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According to NASCAR…Everything is fine

By admin | January 24, 2010

By Richard Allen

For those of you who might have been worried about the state of NASCAR going into the 2010 season, fear not. According to those at the top of the sport everything is just fine.

At stop after stop on the Sprint Media Tour the twitter feeds lit up with messages from the racing media that they were being told over and over again that the sport was in good shape and those who proclaimed otherwise are basically making things up.

NASCAR chairman Brian France went so far as to call the 2009 season “the most competitive in the history of NASCAR.” Well, if that is the case it’s really too bad so many people missed it. All the folks who left those seats empty at numerous tracks and failed to tune their televisions into the NASCAR telecasts will be sorry to hear what they missed.

I wonder if all those teams struggling to find sponsorship at this late hour would agree with Mr. France? Oh wait, those teams are struggling solely because of the economy, not mistakes by NASCAR.

And, of course, there was the old stand-by line of blaming the media by some along the tour. Perhaps those in power at NASCAR’s highest levels -and this includes drivers, team owners, sponsor reps and the sanctioning body itself- think fans would not be smart enough otherwise to decide for themselves that the racing was bad in 2009. So, had the media not told the fans such a thing they would have never known.

I wonder if those 18 folks who lost their jobs at NASCAR Scene agree that the problems in the sport are their fault? Oh wait, that publication went down solely because of the changing landscape of the modern day media. None of their problems were the result of people losing interest in the sport it was their job to cover. And besides, those people wouldn’t be losing interest if the media would quit telling them to do so.

With all that said, the media tour really seemed to take on the feel of a political campaign. “Everything is great. This is the best of times. Things have never been better. Now, let’s change it.” One has to wonder why the changes to have been announced so far as we approach the beginning of a new season were necessary coming off “the most competitive season in the history of NASCAR”.

The truth of the matter is, of course, that NASCAR has finally come to the realization that everything is not fine. Empty seats, lowered television ratings, sponsor withdrawal and the general sense of apathy surrounding the sport scream that something is wrong and NASCAR has finally been forced to come out the ivory towers in Daytona Beach to address some issues. The real questions are, did they wait too long before abandoning their stubborn stance of insisting everything is fine? And, will they be willing to make the right changes? For that matter, do they have the leadership in place to make the right changes?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am really hoping we do not have another of the “most competitive seasons in the history of NASCAR” in 2010. No NASCAR, everything is not fine and you know it.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

12 Responses to “According to NASCAR…Everything is fine”

  1. Joe in Pittsburgh Says:
    January 24th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Amen brother. I agree if everything was so fine why change anything? Also I wonder how long the economy excuse will be used before they have nothing else to blame. My personal favorite is the NFL losing live attendance numbers but having record TV ratings. NASCAR??….not so much…..P.S.—changing some rules for 4 restrictor plates races doesnt get me excited one iota. A spoiler return?…we need to see the combination on the Car of crap before we can deem this a positive.

  2. Bill B Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 7:26 am

    NASCAR has become just like ever other large corporation, more interested in their image than truth. The PR and spin that keeps spewing from their mouths is only going to hurt them in the long run.
    If everything was going well then tv ratings would not be dropping. In fact, with the current economy, ratings should be going up because it cost next to nothing to watch something on tv at home.

  3. Josie Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 8:02 am

    To me…the biggest tell-tale sign that “everything is fine” it’s “the media’s fault” and “the economy is responsible” …is just double talk by NASCAR is TV RATINGS! I CAN see where ticket sales would be down in this ecomony. I CAN see where souvenir sales are down due to the economy. BUT TV ratings should be UP with the economy rocky…not DOWN! Can I afford to spend the $80+ per person to attend a race or two? NO… I am unemployed.. Can I afford to grab a “cool beverage” and bag of chips and turn on my tube and watch all the races..YES! Did I watch All, MOST, or SOME of the races in 2009…well I will admit I turned on the majority of the races…then watched “pieces” while channel surfing! I think I am the exception..I know so so many folks who used to be avid NASCAR fans..and no longer watch any races once the checkered has flown at Daytona. I know even more folks who watch selected races ONLY now. I also know another group who like surf during the races. Do I think NASCAR has made the 2010 changes “for the fans”? NOPE…they did it for the “green” and I don’t mean the flag waved at the beginning of a race. They did it because their pockets are sagging.. although I would give my fourth born ..(luckily I only have three kids) have their “saggy” pockets. So We (the fans and the media) will watch and see if their changes amount to much..or if they are going to continue wearing their blinders and blame those who love the sport the most and who stand to lose the most.

  4. HildaBeachfront Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Josie, You said it all in your ^post !!!!

    Personally, I was pretty amused at watching the leader of nascrap, good old brain france, ‘talking’ the other day’…about all the new good stuff to happen for nascrap… There were lots of ..uh…uh and uh..uh’s. Nervous gestures, like face grimices, touching his face,…’and I gotta tell you’….figiting with the microphone, and you could see that he would answer questions that he liked, and the ones he didn’t like, he answered with distain…Mafia Mike should be the head of nascrap…lest if we are getting lied to…he has class when he says stuff…

    Yes, all the new stuff was done because, the wallets are getting thinner….fans don’t want to watch the crap that nascrap puts out there….Well, we’ll just have to sit back and watch what happens….and complain loudly if ..nothing really has changed….

