NASCAR: Only 43 Cars Will Unload at Pocono and They Expect Less Soon

al asifyouknowSenior Analyst IJuly 29, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - JULY 26:  Fans sit in the infield during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

I know that this may not be a feel good story, after all there is no cat rescue from a tree, nor I'm going to tell how to get rich.

It is a story about the economy and NASCAR.

It’s been reported only 43 teams will unload at Pocono, no go-or-go-homers for the first time this year (please correct me if I’m wrong).

Remember, there is still a few days before the race, so that may change.

They also expect less than 43 cars later on this season, could it get below 40 or 35?

If it does, what would be the impact on an already dwindling attendance?

It’s getting harder to find companies to fork out money, even for a few races.

Here is a stat that just blows my mind: in Formula one there are budgets in the half billion dollar range, but I really had no idea on the cost of racing in NASCAR.

Each race costs a top team about $600,000 dollars per car, so for a four car team, if my math is correct, it costs about $2.5 million just to bring those four cars to the track.

Now, that is just to race, personal, etc...nothing to do with the everyday shop activity.

The yearly budget is about $30 million dollars per car, again, so if you have a four car team, that’s a $120 million dollars per year.

I would assume this budget is being paid by sponsors; the team's profits must come from merchandising and winning.

You don’t have to be a Yale graduate to know that if you invest half a million of your own money to race and win $300,000 dollars, well I’ll guess I’m in the hole $200,000 dollars.

That's not fuzzy math.

This is why it's just about impossible for NASCAR to get back to it’s roots; this is not a good time for core fans.

The days of racing from the back of granny’s truck are over, the days of family racing will also be moving on, just the names and the memories will remain.

More and more of those core fans will drift into the local tracks, looking for the old NASCAR.

That's unfortunate. 

Is that the future of NASCAR?

To move forward NASCAR has to get non-traditional automobile manufacturers involved.

Will there be multiple foreign manufactures following Toyota to NASCAR?

I would bet, the first one may be Mazda Zoom. Zoom is involved in just about every kind of racing around the world, NASCAR would be a natural fit for them.

What can be done to help NASCAR through this bad time? For now, just go to the races if you can, the ticket prices are reasonable.

NASCAR, Pocono and Honeymooners, what else can you ask for?