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« With Junior leading the standings, NASCAR can abandon the Chase | Main | Penske Racing did what it had to do with Allmendinger »

NASCAR excuses for poor ratings and attendance are getting pretty thin

By admin | August 1, 2012

By Richard Allen

 

As the crowds in the grandstands and the number of viewers on television for NASCAR races seemingly get thinner and thinner, so do the excuses as to why such is the case. After the television ratings for the snooze fest known as the Brickyard 400 came in on Tuesday, the networks and the sanctioning body quickly embraced the idea that the Olympics were the cause of a 17% drop off from the same race last year.

Apparently, America’s appetite for Olympic rowing and beach volleyball simply overwhelmed ESPN’s coverage of the Sprint Cup race from the famed track. Luckily, the Olympics only come around once every four years or else NASCAR would probably revert back to a radio only sport as its television viewers would be unable to take their eyes off of weight lifting, judo and skeet shooting long enough to watch racing.

It also appeared as if the desire to watch water polo and table tennis was so great that it kept people from occupying the grandstands at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well. Even with the tight shots provided by television to hide the reality, vast emptiness in the seating areas was all too obvious on Sunday, not to mention for the inaugural and “historic” visit to the track by the Nationwide Series on Saturday.

Seriously! It is ridiculous to believe that true fans of this sport or any other would tune out their favorite past time to watch a hodge podge of oddities that are mostly playing on a tape delayed basis with the results already known to much of the world before the airing. Of course, the problem is that NASCAR drove away its true fans in search of a hipper, more market savvy demographic to drive up corporate revenues.

That core who would watch no matter what else was on…is gone. Instead, NASCAR now has(or had) what it craved so badly a few years ago - a hip, young audience who is open to the advances of the latest TV ad campaign. Unfortunately, that demographic tends to be rather flighty and not so well rooted. So, whenever the next “can’t miss” event comes along, they leave.

When NASCAR began the abandonment of its base several years ago, its chief water carriers in the media and elsewhere made the argument that “there were only 30,000 or so fans to attend races at tracks like Rockingham, North Wilkesboro and Darlington.” Venues such as Chicago, Miami, Kansas City and California offered bigger, more up-to-date facilities and the opportunity to reach new followers.

What NASCAR could not, or would not , see is that the 30,000 who came to Rockingham were hard core fans who would stick with the sport no matter what as long as the sport stuck with them. The crowds in California and Miami were sight seers who were willing to give NASCAR a passing glance.

Now, the sight seers are gone and many of that once loyal core felt as though they had been abandoned so they moved on as well. That’s why there are 17% drops from one year to the next.

NASCAR, you got what you wanted. Now you have to live with it.

Thankfully, the Olympics will still be going on this Sunday during the Pocono race so a new excuse won’t have to be made. However, the loss of all those A.J. Allmendinger fans is one that could also be thrown out there if need be.

Topics: Articles |

37 Responses to “NASCAR excuses for poor ratings and attendance are getting pretty thin”

  1. don Says:
    August 1st, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I agree. I consider myself to be a die hard nascar fan but even i could only stand to watch the brickyard for a few minutes at a time. They ran away all the die hard fans by bringing in more cookie cutter tracks instead of diversifying. Nascar needs more short tracks and road courses not mile 1/2s. I know they they say that no two tracks drive the same but watching mile 1/2 week after week with no passing or real semblance of racing is getting boring. Nascar has made so many changes over the years trying to draw attention that it has become a joke.

  2. Gregg Stephenson Says:
    August 1st, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I am one of those 30,000 who went to Darlington, Rockingham and others. The way NASCAR throws its drivers under the bus alienates that driver’s fans. The AJ deal is also costing NASCAR some of it’s fan base. And the amount of commercials! You can find out more about what happens during a race on twitter in real time. So if I am watching Twitter; I’m not watching the race. Some of the announcers are more invoplved in talking about their selves and their opinions than about what is going on “real time” on the track. It is cheaper to fall asleep at home watching a race than it is to drive 250+ miles and be disappointed. I am not a fan of some of the drivers that NASCAR has screwed lately, but those drivers have their fans who were disappointed. NASCAR needs to get their heads out of their asses so that they can see what the fans are seeing. AND I have been a fan since Fireball Roberts and Tiny Lund.

