NASCAR: Hailie Deegan Weighs In On If Cup Series Races Should Be Shorter

by Jonathan Howard

When it comes to the length of Cup Series races there are all kinds of opinions about what NASCAR should do, even from Hailie Deegan. The Camping World Truck Series driver responded to a tweet from her boyfriend and fellow driver, Chase Cabre. It’s a hot topic, the debate about shortening races for a more viewer-friendly product.

Deegan has just started to prove herself in the Truck Series ranks. The 20-year-old driver has started 28 races in the course of three years. She was last year’s series’ most popular driver and has one top ten in her career. The driver had a few points to make about the Cup Series, though. She thinks things could change.

“Think about it,” the driver said. “As a driver [you’re] not gonna sit and ride for half the race if the length is shorter. Nothing happens during most cup races till the last stage for that reason. Also if you want younger fans to take [an] interest, you have to keep in mind [their] attention span is shorter.”

She followed that up with “Also, in my opinion, a lot of people don’t have 4 hours 36x a year to spend watching a race on tv.” This seems like a generational divide more than anything. Is it true that younger generations just won’t pay attention to the longer races?

The Xfinity Series and Truck Series both run shorter races than the Cup Series. However, the main product is the long races of the Cup. That might be because of the promotion that the big series gets versus the other two. With a new batch of young drivers throughout all of the NASCAR national series, it is hard to see these figures not attracting fans of their age.

Does Hailie Deegan Have a Point About Cup Series Races?

The last race was a 400 lap ordeal. Then Talladega GEICO 500 is coming up. There are some long races on the schedule. Meanwhile, the Xfinity Series and Truck Series are running much shorter races. With 250s and 200s throughout the schedule. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see these Cup Series drivers sprinting around the track in a 250-mile battle or less? I think so.

However, there is something to the endurance and length of a Cup Series race. Ultimately, NASCAR is going to do what it needs to do to reach new audiences and maintain a large fanbase. That is why we have the Next Gen ars, that’s why Bristol Dirt is coming up this weekend, and that’s why there are more road courses on the schedule than ever before.

It will be interesting if NASCAR ever decides to add some shorter races into their headline event. Hailie Deegan thinks that races could be shortened for a better entertainment product. She might have a point, too.