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Jeff Burton: NASCAR is listening to its fans, and more changes are in the wind (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern

   POCONO, Pa.
   The fans are speaking out loud and clear, and NASCAR is listening.
   That's the bottom line here.
   And it looks like stock car racing's summer run could be filled with some interesting changes and twists.
   And that's great for this sport, which has gotten bogged down lately.
   After a flurry of big changes a couple years ago, like moving the Southern 500 from Darlington to Los Angeles, NASCAR officials reacted to fans' angry reaction by a sudden 'no more changes' edict.
   Maybe that was good for that point, but NASCAR kept that in place far too long, the sport got stagnant, fans grumbled, TV ratings dropped.
   Now changes appear in the wind, beginning with this new double-file restart rules and the promise of long-needed changes to improve the handling of the car-of-tomorrow.
   Hey, if something doesn't work, NASCAR can always change it back next week.
   At least now NASCAR is getting off dead-center and once again trying to make things happen.
   Jeff Burton says brace yourself: "I think you will see changes coming.
   "NASCAR is looking real hard at the entire sport, mainly the Cup series….looking at it, saying 'How can we make it better?'
   "With this economy, so there are so many options for people out there, for people to be entertained in a lot of different ways. And when the economy is bad, the less people do of everything they do.
   "It has given NASCAR an opportunity to look at themselves and say 'How can we do it better?' And 'What does that mean: 'doing it better.'
   "Do the cars need to drive better?
    "Do we need to have different procedures?
    "What is it? What does 'Doing it better' mean?
    "So I think you are going to see more changes coming, because right now they are very open to trying to make improvements.
    "And that is a good thing.
    "We should always do that. We should always be willing to look at ourselves and figure out how to do it better.
    "I don't think you will see something this big for a while, but I think you are going to see a lot of little things that impact the way the cars drive.
    "I will tell you though -- the last seven weeks of racing have been pretty good. I've been pretty surprised how much better the racing has been and how exciting it has been.
    "Goodyear has brought a much better tire to those races, or the races have been at night in the cooler air….and we have had more grip, and we have had better tires, and the races have been pretty good.
    "I don't that there is this major need that we have got to have better racing if it is going to be the way it has been the last seven weeks. 
   "Now if it were going to be like it was in California (follow-the-leader stuff), we'd have improvements to make.
    "If it is going to be the way it has been the last seven weeks, we are pretty close."

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