  3. Russ Says:
    August 1st, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Rich, a great article, but after a while tilting at windmills loses its lustre does it not?
    I attended my first Nascar race in 1969, have a small motorsports business, and sponsor a professional race team.
    That said, last Friday night I drove 120 miles into Washington DC, to see a Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart concert that I paid 448 dollars for two GREAT tickets. Had a wonderful time.
    Wouldn’t have done that for FREE tickets to a Cup race.
    Dont have a magic bullet to fit whats wrong, but as long as Nascar and the megateams are making money nothing of substance will change.

  4. Bob Moore Says:
    August 1st, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Amen!!! to all three comments. Went to my first race in Atlanta in 1965 and have been a huge fan for many years(been to 21 straight Daytona 500’s) and lots of others in the south. Pretty much disgusted with Nascar, have not attended a race in several years and will not attend any more. TV is just as bad.

  5. Zach Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 1:41 am

    All I can say to this is. When you promote 1 driver year after year this is what happens. There’s a lot of other little things but why would people want to spend their hard earned money to go to the races when all NASCAR does is promote a propped up pretty boy in a hot rod that is allowed to get say with whatever NASCAR allows

  6. K Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I have been saying this for years, and then some folks will say “your not a real race fan, you just want wrecks”, no no no to wrecks, competition on the track instead of follow the leader would be great….The stupid Chase has made it “play safe”, no real fighting going on, endless sponser plugs, you could go on and on but King Brian and company are raking in the bucks at our expense so who is listening..nobody. Decent teams forced to throw drivers under the bus cause some idiot in the marketing department of a sponser company doesn’t understand loyality..welcome to the world we live in $$$$$$$.

  7. Joe Michalski Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 6:15 am

    As someone who attended his first race in the last 70’s, I have watched NASCAR shed itself of it’s core fans since the earley 90’s. There are several reason’s, I believe for this. In the 70’s you could get a hotel room for the weekend and pay $50.00 a night, with NO minimum stay. After the mid 80’s, the minimum was atleast 5 nights@$ 100.00 per night. GREED!!! Then the track owners said, we can get $100.00 for tickets. The fans will pay!!! GREED!!! And when you want to buy a tee shirt or a hat, they charge $30.00 for one or the other. DRIVER GREED!!!! It just goes on and on. The core fan that made NASCAR what it once way, are the hard working people that go to work every day and earn $10.00 an hour. Then you get the Networks that have a minimum of 125 commercials on each broadcast. you see 2 hours of racing and 2 hours of nonsense. I could go on and on but it would take an hour to finish this. As a core fan, you have lost me, period.

  8. morgan ward Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Rich,

    This is another great and timely article by you. As many others have stated , I have been an avid race fan since attending my first NASCAR race at the Asheville Weaverville Speedway in NC in 1962 at the age of 12. Even though I went on to make the US Army a career, I never-the-less attended numerous NASCAR races over the 20 years and beyond.

    I also miss the days of Rockingham and North Wilksboro, as like someone else stated, those were the core and dependable fans of NASCAR.

    In my opinion, I for one, am tired of all of the absolute trash that the numerous Race Tracks utilize to butcher the National Anthem and therefore disrespecting all of the Service of so many in the Military just to appease that new hip hop generation of so called fans that NASCAR desired so badly. I despise the rock music being piped out at a 10000 decibel level while awaiting the start to the Racing.What happened to the Country music that was enjoyed by most fans for several decades where you could actually carry on a conversation with the person next to you while listening to it?

    I am also bored to tears by the ‘cookie cutter ‘ tracks which allow for no passing. It only depends upon who is fortunate to be in the lead in clear air as to what the outcome will be.

