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There are two types of sites that I visit the most regularly during my internet surfing sessions: racing sites, and news sites. After I get updated on all things racing, I then stop at various news feed sites and find out how the rest of the world is faring.
It has long been a complaint of mine that the sports broadcasters of all media types pretty much ignores NASCAR. I have asked readers of my columns to make sure they pester their local news affiliates to have a few moments for stock car racing, and praise them when they follow through.
So imagine my excitement when I came upon the front page of one of my favorite news sites this past Sunday night, and found the leading story to be about the Cup race at Talladega?
The story was accompanied by a large picture of the wreck that took out 25 cars. If I were the editor, it would be a photograph I would choose to pair with a story such as that, too. It certainly grabs your attention.
That’s the thing about wrecks in NASCAR: they do grab your attention. Unfair as it may be to the teams (and their cars that cost in the multi-thousands of dollars), and as dangerous as it is to the drivers, the wrecks are what seem to measure the excitement of a race. If you don’t think so, listen to the complaints from fans after a long race with very few cautions. ‘Boooorrring’ is the adjective used most often, closely followed by phrases like ‘what a sleeper’.
I cannot recall a story about NASCAR being the leading one on any news site in recent memory. In fact, I believe the last time a NASCAR story led any news media type of any sort is when Dale Earnhardt had his fatal crash at Daytona in 2001.
It is unfortunate that other sports still show up on the front pages for games that are considered ‘sleepers’, but usually no matter what you have dig deep for the NASCAR information.
So it was a bittersweet deal to see that story leading that front page Sunday night. I was thrilled to see anything having to do with NASCAR being the top story; but I know it was only because an enormous number of cars had gotten smashed to pieces. And Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s name was mentioned as the culprit, a name that most people know whether they follow the sport or not. Essentially the article made it to its prominent spot because of the rubberneckers who would recognize Earnhardt’s name. Again, if I were an editor who felt that generally NASCAR needs minimal coverage this might have inspired me, too, to place it on the front page.
All that NASCAR fans can do to make NASCAR information more prominent for reasons beyond wrecks is to let their news affiliates know that they want it, and that they’ll read it once it’s there.
©2000 - 2008 Cheryl Walker and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Cheryl is no longer a contributor to the Frotnstretch, having branched out on her own, starting CawsnJaws with her son Josh. If you'd like to see more of Cheryl's Frontstretch articles, check out her bio and archive page.