NASCAR, where are you?

Sam HeganCorrespondent IMay 27, 2009

I am very confused about a few things concerning NASCAR’s recent actions. Why has NASCAR neglected the automakers that made it so popular in the automaker’s greatest hour of need? The automakers need all the resources they can muster. They need support from racing to the everyday public to help them survive. So where is the premier stock-bodied racing venue? Has NASCAR completely forgotten their roots? Has NASCAR forgotten what the “SC,” stands for in their name? Does NASCAR even care anymore? Has NASCAR gotten so far away from their roots with their spin on stock-bodied racing that it believes the factories no longer represent what they are doing? If NASCAR believes that, then they should rename their series and do completely away with any attempt at a facsimile of a full-bodied racecar. If you still contend, you represent the automakers then you should make your racecars at least look like a showroom model, not some generic bodied facsimile. Where are you NASCAR? The automakers need you now, not when you feel like it. They need to have a venue that focuses the people on their vehicles and not just on a racecar. You are needed in the worse way for the market value stockcar racing gives them. You need to be there for them NASCAR.


When a race-fan looks at the problems with falling attendance at NASCAR events and the ever-falling viewership on television, why hasn’t NASCAR moved in a different direction? One of the best entertainment values for anyone is television. In the past the fastest growing viewer segment was NASCAR, so what has happened? Try and watch a race from start to finish and we have commercial content that almost equals the broadcast of the race. Whatever happened to car sponsorships NASCAR? Has greed pushed you and the networks into a commercial frenzy that car sponsorship is no longer your concern? I remember studies in the eighties that praised NASCAR for the fantastic advertising value to the sponsors on every car. Today a sponsor not only places huge amounts of money into a team thanks to highly inflated vehicle cost, they also have to use up valuable advertising money for your on-air commercials. The teams are having a hard time finding sponsors, as it is no longer such a fantastic value. What are you doing to help the teams find and keep its sponsors NASCAR? Where has the great sponsors of the past gone? Tide, Coca Cola, Purex and Kodak are just a few name we no longer see as major car sponsors. Some like Coke encourages select drivers to do the on-camera pseudo slug of cola, but they are no longer a major sponsor on a car. Many more sponsors have left NASCAR. Some of the sponsors have left NASCAR through business acquisitions and failures, but most because they see a better advertising value elsewhere. The teams need your help more than ever NASCAR.


What are you doing wrong NASCAR? Have you gotten so full of yourselves that you are no longer responsive to fan complaints? I hear this all the time from NASCAR fans, “the races are so boring.” What do you do NASCAR to address this problem? You design a car that is so unidentifiable to a factory car that a brand loyal fan needs a program to know what brand it is. You’ve made the cars slower and less responsive to passing on the fastest racetracks. The solution isn’t very hard to figure out NASCAR. Go back to your roots. Mandate a factory power train and limit what modifications can be done to them. This will reduce overall horsepower, but will leave that all-important passing response that the drivers beg for and the fans want to see. Mandate the use of factory body panels and not allow the aero improvements used on the cars today. Those two simple things would bring the cars down in speed for the sake of safety, bring back brand identification, and reduce the enormous cost of pure race engines. Make it a requirement to make the exact same car for all tracks and not allow one-off specials built just for the different types of tack as the teams do today. Speed in itself doesn’t make for exciting racing; it is just a byproduct of added horsepower and slicked aero cheating bodies. So what are you going to do NASCAR to address the boring races and dislike COT? The IROC and IRL should prove to you that sameness doesn’t equate to excitement. We need you to step up and do something right, NASCAR.

You’ve junked the older traditional tracks that were so much a part of NASCAR history in favor of racetracks that are indistinguishable from each other. These cookie-cutter tracks are in the population rich areas, yet you still have difficulty in filling the seats. It’s also hard to tell the television viewer that you have a sell out when we see empty sections around the track. The old faithful fan has been shoved aside in your attempt to move into these newer marketing areas. I don’t understand this. Do you plan to leave the South all together? If you aren’t maybe, you should reconsider some of these moves. I’d love to see NASCAR on the West coast and in the North, just don’t forget the fans that got you where you are NASCAR. Split races from tracks with two races each year might be OK, but leave the tracks that you already have alone. I miss Rockingham, North Wilkesboro, Hickory, South Boston, and Nashville speedways to name a few. Fans that live near these tracks don’t understand why a sold out track was dumped in preference of a partially filled track in another region of the country. The fans want to keep our traditional track and we need your assurance that they will be secure. So where is that assurance NASCAR?


NASCAR, you make the races almost predictable with stupid rules and penalize anyone that attempts to be different. We no longer get to see emotions by the drivers or team members and you seem to go out of your way to shut up a driver or owner that shows dissention. You try to distract the fan with useless drug policies and not address your main issues. Why do you ignore the owners and drivers when they point out a problem? These people should be consulted before any of the rules are put into effect. They usually have a reason for making a statement. Owners are in the business of racing, they will not do anything that will hurt that business. Maybe you should really listen the next time one of them complains about some rule change. Why don’t you listen to the teams, owners, or drivers NASCAR?


Why don’t you listen to the fans NASCAR? The fans made you and they will be your final downfall if you don’t start listening. Have you gone completely deaf to the fan, NASCAR? Where has the NASCAR the traditional fan learned to love so many years ago gone? We need that NASCAR and you need us.