    It appears that Brian France is doing His absolute best to destroy what His Dad and Grandfather had made into a premier sport.

    I still attend some races when possible, having went to the boring Las Vegas Race in March and having tickets for Charlotte in Oct. I don’t look forward to being able to witness a decent race in Charlotte, as that rarely is the case, but I am driving my 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT 392, 470 HP Green with Envy baby from Texas to attend that race in Charlotte, which will be a thrill and adventure for me.

    In the last 3 years, I have noticed that I spend most of my RACE viewing Napping in my recliner as most races are such a bore with absolutely no action to maintain my alertness. In the good old days of NASCAR , I would find myself unable to even take a moment to run to the Bathroom during a race scared that I would miss something.

    I am in agreement with all of the other posters on this thread. Return NASCAR to it’s root foundation. Get those dirt tracks, short tracks back in the schedule. Otherwise, I can only see a dismal and failing future for what was once a spectacular sport.

  9. Anne-Marie Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Get rid of season points, and the Chase. Make the last race at Darlington. If you win a race during the year you’re in the race. 100 lap winner take all to decide the champ….and no commercials !!

  10. Steven Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I enjoyed watching the Brickyard race since I’ve been involved in racing all my life. Now, maybe Brian France will spice things up by having 3 abreast restarts every 20 miles. Then I might switch to golf, especially if they give Danica the Pole position.

  11. Tony Geinzer Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I, as a Common NASCAR Fan, I will say, THE FREAK SHOW WILL NOT GO ON! I, prefer to see Tracks who actually SELL Tickets, not put on a worse excuse of a race than people realize, I, the NASCAR and Racing Commoner, demand the deletion of the Chase, Sprint and some of these Laffy Taffy Venues that make racing look bad! Rich, I demand NASCAR go back to IRP and I believe IMS should only run Sprint Cup for the Brickyard and I have feelings that Series Realignment is just as common as the TV Deal and the Next Sponsor. I know we need Young and Hip, but, do you realize we need more coreisms in my beloved sport, not just empty promises.

  12. Curtis Webster Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Wow!! If NASCAR wants to find out what is wrong with its sport, all they have to do is read these comments on this one article. These comments are a microcosm of the fans that used to go to races, watch on tv and buy their products. As fans and viewers go away, so do the buyers of the sponsors products, and so do the sponsors. Who is to blame for this mass exodus?? NASCAR, look in the mirror!!

  13. Jeff Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 8:00 am

    The TV coverage is horrible. You can watch the whole race and sometimes there is never any mention of some drivers. I get tired of watching JJ drive around when there is racing and passing other places on the track. You can tell because they are changing positions on the scroll, but you never see it because “everyone wants to see JJ” NOT.

  14. Paul Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 9:06 am

    The numbers and marketing decisions cited in the article point to the real problem. NASCAR is not unique in that regard.

    In the absence of a feel for racing (or any other business) and its audience, those in power find themselves making decisions based on bean counter data and projections.

    NASCAR achieved its success on the strength of Bill Sr. and Bill Jr.’s vision and feel for what would appeal to the race fan. Who, for instance, in their right mind would even consider building a monster suerspeedway in Talledaga, Alabama.

    Steve Jobs built Apple on the strength of his feel for what would appeal to his customers in the face of what seemed to be strong evidence that he couldn’t succeed.

    What’s missing today is that vision and feel. Did anyone who really understands racing and the race fan seriously believe that moving the Nationwide race from (what always has been and always will be to some of us) IRP to IMS was a smart move?

