Bruton Smith says what he thinks. Sometimes, that is good for the sport. Sometimes, not so much.
"Happy? No," he said at Texas last weekend when he was asked to assess the state of NASCAR. "I just think we can do better. We can work at making the races more exciting.
"Some of the things NASCAR has done over the years has proven to be great. … I wish we had a couple of drivers that had maybe more of a mean streak. It would add a great deal to what we do if we would see more drama."
He also echoed the sentiments of many fans and observers — including me — who think that long green-flag runs are boring. Smith suggested a smaller fuel tank would force drivers to make more pit stops, or possibly using a minimum number of cautions per race to serve as TV timeouts.
"This is what I have suggested — and you all can agree, disagree, throw things, whatever you want to do — I think in our sanction agreement, we ought to have a mandatory six caution flags during a race," he said. "Think about it."
Vickers signs deal
Brian Vickers is set for a full-time ride in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013. Dollar General will come on board as the primary sponsor.
Tuesday's announcement was good news for JGR on the sponsorship side as Dollar General agreed to an extension that will also include 17 Sprint Cup races with Matt Kenseth.
Vickers is set to make his debut in the No. 20 JGR Nationwide car at Phoenix this weekend. Vickers has struggled to keep his Cup career viable since Red Bull Racing folded after the 2011 season. He will drive in nine Sprint Cup races for Michael Waltrip Racing, sharing the ride with Mark Martin and Michael Waltrip in 2013.
"I'm very happy to stay in the Toyota family, and when you look at the Nationwide Series over the past several years, no team has dominated like Joe Gibbs Racing," Vickers said in a team release.
Want to help victims of Hurricane Sandy? NASCAR Unites is encouraging the NASCAR community to come together to help raise funds to support relief efforts. Donations are being accepted at NASCAR.com/Unites. Supporters can bid on autographed NASCAR memorabilia and at-track VIP experiences for the 2013 race season. The auction is live online until Nov. 19.