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« Sorry Johnson haters, it’s not luck | Main | Jeff Gordon is a stand up guy »

If Johnson keeps winning, will you stop watching?

By admin | March 1, 2010


By Richard Allen

One of the overwhelming themes I get from my e-mails and comments received is that many fans have grown tired of the predictability of NASCAR racing. To be more specific, many are tired of seeing Jimmie Johnson win so many races and championships. Of course, that does not apply to Jimmie Johnson fans.

With that in mind I have posed the question on Facebook and twitter as to whether anyone would stop watching NASCAR if Johnson keeps up his winning ways.

One fan of the driver in question responded to my query as to whether or not anyone would stop watching NASCAR if Johnson continues to win on twitter with the following:

“Absolutely not. I’m a NASCAR fan. I just happened to have picked Jimmie as my driver.”

Johnson’s accomplishments are impressive without question(and not just lucky- read about that here: http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1093). A bit too impressive for some.

One fan who is a bit turned off by the current state of NASCAR responded to another column on this site with the following:

“Three races into the season and JJ has won two of them.This reminds me of the dominance of a pair named Gordon and Evernham back in the 90’s.You tuned in to see who was going to finish 2nd.

I have a feeling JJ will break Gordons “wins in a season” record this year.

I didn’t watch this weeks race, or last weeks, and I suspect I will not be tuned in to the next race.”

In some sports, domination by one person or team can be a good thing. Recent issues aside, would there be nearly so many people paying attention to golf without Tiger Woods? In the case of golf there are some people who watch to see Tiger win and there are some who watch to see him lose.

The difference in that case and NASCAR is that unlike Tiger Woods, Johnson is not the overwhelming favorite of the fans in his sport. Certainly, he does have fans but he is not the sport’s most popular driver. So, a run of domination by him is not so welcomed by the vast majority as in the Tiger case, although it will be interesting to see how that goes later.

One of the things that makes the Johnson situation more interesting is that he is on a team that runs four cars and he might very well be the fourth most popular driver on that team. Quite possibly, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jeff Gordon have more fans than does Johnson. And if from nothing more than sentiment, Mark Martin may have more fans as well. And of the people I have heard from, it often seems to be fans of the other HMS drivers who have grown most tired of Johnson’s winning ways.

One fan from twitter whose name implies fandom of another HMS driver says in regard to not watching if Johnson keeps winning:

“I say yes all the time & yet I never do. In hopes that will be the one time something finally happens to Jimmie.”

However popular or unpopular Jimmie Johnson may be, his dominance does not seem to be helping NASCAR, at least among the majority of fans I have come in contact with.

So, my question to you is, if Johnson continues to win will you continue to watch?

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

39 Responses to “If Johnson keeps winning, will you stop watching?”

  1. mkrcr Says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I quit already. I happen to be one of the unfortunate people saddled with a Neilson box (the Kirby Vacuum of the tv world) and won’t give FOX and NA$CAR the satisfaction of one more vote. But even without it I doubt my viewership would increase much. The season is a predictable as a B movie. Thanks, Brian. You insufferable twit.

  2. Ginger Says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    As long as Dale Jr races I’ll be in front of the TV, but with JJ winning so much I turn off the TV as soon as the race is over. I also have quit watching the Nascar shows during the week, pre-race shows, and countdown, because they too are all-Johnson. I really donn’t think JJ is any better than an average driver. It’s Chad that is rocking that team. Take him away and let’s see what JJ has.

    Between Brian France’s leadership and the JJ/Chad team, Nascar just keeps getting sorrier and sorrier. Dale Jr keeps me coming back for more. But if and when he goes, I’m right behind him.

  3. The Old Guy Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 9:28 am

    See my post from yesterday.

    No!

    I quit watching in the 90s for a while because I got tired of tuning in to see who came in second behing Jeff Gordon.

  4. The Old Guy Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 9:29 am

    addendum to my earlier post.

    Answer should have been “Yes!”

  5. G Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Johnsons reaping the benifits of having Gordon pick him as a driver and Chad as a crew chief and a Chase format .. period. The chase is a joke and the way Im scoring count Jeffs got 6 tony s got 3 Jimmies got 2 .

