NASCAR Is Strongly Considering Moving The Number Decals On Cup Series Cars

A group of race cars on a road
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Oh, good Lord.

As if NASCAR isn’t having a hard enough time trying to get ratings up and working on the public perception of the sport, they’re now considering moving the placement of the numbers on the cars.

After announcing the next generation Cup Series cars earlier this year, apparently this is the next step towards modernizing the brand.

Here’s a look at a model version of the new Ford NextGen car, where you can get an idea of how they’ll be rearranging the paints schemes to accommodate the new shape of the car:

Yes, they want to move the numbers, which have literally been in the same place on the cars since the inception of the sport (and prior to its official formation). For all the practical, more pressing improvements they could be making, this is the genius idea they’ve come up with.

I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand this. I know they want to change up certain aspects of racing, and they need to, but the look of the Cup Series car with the large numbers smack dab in the middle is the iconic image every single person has when they think of a NASCAR car.

When you hear the name Dale Earnhardt Sr., you immediately envision the large, red and white #3 right there in the middle of his Chevy.

At least I do, and it’s hard to imagine it being any other way. Maybe I’m just too traditional and nostalgic, but I like having certain things stay the same as a sort of nod to the beginnings of the sport.

I’m sure there will be lots of people that like it, though, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it looks out on the track.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the reaction from fans to this idea has been mixed:

“You know what, it’s mixed. There are some fans that absolutely hate it, and there are fans that absolutely love it, so no decision as to what we’re going to do on where those numbers are going to be placed.”

According to the Sports Business Journal, instead of the number decal being placed in the middle of the car, it will be moved forward in order to leave a larger space open for sponsors to display their branding and logos more prominently.

Here’s a mock up of what it might look like on Alex Bowman’s #48 car:

Fox Sports racing analyst Larry McReynolds thinks the shift of the numbers makes sense:

“I’m a traditionalist and I like the number in the center of the door, but after seeing the NextGen car, I understand the need to slide it forward.

I think it’s a necessity to do it to give sponsors the space and value they need, and without the sponsors, we’d have to close up shop.

I think by halfway through next season, we’ll wonder why we ever had the number on the door… to be honest, when I was racing, I wouldn’t have cared if the number was on the door, up front or on top, my only concern was making the car go fast.”

He could be right, and he obviously knows way more about racing than I do, so I’m anxious to see how it all plays out next season.

An announcement on the final decision is expected soon, so it looks like it’s only a matter of time until it’s official.

Does anyone else have this stuck in their head now?

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock