT’s broadcast team during these five races in 2025.

What do NASCAR drivers currently stand to gain from the tournament?

Apart from winning a million dollars, drivers will aid in creating more storylines for the fans to follow over the course of the season. NASCAR’s Senior Vice President Brian Herbst said of the purpose of the contest, “The other piece that we wanted to do is focus on the drivers in particular to the extent that we can create rivalries or storylines from a head-to-head perspective.”

The tournament will be held over races 18-22 of the 2025 regular season when TNT’s turn to be the broadcaster will come. The calendar is expected to be altered to include a mix of track types during this period as well. With production plans still in early stages it isn’t too late for Dale Jr.’s suggestions to be considered by the sanctioning body.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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