FanDuel - WFBC

April 15, 2007

NASCAR facing uncertain future as it searches for its identity: “Are we moonshiners, country music, banjos and Route 66?” said one auto racing promoter. “Or are we merlot and Rodeo Drive? We just have to settle down and say: ‘Is this what we want? Exactly who are we?’ ”

posted by roberts to auto racing at 02:30 PM - 19 comments

I couldn't help but think of the rise and fall of hockey while I was reading this. Which makes me wonder what will rise up and take NASCAR's place if it does fall.

posted by oxocerite at 03:22 PM on April 15

I don't believe NASCAR will ever vanish.It may have over-expanded into markets where it won't become firmly established. Here in the Big D,its as big as anything else in North Texas,including the 'Boys and the Mavs.I'm sure that is not the case in other major markets, particularly the newer ones.

posted by sickleguy at 05:32 PM on April 15

who wrote this topic................hello nascar is the number one spectator sport in the country.............. and i'm not even a big race fan

posted by coachhannon at 06:03 PM on April 15

NASCAR would be fine if they'd forget about the Car of Tomorrow, making everyone fit the templates, and standardizing everything for the sake of "even competition". It is beginning to look like the old IROC series when everyone drove the same setup in a Camaro. Bring back the days when you could buy something that looked a lot like a NASCAR machine at your local dealer. Let one manufacturer start to dominate, and then the others will begin to innovate in order to keep up. A little healthy "rule bending" wouldn't be a bad thing either. Does anyone remember the days of the Dodge Chargers and Plymouth Road Runners with the exaggerated wings? What about the Pontiac GTO and the big-block Fords? Get the emphasis off of the drivers (who all seem to be forced by NASCAR into a state of blandness) and back onto the cars.

posted by Howard_T at 07:59 PM on April 15

I agree with you Howard_T. My interest waned when Nextel took over sponsership. I think they have priced themselves out of the reach of some fans. I know I for one refuse to pay what they want for tickets. And to watch it on TV has gotten really boring. But it is like Kyle Petty says in the article. It isn't the race, but the other stuff you can sell in that market.

posted by steelergirl at 09:20 PM on April 15

hello nascar is the number one spectator sport in the country I see this touted all the time, but the numbers don't add up for me. Physical attendance: Major League Baseball attendance in 2006: 76,043,902 There are 37 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, so in order to match that attendance number, you'd need to have in excess of 2,000,000 per race. The biggest numbers I've ever seen touted for a single race is the Daytona 500, and that is around 200,000 (or 1/10 required). Television viewing: The NFL (over the course of a season) clobbers NASCAR for television ratings. If you match up their premiere events (Super Bowl vs Daytona), it's not even close. If you match up regular events (Sunday Night Football vs NEXTEL Cup events), it's not close. All this, and it doesn't include Monday Night Football or the local regional broadcasts as well on Sunday, or the playoffs.

posted by grum@work at 09:47 PM on April 15

I think the Car of Tomorrow is a good thing...the era of racing what they sell ended when the Thunderbird went away following the Atlanta race in 1998 and they introduced the Taurus. Honestly if they were racing a rear wheel drive V8 powered vehicle we would be watching Expeditions, Durangos, and Tahoes. I think that in the long run the marginal fans will fall to the wayside and hopefully when they do they will take boogity...boogity with them.

posted by hoytie at 09:54 PM on April 15

I must say, I have very mixed feelings when I hear negative comments about NASCAR. However, it's easy to understand why this happens. The sport has evolved at a tremendous rate over the last 10 years. Growing up in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, my natural instict is warm and fuzzy for the sport. I agree with the comments about the car vs driver struggle. The awful truth is just the same as any sport, mechandising is the cancer that dictates what some tracks, teams and owners do according to the profit that is attainable. I would love to see a team focus strictly on the car/drive/team and winning races. Sell the crap on another day in another way. Let's get back to what made this sport in the first place, RACING. Thrills when a Dale Sr. bumps a rookie or more jr. driver to get past because he's in the way. Lets see the anger and joy of winning and losing, not another 30 seconds of spouting how good this or that drink tastes or headache powder works, ssssshhhhheeeeessssss! We got Wal-Mart to sell us all that stuff.

posted by Reddogg6969 at 11:38 PM on April 15

I don't know exactly when NASCAR transitioned from racing real stock cars of Chevy, Ford, Dodge, etc. but I do know that the cars they have been racing since the 90's have as many parts in common with your Chevy, Ford, or Dodge as your lawnmower does so it's a bit of a joke to associate with a make/model of car. They just put up money to stick their name on the car like the sponsors do. NASCAR wants to do whatever it can to keep the races close (including "debris on the track" yellow flags with 20 laps to go) for fan interest and those all-important sponsorship $$$. So enjoy it for what it is and if you want to see the good old fashioned racing, there's always your local Saturday night track.

