Special Note: Please note that this scenario is meant to be read as entertainment, not as an accurate prediction of the future. Also note that the viewpoints and opinions that may come across in this scenario are not necessarily the viewpoints and opinions of the author.
Throughout most of the 2010s, NASCAR will have a demise of popularity while most NASCAR fans will become more fans of professional wrestling and baseball. Many fans of NASCAR wil revert to watching exclusively football in the fall or other sports, making watching NASCAR a seasonal thing. Many fans of NASCAR are fans of the WWE and the older fans will get sick of the glam and the belief that NASCAR is the American Pastime and they will revert to baseball. NASCAR will also be regulated and races will become shorter because of the carbon emissions throughout the 2010s decade.
Decline of NASCAR
This would be noticed the most during the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season where only 48% of the seats would be filled on average. Because of the economy created by the Lehman Brothers going bankrupt in September of 2008, NASCAR sponsors such as Kelloggs are lower in advertising. While the economy will finally recover after the 2019 season, it will be a little too late for Kelloggs to do the right thing.
Many of the popular NASCAR drivers of the 2000s-2010s era will retire and become professional wrestlers or baseball players. However, NASCAR will make a comeback sometime around the year 2029 when it becomes internationally recognized for its competitive factor and equality amongst the competitors. Prior to the year 2017, the future of NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing) was largely dependent on fossil fuels. The full-time usage of unleaded fossil fuels began at the 2007 NASCAR season and will end at the 2011 NASCAR season when E15 (15% ethanol fuel) replaces racing gasoline.
Fossil fuels will declared obsolete on the NASCAR circuit at all levels well before the year 2054; similar to the move made at the Indy Racing League, Formula One and the National Hot Rod Association.
The Resurrection of NASCAR
In the year 2029, NASCAR and the stock car racing world will finally receive international recognition by being added to the Summer Olympic Games schedule along with war games, massive multiplayer online roleplaying, American football, and deathmatches (featuring men in Speedos and women in bondage gear). Deathmatches will become known for its racy uniforms and their pornographic commentary, becoming a staple in places like Japan, Thailand, Western Europe, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Toronto and New York City. Los Angeles was offered a death match league but had to reject it during a city council meeting; many people blamed the influence of the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team for the reason not to allow a death match league to operate in Los Angeles.
This naturally followed right after NASCAR was certified as an international sport by FIA (Federation Internationale du Automobile) and the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Either in or around the year 2030, NASCAR scientists will invent an invisible weather shield to ensure that no races are rained out in a season. Eventually, this technology would be used so that NASCAR events could be held year round (instead of from early February to late November). When NASCAR coverage moved from FOX to FOX Sports One and DirecTV Pay-Per-View (NASCAR All-Star Race only), it also improved the appeal of the sport to a more upscale audience.
While the main events will be held in the United States of America for decades to come, the invention of the maglev train means that exhibition matches in foreign countries will increase in frequency as maglev trains are faster than airplanes, thus leading to lower fares. As a result of this, more foreign-born citizens will defect from Formula One to NASCAR. This would eventually leading to the Formula One organization closing its doors around the year 2030. By the year 2040, stock car racing will have a monopoly on the automobile racing world.
And the increasing influence by foreign race car drivers and international fans will force to switch NASCAR to the metric system (using kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour) by the year 2040. Pit crew will have a new responsibility as they have to recharge the electric battery, instead of adding new fuel through their specialized pumps.
By the year 2105, NASCAR takes another hit in popularity when the young professional drivers decide to race in plasma-powered hovercars on other planets.
The Car of Tomorrow
The "Car of Tomorrow" was mandatory by the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. This car has focused mainly on safety, with the driver's seat being moved closer to the center of the car. The car's width has been increased by 4 inches, the front bumper has been re-designed to virtually eliminate bump-drafting, and the height of the car has increased to accommodate taller drivers. The most noticeable change to fans will be the addition of a rear wing. The spoiler used in the old vehicle was replaced by a rear spoiler with a higher frame (as used in Gran Turismo vehicles). Teams that run cars in open wheel series (where cars have had wings on them for decades) have had huge advantage.
This car's first scheduled race was the 2007 Bristol Sprint Cup series race (which resulted in a victory by Kyle Busch of Hendrick Motorsports). The second race using the Car of Tomorrow at Martinsville International Speedway was a clear victory for Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports. It was used in a limited number of races in 2007. It also saw action at Darlington Raceway, the fall event at Talladega Superspeedway and road-course events at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen International.
The CoT underwent many changes between 2008 and 2012. In 2010, after several airborne crashes, the wing was replaced by a traditional spoiler. In the 2011, the front nose was re-worked, eliminating the splitter braces and giving the nose a cleaner, rounder look resembling the Car of Yesterday (COY; now known as the Generation 4 car). Manufacturers were also given free reign to construct the lower grille area to reflect their showroom counterparts. Previously, all cars had to conform to one unified template, allowing for little, if any, difference. The only thing identifying the manufacturers were the stickers.
The new design brought with it one of the big stories of Speedweeks 2011: a phenomenom as the Two-Car Tandem. These allowed two cars to break away from the rest of the pack, with drivers recording up to 206 MPH at Daytona during practice, due both to the tandem and the repaving of the track following the embarrassing pothole incident during the 2010 Daytona 500.
Many drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and veterans Richard Petty and David Pearson, were sharply critical of the new driving style, blaming it for a race-record 16 cautions.
In 2012, NASCAR introduced a new superspeedway package to dissuade the two-car tandem at Daytona and Talladega and return to pack-racing. New rules were also instituted that banned communication between drivers.
For the 2013 season, a new car built on the CoT chassis debuted. Known as the Generation 6 car (with the CoT redesignated the Generation 5 car), they were built with manufacturer identity in mind. Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, and Dodge were given free reign to redesign the cars to better represent their street counterparts. Dodge, however, pulled out when it couldn't convince any other team to switch to Dodge after Penske Racing switched back to Ford for the first time since 2001.
For the first few races with the Generation 6 car, a common complaint was single-file racing. An excacerbated NASCAR fined Denny Hamlin $25,000 after he complained that the car was unable to pass. This got better as time passed, culminating in an intense race at Charlotte in the fall during the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR listened to fan input, and in 2015, retired the Generation 6 car and introduced the Generation 7 car. This car is an amalgamation of previous generations:
- Safety features of the Generations 5 and 6 car
- Chassis and exhaust pipe setup of the Generation 4 car
- Brand identity of the Generations 1-3 car
The new car saw the return of Dodge, as well as the entry of Honda into NASCAR. Under the new rules package, each manufacturer can field up to two models (per race):
- Chevrolet fields the Impala and Camaro
- Ford fields the Fusion and Mustang
- Dodge fields the Charger and Challenger, with the Avenger at select races (mainly short tracks and road courses)
- Toyota fields only the Camry
- Honda fields the Civic and Accord
In the future, Chevrolet states it will field the Sail and Cobalt for select races, Ford will field the Tarus, Dodge will field the Dart, Toyota will field the Corolla and Prius, and Honda will field the Legend and City. Basically, the consensus is that if it's a sedan or muscle, it can race in NASCAR.
The new Generation 7 car brought back what was lacking since the 1980s: competition between the manufacturers. Indeed, the "Race on Sunday, Buy on Monday" mentality had returned, and manufacturers were very aware of it, marketing discounts at national dealerships if one of their cars won. In one rather infamous stunt, in 2016, Worthington Dealership Group offered 60% discounts on all Fords on its lot if a Ford won the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. All profit generated from these sales would then be donated to charity. Unsurprisingly, none of the major Ford contenders of the day finished (Carl Edwards was involved in a spectacular last lap crash that saw him barrel-roll against the catch fence while racing Tony Stewart for the win; flying debris hit and killed a fan in the grandstands; Tony Stewart would go on to dedicate the win to the fan). Afterwards, Chevrolet dealerships in the LA area savagely attacked Worthington Dealership Group for causing Ford drivers to push too hard and kill a fan, while a "level-headed" Chevrolet driver won the race because he had no pressure on him. Worthington Dealership Group later shut down as a result of the bad publicity, while Carl Edwards publicly decried Ford and quit Rousch Fenway Racing, migrating to Hendrick Motorsports to drive the #88 car (Dale Earnhartd Jr. had moved to RCR to drive the #3 car, with Austin Dillon moving the #29 car). NASCAR retired the #99, fearing the number would become synonymous with manslaughter.
- 2030 NASCAR Google Cup Series season; where the league starts to be dominated by foreigners
- NASCAR to Begin Phasing in Unleaded Fuel
- NASCAR moves to ethanol mix
- Official Site for NASCAR