  15. Al Torney Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 9:14 am

    From what I have just read NASCAR is listening to the wrong fans. I go way back, 1952, and I no longer watch, or attend, any of their races. I watch the highlite shows and read the articles about the races. Notone writer about the series has mentioned the fact that the attendance and ratings started sinking when they started making their changes. And to add insult to injury Brian is talking about more changes to attempt to make the racing more equal among competitors. It’s never been accomplished in all of the years in all of motorsports. There always has to be a winner and a loser.
    My favorite is a driver wins with a car that proves illegal after post race inspection but keeps the win. Or I watch a driver work his butt off to lap a car and a caution flag waves and the effort is nullified. They wave around 20 cars and then have the guts to say they had 35 cars on the lead lap. And then to pin your hopes on one driver who goes 3 yrs. without a win, and shouldn’t have been allowed the last at Michigan anyway, and a woman who’s crew chief even ran out of excuses at Indy what can you expect. I used to blame Helton but I now realize that he is only a bobble head for Sir Brian.

  16. JT Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I’m betting that the networks are going to be looking for a drastic reduction in rights fees in order for NASCAR’s Cup series to get new TV contracts in 2014. NASCAR’s excuse for Indy’s ratings getting clobbered by minor Olympic events was lame. So far, NASCAR has excused themselves for bad ratings when going against the Winter Olympics, March Madness, the Masters, the NBA Playoffs, the US Open, the MLCS, the World Series, NCAA Division 1 Football, and of course, the mighty NFL.

    Why should this happen? What about those “75 Million NASCAR Fans”?

    Also, persistently low cable ratings for NNS and CWTS events may result in neither support series having a full-coverage TV contract beyond 2014. The only future support series event coverage may just be for companion races held on Cup weekends.

    The days of NASCAR sponsors relying on inflated “exposure value numbers” by Joyce Julius are also coming to a close. The recent findings by the CBO audit of the US Army and National Guard Cup sponsorships may have the Fortune 500 sponsors taking a more detailed cost v.s. payback analysis of continuing sponsoring in NASCAR.

  17. Jim Russell Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Another great article, Rich. You seem to be the voice of the “core” fans. Keep up the good work. I for one, will not be happy until races are run without manipulation: No Chase; no green/white/checker; no free passes; no Lucky Dogs; no mystery cautions (or “competition cautions for that matter); no top 35 rules (fastest cars race that weekend); no provisionals; no rules leveling the playing field (let the teams build and race the best cars they can prepare. I would also like to see the size of the field reduced by at least 10 cars and eliminate the “start and park” crowd. I don’t think NASCAR should race at IMS period. Nationwide Series belongs at the old IRP (or whatever they call it these days). Running Nationwide cars at IMS was done because of Danica and we have now seen what a magnet she is for attracting fans. NASCAR needs to return to its roots, provide the fans with good, honest racing at a reasonable price. If the fan base for this package is 50,000 people in the stands and 3,000,000 TV viewers, then gear your business plan to that level. If the sport wants to grow bigger than those numbers, allow it to happen naturally.

  18. holdin5aces Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 10:22 am

    At the height of my zealotry, I attended 6 races one year. No small feat given I live in Tucson AZ. I was able to ignore the obvious that Phoenix was a short race and a snoozer. Then the COT showed up. And the fog lifted. I haven’t been to a race in years. I tape the races and watch them when I have nothing better to do. Like cleaning the bathroom. I fell asleep during the Brickyard replay and didn’t bother to rewind it to see what I had missed. Because I knew I had missed nothing. I still follow NASCAR a bit, but from afar. No diecast, no T’s or coolies. And no more tailgate long weekends in the Country Coach. It just isn’t the same anymore. And the same is what I liked.

  19. midasmicah Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Great article, Rich. Like a lot of the people who responded to your column, I’m a long, long time fan who has became more and more alienated from the sport. It’s sad to watch the slow implosion of nas$car.