posted by 1959Giants at 07:48 PM on April 16

Sorry to stab a legend through the heart, but Dale Snr was a cheat. In NO OTHER racing series would his actions have been tolerated. Imagining him in Australian V8 Supercar is hilarious. He'd never be out of the pits due to the penalties he'd have gotten. This is racing. http://youtube.com/watch?v=xHhWD095uj0 Transplant that situation into NASCAR, with Dale in second, he'd just punt Senna out the way. That's not racing. That's cheating and being a thug. I've tried to get into NASCAR, but I finally realised just how dull the series is. Road course events are great. The BUSCH race that Montoya won was fantastic, but only because of the ex-F1 guy fighting his way through. Oval races are tedious. There's no point watching anything but the last 15 minutes, since all passes prior to that are irrelevant. F1 is criticised for it's lack of passing, but then you've got NASCAR which shows that too much overtaking is just as bad. Nothing will topple NASCAR any time soon, simply due to the ignorant US market (there are many MANY great series in Europe, and in the US, but they're virtually ignored), and the fact there is no 400 pound gorilla to jump in and try and kick the 800 pound gorillas ass. I'm an absolute racing nut. I download a ton of racing that I can't see over here, and I follow every non-open wheel US series that's broadcast. (ALMS, Rolex Sports Car, Speed Touring and GT etc...) The popularity of NASCAR absolutely baffles me. I just don't understand the appeal, I really don't. I can't understand why the same people that pay to watch cars LITERALLY drive in circles for three hours, have no interest in seeing a good sportscar or touring car race. I really don't get it, without getting into derogatory comments about the fans. Other sports I hate (God do I loathe basketball) I can see why folk would like them, but this NASCAR thing just boggles the mind. You couldn't pay me to watch NASCAR anymore.

posted by Drood at 07:51 PM on April 16

I'm sorry, the guy's known as "Humpy"? I don't follow Nascar religiously, but it seems to me that you have a very few guys like Junior and Gordon who have tons of fans, and then there's everyone else. for example, I don't run to too many Kevin Harvick fans.

posted by SummersEve at 11:09 AM on April 17

hello nascar is the number one spectator sport in the country This is a crock. Even if the numbers did add up its still doesnt equal football or baseball. If you had 16 races a week in 16 different locations like football does, NASCAR wouldnt survive. Of course NASCAR gets great numbers; all of the all-stars are in the same location every week. Picture the Yankees playing in every game every night during the baseball season, they would sell out just like they do in New York. What ever happened to letting the teams themselves create parody. Let one manufacturer start to dominate, and then the others will begin to innovate in order to keep up. I can only hope that some day a more entertaining form of racing takes the place of NASCAR. Oval tracks are incredibly boring. And don't give me that crap about how you have to go to a race in order to understand why everyone likes it. I watched and loved countless football games before I had the privelage of getting to see one in person.

posted by Steel_Town at 11:53 AM on April 17

You're right, Steel_Town. From now on, all sports will play the same number of matches, in the same locations, with the same participants. Don't like it, tough shit. May the strongest sport(s) survive. Drood, as a NASCAR fan, all I can say is, thanks for not being a jerk as many others are when expressing their inability to enjoy the sport. Seriously, I've gotten to the point that somebody not calling me inbred trailer trash for liking NASCAR almost seems like a compliment.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:33 PM on April 17

NASCAR has allredy fallin. ever sense Dale died. Just compare 1970 racin with tdays and u will puke at what NASCAR has become.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 09:44 AM on April 18

Transplant that situation into NASCAR, with Dale in second, he'd just punt Senna out the way. That's not racing. That's cheating and being a thug. Question from someone who doesn't know too much about these things: Is it more difficult in open-wheel racing to spin out the guy in front of you without taking yourself out in the process?

posted by holden at 02:16 PM on April 18

I think it's more difficult to bump another car without breaking off the better part of the front end, but that's just a guess.

posted by yerfatma at 02:28 PM on April 18

I'd say it is harder to spin out an opponent in open wheel than NASCAR. Stock car drivers don't actually have to touch the car in front to spin them out. Run up on their back bumper, then rapidly back off, and you alter the airflow over their rear spoiler, resulting in a loss of stability. In open wheel, the height and structural difference in the back of the car make a loss of control less likely. I think in open wheel, you'd actually have to hit a guy, or touch tires to create the loss of stability that you could cause in NASCAR by simple proximity.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:59 AM on April 19

Sorry to stab a legend through the heart, but Dale Snr was a cheat. In NO OTHER racing series would his actions have been tolerated. Imagining him in Australian V8 Supercar is hilarious. He'd never be out of the pits due to the penalties he'd have gotten [...] Transplant that situation into NASCAR, with Dale in second, he'd just punt Senna out the way. That's not racing. That's cheating and being a thug. NASCAR, I think the word "cheating" may be a bit harsh. In any racing series (or sport, for that matter), there are official rules and unwritten norms. In NASCAR, if driver's aren't regularly penalized for something (e.g., spinning someone out) that's fairly common and overt, I have a hard time saying that's cheating. I guess causing others to crash in certain ways may be a technical violation of the rules, but it happens quite regularly and it's my impression that it's rarely penalized. I would kind of liken it to batters wiping out the batters box in baseball with their cleats. It's against the rules, but is frequently done and rarely ever has consequences.

posted by holden at 09:58 AM on April 19

wwwhatttt did u just say about Dale Drood??? u then must think that all racing legends from when racing began to about 1990 r a bunch of cheats???? Becuase back in the day there were no rules about not bein able to tap a driver.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 12:06 PM on April 19

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