I think the California Motor Speedway might be one of the most 'race-able' tracks on the Cup Circuit, but that does not make it one of the most enjoyable to watch.
The track offers at the very least, three racing grooves, long pit areas and a combination of speed and handling. So why is this race many times a 'snoozer'? That answer is pretty easy. The very nature of this track does not offer many cautions to aid in keeping the field bunched up. Also the speed variance between the front runners and the field fillers can be so different that by the end of a fuel run, the field is strung out all over the 2 mile speedway. So what could be done to help this situation?
Golf an occasion will 'trick up' their tournaments with 'match play' or 'Stableford scoring system' at some tournaments which offer a nice variety for the golfing fanatic. Why not Nascar?
One idea that would not only help the 'racing' at California but would also be a TeVee advertising bonanza would be to break up the 500 mile race into 4 or so 'segments'. Imagine the possibilities for TeVee if they were able to actually schedule their commercial breaks and such.
* Segment 1
All 43 cars would run a 150 mile (75 lap segment) and which at the very least, all cars would have to make at least one pit stop for fuel and tires (based on the current fuel window). After lap 75, and mandatory caution would fly in which the field would be 'locked', however all teams would be given a 10 minute 'break' to make any chassis changes and such will sitting on pit road.
* Segment 2
All 43 cars would restart in the order the order of the placement at the end of segment 1, and run another 150 mile (75 lap) segment. After locking the field when the mandatory caution fies, this time the last ten cars in the field at the end of this segment would be sent to the garage and their day would be over. Again, another 10 minute break to allow any chassis changes will the car is on pit road.
* Segment 3
The top 33 cars to run a 100 mile (50 lap) 'sprint' in which the top 25 cars would advance. After this segment, there would be no 'ten minute break', however cars would pit 'normally' and placement would be based on exit of pit road.
* Segment 4
The remaining 25 cars would run a final 100 mile (50 lap) sprint to the checkered.
Is this tricked up? Sure it is, but there are many advantages to a format like this, and could be a nice change for the marathon Nascar season. More potential for green flag broadcasting, field may not get as strung out and bringing a different style or strategy for racing.