The Frontstretch: Don't Blame Us For NASCAR's Decline by Kurt Smith -- Friday August 14, 2009

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Don't Blame Us For NASCAR's Decline

Kurt Smith · Friday August 14, 2009

 

Recently I stumbled on an article by Richard Allen on “Racing With Rich”, pointing out the recent abandonment of NASCAR by companies like DeWalt and AllState, and to a lesser extent, Lowe’s and possibly Jack Daniel’s. In the article Allen compares NASCAR to a sinking ship, proclaiming that it simply isn’t worth it for sponsors to spend the money as NASCAR’s ratings and attendance continue to fall.

Nothing Allen said in the article was untrue, although he didn’t delve too deeply into the contracts or the individual reasons behind the departure of each corporation. But he received an angry rebuttal from one Eddie D’Hondt, owner of the newly formed D’Hondt Motorsports and a longtime insider at NASCAR.

D’Hondt claimed the article was garbage in so many words, saying that the struggling economy truly was the reason for NASCAR’s woes, and repeated the refrain that other major sports were experiencing declines as well.

He could have left it at that and had something of a point, but he then angrily took Allen to task for writing articles that forecasted NASCAR’s demise, and strongly implied that people like Allen were partly to blame for struggling teams like D’Hondt Motorsports having difficulty finding sponsors. I think I’ve covered the gist of the exchange for the most part, but if you want context, you can read it here. D’Hondt’s reaction seems to suggest that some making their living in NASCAR are tired of the negativity. Although I’m not sure Carl Long would be one of them.

DeWalt is pulling its NASCAR sponsorship of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford at the end of season, but don’t blame Kurt Smith for the company’s departure.

Now before I analyze this, let me insert a customary disclaimer. I do not wish for the end of NASCAR. I was not happy to see DeWalt break their longstanding partnership with the 17 car. I do not like to see people lose their jobs. There.

The D’Hondt Motorsports website proclaims that “Eddie is considered by many in the Sprint Cup circles to be one of the top general managers within the last decade. With a keen eye for talent, the ability to develop talent, manage budgets, marketing and managing business relationships with Fortune 500 companies … D’Hondt knows how to be properly prepared at all levels to win NASCAR and ARCA RE/MAX Series races while also meeting the personal and business needs of the folks and entities funding the overall effort.”

That doesn’t sound to me like someone who could be stopped by a guy sitting at a computer. The Internet enables those unhappy with a product to voice their opinions and be heard more than ever before, which is a wonderful thing. But to suggest that we, the endless whiners are part of NASCAR’s problems is still beyond laughable.

NASCAR’s audience has been shrinking by the millions. I check my articles’ hits several times on the day they appear on the Frontstretch. Trust me, the totals aren’t in the millions. If an article ever reached six digits I’d be ecstatic.

But even if I did have a large audience of disciples waiting to read my opinion on NASCAR before forming their own, should I sit here and say how exciting the racing is to spare someone’s job? Where I come from, we call that “politics”, and it’s not meant as a compliment.

Are there people that simply complain about anything and everything, people for whom NASCAR can do no right? Sure. And I’ll concede that it sometimes gets old. Contrary to the opinion of some, there have been some good races this year, like Martinsville and Infineon and the recent event at Pocono.

But it’s not like NASCAR hasn’t given the complainers a lot of ammo with their decisions in recent years. If a “citizen journalist” publicly denounces something like the Chase, what does it say when the denouncement resonates so strongly with so many fans? A large group of fans don’t like a large amount of things about the current car. Bogus stats about “more passing” don’t change that. People know what they’re watching.

Matt McLaughlin didn’t make the decision to move the Labor Day race out of Darlington in a grab for a perpetually indifferent West Coast market, giving a big middle finger not only to a half-century old tradition, but also to fans in the Southeast that brought the sport to the dance. Kurt Smith didn’t force an unpopular playoff system down fans’ throats over their strongly voiced objections, and then continually insist it has made the title race better when it clearly has not. Richard Allen didn’t repeatedly ignore fans’ desires to start races at noon on the East Coast…which might have enabled the airing of a few more events on Sunday this year, and maybe completing a Daytona 500 with a genuine finish.

To those who say we’re never being positive, speaking for myself, this year I wrote an article defending the even-keeled nature of some drivers, when lack of emotion is a long standing criticism of the sport today. I wrote about Kurt Busch’s resurgence this season. I lamented Travis Kvapil’s unemployment but stopped short of labeling it a problem for NASCAR to fix. I applauded Goodyear for their efforts at Indianapolis. Those diatribes were among my lowest-hit articles this season. It isn’t me, folks.

