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NASCAR’s truck series nearing its end?

By admin | June 11, 2009

By Richard Allen

The Camping World Truck Series offers up some of the best competition in all of NASCAR. Unfortunately, the series is almost surely approaching its end.

The truck races have become one of my favorite parts of the racing weekend. For the most part, the drivers are real racers who drive hard and love what they do. Most of these drivers are older guys who have found a home in this series after being rejected in the higher levels of the sport because they did not fit a mold desired by modern day owners and sponsors.

Ron Hornaday, Mike Skinner, Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine, Dennis Setzer and Rick Crawford are among the gritty competitors who form the backbone of this series.

Regrettably, the reality of the times is in the process of setting in for this division of NASCAR racing. A bad economy is robbing the series of needed sponsors, manufacturers’ support and fan attendance.

On Thursday, General Motors announced it intends to scale back its support of both the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series.

This comes as one of a series of blows that threaten to knock the division of its feet.

In the most recent truck race in Texas, only 33 machines started the race. Of those 33, nine dropped out after 26 laps or less for reasons such as overheating, handling, too slow or ignition. So in reality, there were only 24 teams racing for the win. The series normally starts fields of 36 trucks.

The GM announcement makes fields like the one in Texas more likely for the rest of the season rather than less likely as new teams will not be looking to join the series. No one jumps onto a sinking ship.

NASCAR almost faced the embarrassing situation last year of not even being able to find a sponsor for the series. Sears pulled its Craftsman brand of tools out as the series standard bearer. It was not until a last minute deal was struck that Camping World came on to fill the void left by Sears’ departure.

Speculation at the time had it that the sanctioning body did not even come close to getting the amount of money they were looking for from a new partner, but it was all they could get.

The Camping World Truck Series provides some of the best racing in NASCAR. However, you better hurry if you want to see it. My guess is this series will not be around two or three years from now.

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

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “NASCAR’s truck series nearing its end?”

  1. midasmicah Says:
    June 12th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    What a shame. I agree with you in regards to The truck series giving us the best racing in nas$car. But the harbinger that the series is really in trouble is the recent sacking of the defending champion of the series. Johnny Benson out of a ride and Timothy Peters in. Really makes a fan want to watch the races. Look at the trouble Todd Bodine has had in acquiring sponsorship. When you’re best drivers have trouble attracting sponsors you’re in trouble. Another thing the sponsors don’t understand. They may want pretty faces. The fans want to continue to see their favorite drivers. It seems that the powers that be in all the major series would have figured this out by now. A pretty face does no constitute fan interest. People like Benson and Bodine aren’t pretty enough to attract sponsors yet the blue collar fans like them. What a disconnect. Well, I’ve vented. But if the powers that be continue to ignore me, the hardcore fan, there won’t be a nas$car as we know it much longer.

  2. kevin Says:
    June 12th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    It may be because we know who will win. I watched this series to see the “future” stars of NASCAR. I only see Kyle Bush winning all the races, which he should his is a contender in CUP. He and others should not be there racing with upstarts and such. In this series where sponsorship is hard to come by, the CUP regulars are taking the purse money that could be used in these upstart teams. The same will happen with Nationwide series before long. The CUP boys should not go down to the minor’s every week. I am ok with every now and again, but every week. It’s the same race twice in a week.

  3. DOUG DEAL Says:
    June 12th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    nascar should have left the trucks on the short-tracks were they started. that was reel racin! it also supported those tracks that started all this fun in the first place. in the end nascar is the loser along with fans.

  4. Brooks Says:
    June 13th, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I think one thing that has hurt the series has been the tripleheader weekends. There seems to be too many of these and/or sharing the weekend with the cup series. When this series started, it was mostly a short track series, with places such as Evergreen and Mesa Marin. And i can remember running road courses such as Topeka, Watkins Glen and Somona. And when they ran at the glen or sears point, they were stand-alone races. I think there should be more truck-nationwide weekends than these tripleheader weekends or truck-cup weekends, and allow the series to spread out and go to different and unique race trucks like they did the first few years.

  5. NA$CAR's Dying Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    I agree with Kevin 12:58 pm. I remember not too long ago when it was a rare thing to have a cup guy run these lower tier races. Because of this I loved to watch. Now that these races are almost always won by cup guys with their cup equipment, I almost never tune in. What a shame. The equipment the cup guys bring is far superior to the regular’s stuff, plus most of them have cup crews pitting for them. It’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Look at Kryle Boosh for example. He dominates these lower races but is very inconsistent in cup. STAY IN THE CUP SERIES, CUP DRIVERS.

  6. Mark Martin News Says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I agree 100% i use to like watching the other classes when they where the classes you had to work thru to get to cup and those who made it to cup didnt want to go back that was under class man fresh man but its all about money and promotions now .