NASCAR In Today's Economy

Richard DeveauCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2008

If anyone watches the news and never hears anything about the economy, contact me right away because I want to know which channel.

Lately, everywhere you go, you will somehow hear another sad story about today's terrible economy.

Unfortunately, the sport that I love with all my heart, is being seriously affected. NASCAR could get seriously turned upside down if they're not careful on how they spend their money and we're already beginning to see some effects of the economy towards NASCAR.

Dale Earnhardt Inc., a team built by a legend, is forced to join forces with Chip Ganassi Racing to form Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. This will cause Regan Smith to be unemployed along with the entire crew of the 01 car.

NASCAR's oldest team, which has been around since day one at Daytona Beach in 1949, might have to merge with Gillett-Evernham Motorsports, a move no one could have ever imagined.

A team that won seven championships and over 200 victories is gone down the toilet and have no choice but to join with someone else.

This means shutting down operations of the 45 car, which means more crews getting laid off and leaving Chad McCumbee and Kyle Petty with nothing, though Kyle was close to retirement.

The other oldest team in NASCAR, the Wood Brothers, are forced to minimize the schedule of their famed 21 car to only twelve races in the entire season.

When the 2008 season ended in Homestead, joy was in the air as Jimmie Johnson won the title for an incredible third year in a row.

But behind the scenes, away from the television cameras, sad faces showed all across the garage area as over 700 crew members were unemployed and still had a family to raise.

What could be the ultimate blow to NASCAR, is if Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford decide to quit on the sport. These three manufacturers are in deep financial trouble, reporting losses of millions of dollars.

Imagine a series with only Toyota as an engine manufacturer. The races would still be exciting, but what about the fans who feel NASCAR should be all-American? If NASCAR is running on Japanese power only, some fans will stop watching.

Not to mention teams will no longer want to participate in NASCAR. Roger Penske says he doesn't know what he would do without Dodge.

It seems unreal when you think about it, Roush Fenway Racing not driving Fords, Hendrick Motorsports not driving Chevys. But it's a possibility if someone's not careful.

The $14 billion rescue package for the U.S. car industry has failed in the Senate, as Republican law makers refused to budge over key aspects of the funding.

In the aftermath of the deal's collapse, President Bush indicated he may reconsider allowing a portion of the $700 billion bailout monies targeted for the financial industry to go to the auto companies.

We NASCAR fans unfortunately can't do anything but pray that these manufacturers survive somehow and that NASCAR keeps it's high popularity.

I think what NASCAR needs to do is to help some of the teams out with their financial problems; so many teams are in big financial trouble right now and they need to have 43 cars in that field.

Sadly, NASCAR has already told teams that they're on their own. This is too bad because low-funded teams could easily leave.

The teams that need the most help is the Camping World Truck Series' teams. This series has already lost Ford and they're struggling to keep a 36 truck field. Something needs to be done.

Banning testing was an awesome move by NASCAR. There was too much money being poured into testing and lower-funded teams were not able to keep up. This will not only save money but also make the field a bit more competitive and give smaller teams a better chance.

NASCAR is in a rough situation and we can only hope that we get through this. The economy will one day be better and everything will hopefully return to normal. Like every great actor or musician will tell you, the show must go on!