Nascar's 2009 Cup season gets off to a start tonight with the Shootout. There are some changes for the Shootout that I'm not terribly excited about. #1 - Who's in it again? The Shootout used to be a reward for pole winner's from the previous season. I found this on Nascar.com. 28 cars are in the field, which means that not only the superstars and stars are in it, but also the field fillers. Having more cars in the field doesn't make it a better race. Sometimes, it's exactly the opposite. But, this isn't the worst problem with this year's Shootout. #2 - They're running how many laps? I can't find it anywhere, so maybe I'm wrong, but I remember last fall when Nascar announced that the last segment of the Shootout would be 50 laps. 50 laps? The last "segment" is going to take at least an hour to run. The last segment of the Shootout used to be exciting, but an hour long "segment" isn't exciting. I don't quite understand the idea behind this. There are a ton of articles and such, but I wanted to mention this article by Ed Hinton. Ed says, Someone finally comes around to what I've been saying for 10 years. In awarding more points to the winner, Nascar only fixed part of the problem with the points system. This fixes the other problem, namely that the risk of having a bad finish outweighs the benefit of going hard for the win. Again, Ed's on the right track, but the GWC isn't the problem. The problem is that there's no defined spot for the race to end. It can end anywhere at any time on the White flag lap. I don't like it and I never have. So, yes, they should fix this rule because I don't like it. In case you didn't realize, it's all about me. I'm actually very surprised that the TV networks haven't demanded this one to happen yet. I'm fine with this, especially for races at Pocono that seemingly last forever. While we're making changes, bring the Southern 500 back to Darlington. If they're concerned about the fans sitting in the stands during the heat of a South Carolina day, they can even run it at night. Works for me. Again, Ed's on the right track, but misses it. The right idea is to eliminate the lucky dog rule. I've always hated that rule. I prefer drivers to get laps back the old-fashioned way, by earning them. I'm not sure what kind of race recap you're going to get for the Shootout, because I'll be working while it's on, but the race season gets started. If there's one thing I'm hoping for this year, it's that The President of the Kyle Busch Fan Club abdicates his throne and acts like a professional.