Okay, I think we need to listen to Denny Hamlin on this one.
March Madness is always a great time of the year for college basketball, but it comes and goes, and then we must wait a full year until we have another win-or-go-home tournament with high stakes.
Hamlin, who has been racing with NASCAR for almost 20 years, is pitching an idea for a mid-summer single elimination racing tournament for the league and its racers. NASCARS’s version of March Madness?
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
Hamlin revealed his “million dollar idea” on his podcast “Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin” and you can tell that he is pumped about it and determined to make it happen:
“I think during the summer months, we should be kicking ass in ratings.
We are going to have a bracket challenge. You have 10 weeks to get yourself in the top 32 in points. Five weeks in a row where you have head-to-head competition, and you’re seeded based off where you are in points at week 10.
So the number 1 seed is whoever is first in points, they will be going up against the 32nd place guy in points this week, so on, so forth.
You’re gonna have head to heads, once again, 16 down to 8, down to 4, down to 2. I can tell you, as the drivers are concerned, we would be wildly competitive for this.”
Hamlin took to Twitter to quote tweet the video shared by Dirty Mo Media and give fans more information about his “NASCAR Madness” idea.
He even included the famous term “upset,” which is often associated with single elimination tournaments. He added:
“32 drivers. 5 week mid summer tournament. 3 million to win.
How many upsets would we have in week 1 along??”
Then Hamlin did what any good sports idea or tournament must do: pander to the degenerate gamblers of the world.
You can’t have a single elimination tournament without a bracket challenge, and Hamlin made sure to cover all of his bases and pitch an idea for NASCAR to bring in fans (and more importantly, gambling):
“NASCAR offers 50 million to anyone with a perfect bracket (insure it). Casual fans would be all over it.
Sports bettors are bored in the summer with nothing but MLB to bet on. Would create so much chatter and content.”
I would consider myself a casual fan of NASCAR, and I would definitely be more inclined to tune in for an event like this.
Race car drivers going one-on-one for a huge million dollar prize seems like a hell of a way to spend the dog days of summer. I’ll definitely watch, and I just might be willing to enter into a competition with a bracket of my own.
Some NASCAR traditionalists won’t like the idea of taking away the big fields of the typical race, but having drivers duel with one another might be a great example of “addition by subtraction.”
Social media seems to like the idea at least:
Those mid summer races on Wednesday nights and throw in maybe 1-2 at smaller legendary venues like Bowman Gray
— Brian Brown (@BrianBrown21) April 25, 2023
As a Fantasy NASCAR content creator, I 💯 support this idea! Casuals can run brackets and sportsbooks can create lines for the head to head match ups. This is perfect because it adds to the fan experience WITHOUT changing the racing product. Need more ideas like this!
— Free Nascar DFS 😉 (@DfsNascar) April 25, 2023
Kinda bad ass. I like it
— Parker Kligerman (@pkligerman) April 25, 2023
— S29MAN (@Freaky4Fast) April 25, 2023
The entire episode can be viewed here: