NASCAR's check-engine light has been on for years, and for as many mechanics and engineers as the Sprint Cup has, nobody can figure out why the racing series has been leaking oil since 2005.
There are many reasons why fewer fans are attending and watching races, but here are two ways to fix the problem:more crashes and more winners.
Just the way blood-thirsty fans watch hockey for the fights, gearheads watch racing for the wrecks. And wrecks mean caution flags, which lead to three-wide, pedal-to-the-metal restarts, which could lead to more spectacular crashes.
One track promoter thinks NASCAR should wave the caution flag every 10 laps, accident or not. While NASCAR chairman Bill France scoffs at that, at least somebody's thinking outside the gearbox.
And, no, it wasn't an accident that there was a spike in TV viewership late last season as Tony Stewart ended Jimmie Johnson's five-year chokehold on the series trophy.
One of the reasons why pro football and baseball are so popular is that there are new champions almost every year. The NBA is dominated by an elite group, but there are no dynasties.
In NASCAR, there are teams and drivers who know they can't win on their best day.
Look, nobody wants to see a driver hurt on a racetrack, but it is hard to turn away from a high-def flat-screen when a car crosses the finish line on its roof and on fire and the driver walks away as if he had fun.
That's must-see TV.
What to watch
NASCAR, Coke Zero 400, 4:30 p.m., TNT: Watch them accelerate, brake, turn left, repeat.
Which baseball team has played better than expected?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports.
Are you surprised by Buster Posey's comeback?
Yes, had my doubts: 22%
No, knew all along: 64%
Needs a full season: 14%
Total votes: 153
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Read more articles by Victor Contreras
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