NASCAR reportedly wants to shift the side number from the center of the door to clear up a space for sponsorship, per Fox News.
During last year’s All-Star Race, for example, the cars displayed their numbers half on the back quarter panel, a striking change. But a new report from Sports Business Journal suggests that NASCAR may move the number forward instead.
An official announcement is due out soon.
NASCAR Likely to Move Number Decals from Their Traditional Spot
The number decals on NASCAR vehicles have traditionally appeared in the center of the car’s doors. So the move would mark a major design shift for NASCAR.
The change has been in the works for some time. Indeed, in May, NASCAR president Steve Phelps told Racing News that they’d done some research after they moved the numbers at the All-Star Race last year.
“You know what, it’s mixed,” he said. “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.”
“We’re working with our teams on it,” he added. “The teams are fielding a study, as well, right now. So that’s kind of a TBD.”
Fans Outraged by Proposed Change
Indignant NASCAR fans promptly took to Twitter to decry the proposed number decal move. They said the change was a sop to corporate America and would look ugly, among other gripes.
“I plan on going to the Daytona 500 but if this happens I ain’t,” one fan tweeted.
“All the fans in the comments will find ways to justify this decision while NASCAR continues to not care about their opinions if it means they possibly make more money,” another fan observed.
“We [have] enough room already, there’s literally no reason to throw away a tradition that’s been in the sport since day 1,” yet another fan complained.
Still others wondered what difference it would really make, asking, “Who cares?” and joking, “Oh sh—two inches!!!”
“Bro [they’re] moving a number lmaoo,” another tweep chimed in. “It will change literally nothing.”
Fox Sports analyst and two-time Daytona 500 winning crew chief Larry McReynolds told Fox he agrees with the latter fans. And he suggested their more easily upset comrades will recover.
“I think by halfway through next season, we’ll wonder why we ever had the number on the door,” he said. “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.”