Most of all, I questioned the desire of many fans to side with Jeremy Mayfield after failing not one but two sport-sanctioned drug tests, when no athlete that had done so before ever had so much support. Do you think people agreed with me that that was odd, or that the response was a list of NASCAR’s credibility offenses?

Let’s face it, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s precipitous decline is part of the reason NASCAR is hurting. He has more fans than any other three drivers combined and people just aren’t as into it when their team isn’t doing so well. There isn’t much NASCAR can do about that—but they certainly have tried. There isn’t any better explanation for expanding the Chase to 12 drivers.

Eddie, I’m sorry if you or anyone else thinks that we’re hurting your chances to land sponsorship. I really am…but it doesn’t change my opinion of the current state of the sport. Largely because of an artificial playoff and other annoyances, I still love racing, but I also don’t love it as much as I used to. But at least people like me and Richard Allen are still around. I can’t say that about a lot of people I know. I know it doesn’t compare one whit to your problems, but it’s been a challenge keeping my fantasy league going. Membership turnover is high these days.

For most of us “citizen journalists”, whiners, whatever you want to call us, our intention with whatever squeaky voice we have isn’t to destroy NASCAR. It’s to point out what we think has gone wrong so it can be corrected. Lose the Chase. Allow innovation. Quit leaving great tracks for lousy ones. Improve the broadcasts.

Judging from the response we get from disgruntled fans, when someone at the Frontstretch articulates a complaint, we’re echoing the sentiment of a lot of folks.

Don’t blame us.

Kurt’s Shorts

  • Tony Stewart is auctioning off the towel that he used to wipe off his sweat in victory lane at The Glen. I thought that was gross enough, then I read that Old Spice has raised over $24,000 for charity doing this. Yikes.
  • Speaking of Tony Stewart, I picked him to win this weekend and go back to back. Seeing as I’ve picked the winners two weeks in a row, I’d say that if you’re looking for fantasy advice, don’t touch Tony Stewart, because me being right three weeks in a row is pretty rare. Hell, I’m savoring two.
  • Contrary to the subject of this column, Bristol Motor Speedway announced another sellout, it’s 55th straight, which is pretty impressive with the amount of seats there and the current economic climate. So congrats.
  • Jeff Gordon has assured everyone that his back is okay for this weekend’s Michigan race. I wonder in the future if he’ll be okay if he has another severe wreck on a Monday before a short track race. Let’s hope we don’t find out. Heal up Jeff.

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Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
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Mark
08/14/2009 08:33 AM
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D’Hondt is the Paris Hilton of team owners . He writes his own press because no legitimate press is interested and he certainly has no obvious talents .
There are a few people in the sport who can’t ever be taken seriously , Eddie is at the top of the list .

Douglas
08/14/2009 08:41 AM
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WOW! A very nice summation in “rebuttal” to D’Hondt’s IDIOCY!

Maybe he has never spoken to, or asked, a long time fan like myself what’s wrong with NA$CRAP! I have NA$CRAP right in my own backyard this weekend, and it is not even a thought of going to MIS to watch that sick piece of junk called the CoT!

And a few of the drivers and crews go fishing at a relatives house, I am not even going there to partake, just no interest in the current state of NA$CRAP!

Thanks to one (1) person!

BRAIN FARCE! err, Brian Farce, err, Brian France!

And your comment: “Now before I analyze this, let me insert a customary disclaimer. I do not wish for the end of NASCAR”. I ask?

WHY NOT? (the end of NA$CRAP?)

They provide a lousy product, they cheat the paying customer, they have ZERO credibilty, and they care less about the fan, and more about the money!

I am to the point I would LOVE to see NA$CRAP fail! I am beginning to think that ANYTHING would be a refreshing change from King Brian and his band of phonies!

I am at an all time high of attending short track races this year, to satsify my need for REAL & HONEST racing! Something NA$CRAP no longer provides!

If one went to Wal_Mart/K-Mart/Sears/Macy’s and received an inferior product all hell would break loose!

Why “protect” NA$CRAP when they cheat us?

KM
08/14/2009 08:58 AM
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Well put. I can’t ever put my finger on any one specific reason, but like you I don’t hate NASCAR, I just don’t like it nearly as much anymore. There was a time when I arranged my life around the race schedule. Not anymore. I get more enjoyment throwing in an old ESPN broadcast from the 80’s and early 90’s even though I already know the outcome of the race.