  6. Ruckus Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 9:51 am

    The Tiger/PGA to Johnson/NASCAR is probably the best analogy. In stick and ball sports a dominant team doesn’t beat the whole league EVERY week, just one team. Your favorite team can still win. However, I’d be curious to know how die hard golf fans feel about Tiger (his recent roubles aside). I wonder if people who don’t really follow NASCAR think Johnson is just as relatively popular as Tiger?

    That said, I don’t really dislike JJ. I just can’t really like him though. And I don’t know why. He comes from humble beginnings, worked hard, paid his dues, and seems like as decent a guy as any of the other 43 out on the track on a given weekend. That formula would usually click for me and most people but in this case it just doesn’t. Maybe it’s because it SEEMS like he doesn’t struggle and most people can’t relate to that in their lives? Dunno…

  7. lisa Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Nascar used to be interesting, anymore it has become the chad and jimmie show. I hate to admit it, but I have become a little jaded with Nascar. Chad and Jimmie are very good there is no doubt about that. Even the races they are not good and right with the car, the racing gods or somebody always seem to dump alot of amazing breaks on the team. Jimmie is either out front by carlengths or comes from behind passes everything as if they are sitting still. Just predictable. I have saved to get a ticket for Chicagoland, hope to see a good race, because if it the same old chad and jimmie blow out, it will have to be my last. In this day and time it is amazing that only one team has this figured out

  8. Dan Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:23 am

    All I can say is DVR, I will tape the races (except restricter plate races) and if Johnson wins I wont even watch, to all Jimmie fans good for you but its not good for nascar when people say why watch it I already know who will win! Dont believe me then go to Jayski.com tuesday morning’s and look at the ratings, no recession on tv you can watch anything you want and obviously people are sick of Jimmie Johnson and boring races, wish things would change this use to be my favorite sport!

  9. tom1194 Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I only watch the races Bill Elliott runs in. Nascar(france family) has drug racing down so far they will never recover with the present captain at the helm.

  10. Matt Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I still watch the races, but on Tivo so I can fast forward through the now too often boring parts. Same goes for Nationwide (or is that the Gibbs Invitational Series?). What I have stopped watching is: All pre race shows, post race shows, and all of the weekly shows on Speed and ESPN. I hear enough about ‘Jimmie’ during the race, don’t need to hear it all week. Besides, none of the shows are gritty or hard hitting, just a bunch of sheep doing what they are told (only exception could be Spencer’s new show but last night, it was not on, but some singing competition with Waltrip was on for an hour? Huh? are they kidding me?). As of last night, I stopped recording all of those shows. I did, however, set my Tivo to record the F1 and IRL races, something I’ve never done before. At least I can watch racing and not some other crap.

  11. Matt Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Ruckus, I could not agree with you more on JJ. I don’t know what it is, or isn’t, about him, but I just can’t jump on the wagon for him. At first, it was because he was Gordon’s teammate. NOT a Gordon fan (but not a hater either, just NOT a fan).

    I think that’s the biggest problem with him. Now he’s starting to talk tougher to the media, but after 6+ years of boring, dull, vanilla, it’s too little too late to sway me and I suspect others feel same way.

    Again, not a JJ ‘hater’, I’m just not a fan. And, unless it’s your driver dominating, it will always turn off the other fans if someone is dominating like this.

    Hey Nascar, how about you let the teams test again so we can get the competition back into Cup???

  12. Rick48Fan Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I believe the correct question is “Will you continue to watch if your team loses”. The question that is always posed is suggesting that it is somehow the 48 teams fault. The reality is there are 42 other teams that race week after week, all have a driver, a crew chief, engineers, etc, the same as the 48 team. The major teams all have the same chance as the 48 team. Of course there are those idiots that suggest that NASCAR lets the 48 team cheat. How stupid is that? If NASCAR were manipulating the results quess who would be in victory lane every week? The initials are DE, Jr. Stop whining about how good the 48 team is and focus your anger on the problem, your own team. Or you could just admit that the 48 team may be the greatest “team” that NASCAR has ever seen.

  13. Gina Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I have already cut back on how much NASCAR I watch (that’s partly because of the lousy broadcasting, too) but certainly it being all JJ & Chad all the time continues to affect my desire to watch and attend races. I can’t fault them for being able to make the most of the tracks and the idiotic chase, but it doesn’t make me excited to watch.

