NASCAR is concerned that their racing has become a bit vanilla. And, they're hopeful that the changes make it easier for other marquee drivers (can you say Dale Earnhardt Jr.) to compete more effectively with four-time Cup winner Jimmie Johnson.
One other needed wrinkle is that races will now start at one of three consistent times--1:00, 3:00 or 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Over the past three or so years, race start times have varied from week-to-week.
The changes will help but the biggest attraction for NASCAR right now is driving on the junior circuit--Nationwide Series driver Danica Patrick. The sooner that Patrick gets behind the wheel of a Cup car, the better for NASCAR viewership and expanded consumer interest.