  20. SV Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 10:37 am

    How many times over the years have we heard that when Dale Jr. does good it’s good for the sport? Well, here he is the points leader so where are the viewers? Watching water polo? I guess instead of watching for wrecks people have resorted to waiting for an errant nipple slip on TV. LOL Maybe the lack of people flocking back to races and the TV isn’t happening because Dale Jr. fans like myself know it means absolutely NOTHING to lead the points because in a few weeks he’ll be back in a hole behind the 48, 14 and 2. Eventually Brian France is going to have to blame the man in the mirror; not Dale Jr., not the Olympics and certainly not the fans. IF this is what we can expect from the grandchildren of the “greatest generation” we as a nation are certainly up a creek…

  21. Brian Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Some other notes that would help…
    GEt the purse more evenly distributed from 1st to last. While it may not stop the start/park issue it would help. Plus the start/park issue is not new been around a very long time.
    Can the emphasis on the season long points battle. This really started about 20 years ago or so as the championship purse started getting out of whack and higher than the race purses.
    Stop trying to compete with the NFL.. It is not going to happen and NASCAR has lost so much and it was in vein.
    One comment from a poster on a different article this week idea was to race one time at most tracks and bring in new tracks capable of hosting Cup such as Iowa, Road America, etc. Hell what about the Portland road course the trucks used to run at since the Northwest is not served currently.
    Also not that NASCAR has control of these but the cost of attending a race has phased out most of the die hard fans. I make plenty but am not wiling to shell out $1300 for a race weekend when the product is usually subpar.

    Used to attend at least one race a year but have not been to one since Bristol spring race n 2007. Would drive from MN to MI, Joliet, Texas, TN, AL for races and make a family vacation out of it. HAve found other things to do for vacations now.
    Guess who also does not watch as much TV Cup races anymore either due to poor racing (actually it’s the coverage of the race that’s the issue) there is racing but TV is so obsessed with the leader even with a 3 second lead that a battle for 8-11, which might actually being close, or even 18-20. The whole focus on Stewart and Edwards at Homestead was ridiculous as the lead stayed at basically .8-1.5 seconds the entire time but the ESPN people did not show much if anything else. Yes the Championship battle is important but if there is no change or it is not actually close go show something else that entertains with racing and if the battles actually get cloase of the lead go back to it. It got really boring to watch those last 25 laps at Homestead because it did not change. It also got REALLY annoying that the announcers where so jazzed up about a tenth closer or further as it is almost imperceptible on TV. Again as many others have stated too much hyoe not enough substance.

  22. Michael in SoCal Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 11:51 am

    After reading these comments I just have to wonder if anyone in those golden towers in Daytona ever reads these sort of articles?

  23. Pam Smith Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I had the Indy race on Tv, but listened to radio outside instead. Radio keeps a boring race interesting & reports what happened during their commercial breaks. Sponsors don’t want to waste $$ on drivers who are never shown or mentioned. Tv doesn’t show all the action, just the top 3 cars running or the top 10 cars in the chase. Tv announcers are irritating by constantly running their mouths about themselves, their opinions or their race team /sponsors. Shut up already & pay attention to the race! No current drivers or owners should be allowed in the booth & this includes Kenny Wallace! When the NNS race is more exciting than NSCS that should tell NASCAR something. There is no incentive for fans to spend mega hard earned $$ to attend races when it’s boring. I went to Charlotte once and decided if I needed a jumbotron to see the race then I was better off watching on Tv at home & the seat was more comfortable! I went to both Bristol races for many years until 2 years ago when it lost it’s competitiveness due to being the last race before the cutoff for the Chase and driver’s were afraid of making moves & losing points. I sure do miss the days of real racing and driver’s being allowed to say whatever they wanted without getting sent to the principles office and getting fined or worse. That’s why the Busch brothers have the fans that they do. Even the NASCAR media are too chicken to actually report that’s why when you read one you’ve read them all, they are cookie cutter just like the tracks. Pray Brian France doesn’t get another divorce and need more $$,there doesn’t seem like much else he can mess up. Lastly, get rid of start & park’s! I personally boycott their sponsors.

  24. Jon Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Get rid of the COT and go back to the old body race cars. The K&N series still puts on a better show than the top 3 series with the old cars and a much smaller talent/money pool. Plus they race on the right kind of tracks that lend to more exciting racing. I’m also sick of the safety excuse for the COT. The HANS device and the soft walls have provided the majority of the protection for the drivers, not the new cars. The new cars a just a giant waste o money and they race like MACK trucks.