    I have tickets for Martinsville in March - the last, what is it, 5 or 6 races, the 48 has won. I am asking myself if it is worth the money to travel to this race to watch the same thing happen again.

    It’s not a good “business model” to have a lot of the fan base asking themselves why bother tuning in or showing up each week.

  14. David Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 11:09 am

    All I can say is thank goodness for DVR’s! I now record the races and usually end up “racing” through with the fast forward button to the last 50 laps or so. The races have become boring and predictable. Get in line and don’t bump Jimmy on his way to the front.

    I now have my Sundays free again to get out and do other things and don’t even worry that a rain delay may cause me to miss recording part of it. It’s not that I dislike J.J. I hate to see any team dominate this way. It would be nice to se some of the other 42 drivers get just a little TV coverage every now and then, but that would take away from the Jimmy show.

  15. al Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 11:26 am

    yep,not wasting my sundays anymore just to see one team win,wil do other things,like fishing,not going to get suckerd like last year ,

    my sundays anymore

  16. Mrs. Goodman Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 11:45 am

    NASCAR’S decline in popularity cannot be completely attributed to Johnson’s fantastic achievements.

    “The Big Picture” is ruining the sport: Repetition, monotony, predictability, exclusivity, inability to change, lack of societal relevance.

    Today, it is easy just blow NASCAR off…….miss it and you really do not suffer a huge loss.

    NASCAR is declining and unless it discovers a means of revitalization, it will die like the dinosaurs.

  17. Graceann Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Turned it off when Edwards got lapped Sunday.

  18. John Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I will continue to watch the Truck and Nationwide races but as far as this scripted Sunday afternoon nonsense I gave up two years ago. Stopped watching, stopped going to the races, turned in my Daytona tickets, stopped buying memorabilia, everything! The racing flat out stinks, pick a week, the COT looks like a Checker Taxi Cab, pick a color, and as far as the made for TV JJ and Chad show including the FOX Circle Jerk Team, yawn, I’ll stick with I Love Lucy reruns.

  19. taco Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    i have given alot of sundays to nascar as well as alot of money getting to the races, but im tired of the jj show and will not be renewing my tickets to indy and i refuse to watch anything nascar…….hell maybe i should start watching golf or the golf chanel on the weekends i think it will be alot more interesting that napcar is right now.

  20. Brian Webb Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I use to be a dyed in the wool NASCAR fanatic. I ate, dreamed, slept, breathed and (I wn’t mention it) NASCAR. Pointless hours of Pre-race shows, suck ups like DW and Larry Mac, enormous leads with nothing more than parade laps, ugly cars, cars too fast anymore, cookie cutter tracks, races too long to hold interest, the team with the most money is always up front (Jimmie Johnson) and the list goes on!!!
    Slow the cars down, put about a 1 1/2 inch spoiler on the back, reduce the length of most races, fastest cars race period (no top 35 race,) start and park cars must prove a broken part, car, etc or no points, no money paid out, etc.
    NASCAR has embarrassed itself and I only peek in on a race from time to time anymore. I hardly even wear racing apparel or display favorite drivers numbers on my windows.

  21. joebob Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    NASCAR has lots of problems, but so does the whole coutnry. Just be thankful we are able to watch NASCAR and other sporting events. It is a free country. If you don’t like don’t watch but don’t knock some team for being good. At first I liked Dale Sr. but after a while realized he was a bully on the track. That is okay for bumper cars but not NASCAR. However, I never minded him winning as long as he did not take someone out in the process.
    What the 48 has done exceeds anything ever done in the sport. If you don’t appreciate it, you don’t appreciate the sport, so go do something else. He is the REAL deal and his abilities are the envy of every race car driver in NASCAR. Believe me, any of the top thirty drivers do not go out to the track for second place.

  22. steven Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Over the years there have been a number of great drivers who have at times dominated racing. That’s the way it is and Jimmie deserves what he has earned. It is the drivers who make Nascar great, not people like Brian France.

  23. yankeegranny Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    If this is an indication of how the season is going to go, I say,”thank god for the chase’ Can you imagine how boring the last 10 races would be if JJ keeps on like he is going? He could have the championship wrapped up by the 4th of July. At least with the chase, 11 other guys will have a shot at knocking him off the throne. I will watch the races and keep hoping JR turns this year around. I do skip all that mindless trash that passes for pre and post race shows however. I will continue to watch JR on raceview and cheer when he cracks the top 10, or leads a lap.