  5. Kurt Smith Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Getting rid of the spoiler and “allowing” bump drafting (I guarantee that will last exactly one plate race) is like putting a band aid on a cut that needs a tourniquet. No amount of increased downforce is going to eliminate the points racing caused by the Chase, and no amount of “letting drivers be themselves” is going to make Kansas better than Martinsville.

  6. Frank V. Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Great ovservations. I have pretty much abandoned NASCAR. I would rather watch F1, Grand Am, ALMS, and some IRL. With the onset of Danica-mania, I be watching even less. I got the biggest laugh about how the car companies are onboard with NASCAR and how NASCAR is a leader in automotive technology. Really? Cars with carburators, spec bodies that do not resemble their street counterparts, and being light years behind the so-called green initiative, how relative is NASCAR. It is all about the green in the France family pockets. Fans, media, et cetera mean nothing to them.

  7. Mrs. Goodman Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Doesn’t it all just make you want to puke?

    NASCAR has the audacity to still actually believe its fans are stupid, gullible and incapable of rendering their own opinions, seeing with their own eyes and feeling what is inside their hearts.

    Thank you, NASCAR! It is wonderful to know everything is perfect and the kingdom is at the ready to receive all loyal sujects to bow at the thrones and carriages if the almighty.

    In you dreams!

    This fan ain’t buyin’ what you’re sellin’ and “the gig is up”.

    Just wait for the echoes of silence that waft through all those empty seats this season.

    NASCAR……you got nothin’ !

  8. Charles Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Nascar is getting so out of touch with its grassroots fans they just dont get it!!!

    Also they think they have the right to control the media! One of their main problems is they seem to use the Speed Channel as their proproganda source!!

    When Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Spencer will tell us how great a race we had in the fall at Talledaga, I am sick and tired of all the Nascar Cronies to seem to be bought and paid for by Nascar! All they are is ‘Spin Doctors”!
    Their have been to many “yes men ” in the Nascar Controled Media! They are trying to silence the paying fan in order to get more sponsors in the sport at the expense of losing their fan base!

    I am begaining to believe they have a “Watergate Style”
    “enemy list” with certain members of the media!

    If Nascar is tired of the Negative Press, then think how tired us paying fans are getting will the Negative Racing!

  9. GEOFF Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Well said Josie
    Here’s some NASCAR catch phrases
    “For the fan” fans get your wallet out
    “In the name of safety” car owner get your wallet out, or some more NASCAR control
    Geoff FL

  10. Richard in N.C. Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I don’t guess there’s any chance that the decline in TV ratings might just be because the Evil Empire (ESPN) did such a mediocre job covering the races? With very, very few exceptions, no one in the media will dare criticize the Evil Empire. From the NASCAR fans I know, I hear that the racing on the track was far better last year than what the Evil Empire showed.

  11. Josie Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    You know..I was looking at the last comment and thought about it….It is true alot of fans think the TV coverage has alot to do with how bad the races are to watch. AND I guess in some ways they are correct…but only to a small extent. I know watching only cars in 1-3 positions can drive you nuts; missing wrecks, passing, and playing find the debris is mind numbing; going to a very long commercial just when things are heating up makes you want to scream; and the lack of post racing coverage seems such a let down..when you were gracious enough to put up with the stations forever really not necessary 3 hour pre race show. spite of ALL of this..don’t you think EVEN with all of the above..and probably more dumb TV coverage…don’t you REALLY think if NASCAR hadn’t been messing with the rules SO much in the past few years and messing with the drivers minds; and the racing was just really great as it should and could wouldn’t really matter how bad the TV coverage was…It would still be worth watching..just cause it’s great racing?

  12. Keith Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    There are so many problems they can’t even figure out what to blame. The Tv coverage is horrible and that means all of them and TBS was possibly the best of them. If I hear about the cutaway car and Boogity Boogity Boogity 1 more time I’ll stop watching the start of all the races I do watch. If they want to learn good TV coverage watch Bob Jenkins in the 80’s and this problem would be fixed. The COT and the chase suck. The race tracks like California, Kansas, Chicago, Pocono, New Hampshire, suck and just these tracks make up 1/4 of the schedule. Bad cars + bad tracks =Bad racing. What have they changed for the Daytona 500 that is going to make this one so exciting and special unlike last seasons. NOTHING. So they say they are going to give them a bigger restrictor plate. No they won’t after the 1st practice the drivers will be crying and complaining and carrying on about the faster closing rate and it will be reduced. Bad Management+ Kiss Butt Yes Men employees and Crying Sub Contractors = a Bad Product this is why is is starting to fail.