Jeff Meyer · Wednesday March 1, 2006
Is your life in shambles? Are you in need of some good PR so that others won’t realize how bad things really are? If that’s the case, NASCAR and ISC are the only numbers you need!
In case you are a new viewer of the entertainment show known as NASCAR Nextel Cup, let me connect a few dots for you so that you may follow this article with some sense of understanding. The fans that have been around for awhile who remember when NASCAR was a sport, please bear with me.
NASCAR is a privately held company by the France family. International Speedway Corporation (ISC) is a publicly traded company, controlled by the France family. I commonly refer to both as conjoined twins. California Speedway (along with 11 others) is owned by ISC. Gillian Zucker, whom I will be quoting from during this article, is the president of California Speedway, i.e. an ISC employee and this week’s official company spokesperson. Ok, now that we have cleared that up"¦
If you are one of those fans that was against the move of forsaking "˜The Rock’ altogether, and Darlington losing a date just so California could have two dates, you might have been happy to see over 10,000 empty seats at this past Sunday’s race. Well, I’m sorry to burst your gloating bubble, but those seats were not actually empty. They were actually bought and paid for, not by race fans, but by some SERIOUS California shoppers.
“I was underneath the midway area during the event,’’ said track president Zucker. “It was packed. When I came around to this side of the grandstands I thought, ‘Oh, wow! They’re going to think that there’s a lot fewer people here that are here.’ Underneath that grandstand there were [fans] that were shopping during the race.’’
Let me see if I got this straight. There were 10,000 NASCAR fans out there who figured that the cheapest way to shop for NASCAR stuff was to buy a ticket to the race just so they could go shopping? Oh my! That has got to be NASCAR’s ideal fan base! Rich and stupid! No wonder they were so eager to get two dates into the country’s second largest MARKET. It is all becoming clear to me now.
I do, however, have another question/problem that, I hope, someone who has actually been to a race at California Speedway can help me with. I have never been there, but at every track that I have been to, the main areas where the souvenir TRAILERS are located are actually OUTSIDE of the areas of the speedway that you need a ticket to get into. Is this different in California? Like I said, I haven’t been there, so I really don’t know the setup. Hopefully one of my faithful west coast readers can help a brotha out and let me know.
Despite the fact that there is apparently some fantastic shopping deals at the California Speedway which people will go so far as to buy a ticket for, ISC may be thinking about doing something to the track, such as progressive banking, to make the racing almost as good as the shopping.
“Certainly in Miami, it’s completely changed the show,’’ Zucker said. “If that’s what the fans are telling us that they need to see … we always hoped to have some of the spectacle that brings so many people to the track.’’
Wow! Nothing gets by this Zucker chick! The president of California SPEEDWAY (note SPEEDWAY!) is beginning think that the folks who buy tickets to a SPEEDWAY want to see more of a spectacle called RACING! My God, where do they get these people?
This is the current state of NASCAR folks! I absolutely cannot make it any clearer to you. If you still do not get it, you are dumber than a post.
The silent majority of true race fans can ill afford to be silent much longer. We MUST let the idiots that have done this to the great sport of racing know how we feel. The only way to do that is with the dollar. Write, call, email, send a carrier pigeon if you have to, but let NASCAR know what you WON’T be buying or which race you WON’T be attending this year.
"We’re 40 miles from the entertainment capital of the world, and that’s something we’re really looking to maximize on,’’ Zucker said.
Hey Gillian baby, call me a hayseed from Iowa, but if you want to fill the stands at a SPEEDWAY, maybe you should be looking to maximize on the RACING! Just a thought.
Stay off the wall,
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