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.
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