  24. Hutch Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I DVR the races and then ask my wife to look up who won. If it is JJ she tells me and the race gets deleted. If it is not JJ I watch while being able to fast forward pre-race, commercials and post-race (unless my guy wins). Who has four hours to lose on the JJ show each week?

  25. Dan Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Been a NASCAR fan since the 1960s. Tells you how old I am.
    I’m pretty much done watching. Will DVR and maybe watch later if it’s worthwhile. This Johnson/Knaus thing is getting pretty old. Some one needs to put the bumper to them now and then. It’s the only thing that’s going to slow them down. But thinking about Texas last year and that didn’t even stop them. Tuned in on Sunday early on to see Gordon with the dominate car but noticed Johnson in the top five. Watched a few minutes. Figured the race was Johnson’s so turned it off and didn’t watch anymore. It’s so predictable, except on the short tracks and Daytona and Talladega.

  26. Charles Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I have no problem with Jimmy Johnson wining races and titiles!

    My problem is Nascars favortism with Chevy that makes its easier for a gifted driver such as Johnson win!

    When you look at the big picture Johnson is beating other Chevy teams, or teammates who are really his only big competition! Ever notice how many consistent point title winners driving other brands dominate, lead laps, win point titles other than Chevy the last decade, and decade that had more brands with the return of Dodge and Toyota coming in the sport, still the same results!

    The Chevy Globetrotter versus Dodge, Toyota, Ford, Washington General format is slowly cause apathy among Car Fans

    I would love to see Johnson and Chad go to another brand of car and see how great they are!!!!!!

  27. Lori Anderson Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I don’t watch many races anymore. I used to go to the races all the time. Now I don’t go at all. It has gradually over the last 10 years gotten more boring. With the new COT it is absolutely horrible. The drivers say if they are not in the top five, your car does not want to go. Jimmy is okay, but not the greatest driver of all time. The chase has helped Jimmy win 2 championships that he would not have had under the old rules. Jeff would have had six under the old rules. A lot of people got turned off by the chase. When you have to give points so you can make a fabricated ending it really only proves who is the best over the last ten races. Until things change Nascar will keep going down.

  28. Joe from Pittsburgh Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I’m not for handicapping any one team just because they do better (um…OK,unless you are Toyota in the Busch series 2 years ago with more H-power than other makes). But didnt Bill France Jr. pull the Elliotts aside back in the 80’s and tell em how they were stinking up his show and thus NASCAR changed some rules against Ford? Any old timers remember those days? Could you see Brainless France pulling an owner aside and doing that?

  29. Ken Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I have to admit that I enjoyed the Daytona 500, but since then, I haven’t enjoyed anything NASCAR. I turned California off just passed the half-way because, unlike some here, I have never liked anything to do with “The Felon”, or any of his drivers. Henrick has always struck me as the epitome of sleeze. As for the gifted Johnson, there will always be a cloud over his head, and his “fabulous” (Choke! Choke!) record, and that of his cheater crewchief with all the cheating scanals they have been involved in. Oh yes, I turned the Vegas race off after 100 laps! Have I quit watching? Unfortunately, I have to watch Bristol, as I have a trip booked to see the race. But I will not be watching Atlanta, as I can tell you that Jimmie will win that one. No matter what, Brian will see to it to apease his ol’ buddy Rick. But after I walk out of Bristol Motor Speedway in a couple of weeks, after some 50 years of watching NASCAR, that’s it for me! Unless there is an honest post race inspection, and the #48 fails, and the team is disqualified, and Jimmie and Cheatin’ Chad are sent packing forever. But The Felon will be quick with a “donation” to Brian to stop that from happening!

  30. Douglas Belote Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Well Jimmie I dont have a problem with hes won 4 stright its hard to be that lucky without alot of tallent mixed in there. I have how ever not watched as much racing because of the media’s love fest with Kyle Busch. I mean look hes got a boat load of tallent he wouldnt be out there if he wasnt that good but the media treating him like a racing god kinda makes me sick at times. I mean look the next time a race comes on they never go five mins into a broadcast without talking to him or about him. I mean wow wee there are 42 other drivers to talk about to hello fox, espn, tnt, abc. The thing is Jimmie won four stright Championships Kyle has 0 and kyle gets more air time then Jimmie Sometimes it seems.