    TV coverage is a real problem in that they try to present a story every week instead of just focusing on the racing at hand. We don’t need to spend 20 mins talking about Dale Jr, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Tony Stweart, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin every week…just talk about what’s going on in the race and show the action. I don’t care if the action is for 16th, just show the action…people just might be fans of the person in 16th.

    Advertising on TV is a real issue. Think about all the major sports. Football, Baseball, Basketball…all of those sports present commercials in a format that doesn’t interrupt the game. Nascar needs to seek a similar solution w/side by side commercials under green and full screen commercials utilized under caution flags only.

    Seems like the biggest issue is that drivers just don’t race each other like they used to. Also, when was the last time someone wore a tire to the point that it failed? I’m not saying I want to see tire failures, but I’m sick of teams running races on 2 sets of left side tires and not having to manage tires. Not to mention how much the racing would improve with increased tire fall-off.

    So many areas to address I could go on forever…

  25. sam manila Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I agree with what has been said. The racing is not as exciting. The cars are all the same, just with different decals on them to make them look like Chevies, Fords, and Dodges. And Toyotas. I miss the race cars that were real STOCK cars. On the outside at least. With different motors too. I have been to North Wilkesboro, and my favorite track is Darlington, where they treat the fans like kings. The cars all look alike, the tracks all look alike, and the drivers all look alike. I want to see a couple of dirt tracks in there. And less political correctness.

  26. charlie Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I’m another one of those 30,000 who went to Rockingham and Darlington. Still go to Martinsville. NASCAR is trying to sabotage it by scheduling either on Palm Sunday and during the International Home Furnishings Show that utilizes a tremendous amount of hotel space in Greensboro, NC.
    When you have know-nothings like the Waltrip pimping everyinging, what do you expect? The sport is dieing.

  27. allan h. Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    dale jr has won a race and is leading points .kenny wallace said that would fix nascar .stands still empty and viewers still down .sorry kenny and jr nation and nascar .there is 42 other guys out there and they have fans too .

  28. Sue Rarick Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    All you have to do is look at who Nascar is hiring. They are all marketing people who have no interest in the racing. To them it is just product. Something else to sell and manipulate.

    How many races has Brian gone to this year?

    Or for that matter how many has Helton gone to?

  29. k Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Amen Sue R. spot on correct…sad and obviously stupid yet King Brian still trudges on in the wrong direction! I am a smart person and I am always amazed at the amount of bull marketing it is but yet it gets high regards always as something intelligent, I think its an insult to folks with brains…

  30. jeepr Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    been a fan since 63 didn’ realize how much better we had it then w/ limited wide world of sports mini coverage until now w/ the explosion of IDIOT talking heads(esp fox,who would have thought micheal was that much more intelligent and aware of what was going on than the blabbing fool dw}

  31. d. mcneal Says:
    August 2nd, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    i want to know why a sanctioning body [nascar] is a billion dollar organization. cart went down the tubes, nascar could be next.nascar charges every car they inspect 10,000 dollars each and every week. its ridiculous.maybe its time the ownersget together and tell nascar they’re taking their equiptment and talent and go run arca.it wouldn’t take long to get a good tv contract in place.start over with a much smaller rule book.big tracks short tracks dirt tracks. just something to think about.get back to our roots, real racing.

  32. wayne c Says:
    August 3rd, 2012 at 12:48 am

    I am still a big fan of racing. I have gone to the Daytona 500 and Atlanta motor speedway every year since 1995. I stopped going to Daytona 3 years ago due to the fact that I simply cant afford the place any longer. $250 a night with five night minimums for a motel that would normally bring $45-$50 a night. Parking, even at the mall is $50 a day. The last race I attended there cost me $2000. never again. At least atlanta has free parking and the hotels are a lot nicer and you pay $75 a night with no minimum. I agree with a lot that was said on this thread, who wants to pay that much money for side by side follow the leader. Daytona is supposed to be the biggest race of the year and to me, it is the most boring race of the year. I would rather watch the tandems. Atleast you would have some lead changes.

