The fan continues to be a central focus of almost everyone involved in the sport from NASCAR officials and teams to the track operators.  One of the most difficult balancing acts these days is keeping the fan in mind while the TV networks are laying out schedules.

I have long been an advocate of common start times.  We tried them a few years ago but, basically, abandoned the effort with the new TV contract.

Why does TV have so much say?  Simply, they're paying a bulk of the freight.

NASCAR's TV partners, for the most part, have done a decent job with scheduling start times and so forth.  There aren't many occasions over the years where I feel like they were way off-base and inconsiderate of, not only, the fans at home, but the ones at the tracks too.

If you want to see what happens when TV gets out of control and the governing body gives in to their every whim; look no further than the NCAA basketball tournament.  There have been multiple games, on the east coast, scheduled to start at 9:30 or 10 PM or later!  That's bad enough for the folks watching at home, and worse for the family who bought tickets thinking their 8-year-old would enjoy watching a couple of games in person.

Fortunately, those of us in NASCAR aren't there yet.  The fans is still being considered.