Bruton Smith, Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman, has never shied away from giving his opinions on anything and everything NASCAR. And once again, he's illustrated why he's a persistent thorn in NASCAR's side ... but one the sport can't possibly live without.
Consider Smith's comments on Tuesday about the much-maligned Chase: "It started off as as good idea but maybe it’s time to look for something [else]," he said. "I know it’s not as exciting to the fans now as it was initially … I think it started off being very important, but I don’t think it’s as important as maybe we thought it would be."
Ouch. Smith's comments came on the eve of NASCAR's anticipated announcement of changes to its points system, which would mark the 75th straight year of changes to the Chase, or so it seems. At some point, Smith is suggesting, if it ain't working, perhaps it can't be fixed.
What Smith would like to see is more of a premium placed on winning, both in terms of points and in terms of purse. If the difference between first and second is, say, five points on a 43-point scale and $500,000, you'll see drivers pushing hard for that win.
Soon enough, we'll know. And there'll be plenty for all of us, Smith included, to discuss.