    I also agree with the fact that there is too much made about the cars being to equal. If they are that equal, the you get no passing. And thats also why whoever is out front pulls away and no one can catch them. just my opinion.

  33. Mark Haynes Says:
    August 5th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I am a long time NASCAR fas who has lost alot of his passion for the sport. A Southerner who’s father and uncle built grand National cars and took me to my share of great races in the 70’s and 80’s. NASCAR decided to leave fans like me behind. They needed to drop tracks like Wilkesboro, Rockingham and Darlington to move into bigger markets and find new fans. They scoffed off drivers who were a little rough around the edges and paid there dues coming up through the ranks. The drivers who once they achieved success in NASCAR’s biggest ranks had a genuine appreciation for being there. I am talking about the Cale Yarborough’s and Harry Gant’s. They prefer an abercrombie model that had well to do mom and dad’s with connections and who would represent sponsor’s target audience.

    That all being said, They are reaping what they sowed. Fickle fans have moved along to the next fad and the long time fan’s feel like they were left behind. It will take somebody who’s focus is on the quality of the racing and not on dollar signs to get NASCAR back to what it used to be. I am not sure that will ever happen.

  34. Russ Says:
    August 5th, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Mark, in my opinion the problem is pretty simple. Nascar is unlike any other sports sanctioning body in one VERY important way.
    In the NFL, NBA, or MLB the commissioner and everyone in the league office serve at the pleasure of the owners. The owners run the sport and make the money. The NFL for example sells it trademark etc. but the money goes to the owners and players, etc.
    Nascar and its holding companies are in business solely to make a profit for themselves. Nothing more or less. They own the tracks, the trademarks, etc. All the money goes to them.
    Thus they have a very different outlook on things. I think we see the long term result.

  35. Joe Says:
    August 30th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Most nascar fans don’t see it. Look at the ratings and excitement before the (NEW) car was put in place. We spent thousands of $$ going and supporting the old school nascar. Then nascar said we need more money lets bring in a Japan car. Here’s a car that in all regards not even close to the nascar of old. Toyoda has very very deep pockets which nascar LIKES. Opps spelled the word wrong Toyoda was in charge of the Fleet out to destroy and annihilate the Americans at Midway. I did for give them for their actions but I won’t give in to something we built (NASCAR) and loved as a family. I stopped attending the races with my brothers and sisters after the new car was brought out. Now after the change to fuel injection I lost ALL interest in this car venue went over to F-1. Maybe we need another series for American stock car racing.

  36. Jim Says:
    May 19th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    It isn’t even racing any more! It is just follow the leader until near the end of the race then “miraculously” Chad Knaus & Jimmie Johnson manage to “hit on a perfect setup” and come from nowhere (sometimes even after wrecking) to win! B_O_R_I_N_G!!! Used to love to watch on TV & go to races, but now a Mecum auction has more passing that a 500 mile NASCAR Race. Guess I’ll go back to fishing…..at least the end of the day won’t be predictable!!!

  37. Jim Says:
    May 19th, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    This “All-Star” race was a joke. First of all why was Danica Patrick the “fans-choice”? Merely for PR and trying to get more women to watch the sport. Secondly, how come the announcers stated on TV that Jimmie Johnson wasn’t even in the top ten in his average finish, yet he came in 4th? Instead of dragging out the average finish, NASCAR shoulkd have let them all come in & pit with a mandatory 4 tires, then sent them back onto the track in the position they were supposed to be in. This would have saved about 10-15 minutes of boring track circling while someone tried to figure out how to get it set up so that the Busch brothers would end up back in the pack so that Jimmie would be handed the win! If this is what Nascar wants, why not give him the trophy and the million bucks along with a 6th Championship trophy and skip 7-8 months of boring follow the leader and waste of gasoline.