  31. Marybeth Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    @Ginger, I agree with your first paragraph. As to the second paragraph, on Brian France’s behalf, I think that he says and does what he is told to say and do. I do not think that he is the one running Nascar.

  32. Richard Petersen Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Looks like me and my dad weren’t the only ones pissed. I’ll tell you one thing. If Jimmie Johnson goes 5 in a row….again…then I am throw watching NASCAR till Jimmie makes a huge mess up and struggles, which is highly doubtful. This Sunday at Vegas, i turn that TV off quicker than Jimmie Johnson took the white flag. Ridiculous. And at Auto Club, I got tickets to the race. When Kevin couldn’t catch the #48 car, we left the stands and I think a lot of others left too when we did. This is just getting out of hand and is ruining the sport. Use anti-Jimmie fans would like to see our driver hold the trophy in Homestead before the world ends too you know.
    God I hate that man and the whole HMS team….the only think i like is Dale Jr, that is it. HMS can shove it up their a** for all I care.

  33. mkrcr Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    @Matt. Ahh, there’s one more voice. Until NA$CAR puts testing back in order, competition will continue to suffer. Except for the fortunate few with the Goodyear “tire tests” and Hendrick with the Haas facility. Perhaps, one day, NA$CAR will realize that saving teams money hurts the sport overall. But I doubt it.

  34. Nascar Bites Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    The Chase and the 1.5 mile tracks plays directly into the 48’s hand. The stupid rules, like the pit stop rule that helped the 48 team win in Fontana and the phantom yellows always seem to help JJ. I used to go to at least 4 races a year, and watched every single race. Will not attend any races and I dvr it only, and if I hear that JJ wins, I just delete the program. Oh, and my non attendance isn’t because of the economy—I’m using the money to buy season tickets for other sports.

    Nascar needs to wake up and realize something is wrong. No one team is that perfect or great. Something is up with that team that no one can figure out, but something is stinking up the place. I mean, hasn’t Chad the Great been caught cheating a few times? Nascar cannot be thrilled with what’s going on and the falling ratings and attendance. It’s pretty sad when they cover up empty stands with advertising and Phoenix makes the seats bigger, reducing the number of seats available.

  35. Captain Kangaroo Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Waaaaaaaahhhhhh! My driver can’t win. Jimmie drives too fast. I don’t like Hendrick. Sniff, sniff.

    Romper Room is in session folks.

  36. smokefan Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Yes Hell Yes I am quitting and just ride my harley and golf on Sunday’s Same ole Nascar Johnson is killing it. No one wants to see one driver win all the time. I am a smoke fan and I would never want him to win like Johnson. It just kills everyone’s thrill of your favorite driver at least getting a chance to win.

  37. Snowgod Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Yes, I have stopped watching a sport I used to love. Nascar used to race cars at least based on real cars but now they race shells around a roll cage. Either they should allow only platforms loosely based on the car they pretend to be with front wheel drive and V-6 engines or 4 cylinder turbos, or come up with a real claiming rule that allow’s other teams access to what JJ has.

  38. Jason Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    You feeble little minds…Just kidding. But seriously, how can you people not see that NASCAR is setting up a huge drama for the future. They have allowed the #48 team to rise to dominance, and yet when they are dethroned by the next up and coming young buck, the drama will suck a lot of fans back in and make NASCAR and the France Family look like the good guys.

  39. Patrick Says:
    March 5th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    “If Johnson keeps winning, will you stop watching?”

    I’m way ahead of you. I check to see the results on Monday mornings, and that’s it. And the results so far this season have definitely been no surprise to me. I gave up my tickets to NHIS, turned off the TV, and moved on.

    The 48 car at Homestead last year was the last straw for me. To put it nicely, the car was in a class by itself. To tell me that was entirely attributable to “top notch equipment”, “team chemistry” and “the guys working really hard” is insulting. I have no interest at all in watching 42 teams race for second place.

    So, will I stop watching? I already have. I left NASCAR to those people who prefer “sports entertainment” to stock car racing.