There’s too many instances addressing the decline for it to be media-made.

don mei
08/14/2009 10:09 AM
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Good article; I agree with KM. No sense going through the whole list again but racing for points and not a win, an ugly spec car, etc etc. Its just become very boring in most instances. Too bad really.

djones
08/14/2009 11:02 AM
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There are two words that describe what’s wrong with NASCAR. Like Douglas said, Brian France. And, you can add four letters, ESPN for their bad race coverage.

amy anderson
08/14/2009 11:27 AM
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One word sums NASCAR up:

BORING: The drivers have been castrated, the Chase is beyond even caring about, the tracks are snoozers, the cars are safe, but no better to pass with than the old cars. When one pays high dollars for no more than 50 laps of actual racing, it’s nothing more than highway robbery. There is no real competition and rivalries because four owners control the series and so every driver has to basically play nice with their teammates. All in all, it truly is not worth the price being charged by ISC and the track owners.

Mike in Floyd Va
08/14/2009 11:36 AM
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The folks down in Daytona try to blame the current decline in Dale Jr’s performance and the economy for all its’ woes. Well, fans started drifting away before the economy went south. The TV ratings started to slip before the ratings started going into their death spiral. And it all started happening shortly after the introduction of the play-off format and the spec car that’s being raced.

The replacement of unique short tracks with the cookie cutter tracks which dominate the schedule nowadays turned things boring. Fans have no control over that. The poor peformance of the spec car made the boring cookie cutters even worse. Fans have no control over that.It turned one of the greatest tracks, Bristol, into a bore. Fans have no control over that either. Neither do writers or the media.

Unless or until there’s a major shake-up with the leadership of NA$CAR and ISC, things aren’t going to improve. Leaders who keep burying their heads in the sand saying everything is OK when fans can see that they aren’t are almost as believable as a certain President saying he didn’t have sex with that woman.

With the economy being what it is, companies are having to spend their advertising money more effectively and with the ratings and at track attendance on the decline, the sponsors aren’t getting the return on their investment. So to try to blame the fans or writers for what’s happening is total nonsense.

MATT
08/14/2009 12:10 PM
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Kurt,

Thanks for the props. Yes, the elimination of the Southern 500 from its traditional Labor Day slot is the reason this sport went from being the reason I got out of bed in the morning to the reason I can’t sleep at night.

I truly don’t believe negative voices in the media when it comes to the Chase or COT are hurting the sport. The fact such columns acheive a certain resonance with a growing number of fans is they are attracted to people with voices like they’re own. The Internet media is never going to take down NASCAR. It’s the people who vote with thier wallets by attending races and buying sponsor’s product that have the ball in their court.

Someone in Atlanta once thought the New Coke was going to increase sales. People tasted it and didn’t like it. Fortunately for Coke stock holders the powers that be quickly decided they’d made a huge blunder and put things back to right. If only NASCAR could do the same. The New NASCAR has left a sour taste in my mouth.

Matt M

midasmicah
08/14/2009 12:58 PM
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Blaming the racing media as a whole was D’Hondt in total denial. I don’ like a lot of media because some are nas$car apologists, but as a whole, they get it right. Rich’s colunn was right on. What’s next? Blame the fans for not coming to your borefests you try to pass of as racing. Face it D’Hondt. You are part of the problem.

mkrcr
08/14/2009 01:16 PM
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I complain about the state of our sport because I LOVE racing. I don’t want it to go away, I want it to get better. So I add my voice to the many thousands in the hope the shouts will be heard.
Maybe instead of falling on deaf ears, NA$CAR will get hearing aids and fire Brian France.

MïK
08/14/2009 01:18 PM
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I’m reading the above comments, and thinking that there’s more to fix than just NASCAR. Look back at yourselves, people! the article was about how the media reports the issues. Most of the comments are about how NASCAR has ruined the racing.

I’m an old-schooler from the west coast and certainly agree that the leaders of NASCAR make some pretty bone-head decisions, but I still watch the races every week and enjoy then as well. I can’t believe from the comments that anyone has watched the same races as I have.

Maybe ya’ll outta go outside and play. Maybe NASCAR isn’t what you want to see. Maybe you should go where your racing is enjoyable. I found my type of racing, and I’m damned tired of hearing it bad-mouthed. There’s NOTHING to fix here. There’s just too many cooks in the kitchen.

Now, that said (I know, Boris said…), the media needs to get off the ‘fix it’ button that it uses to stir the masses, and start reporting on the action of stock car racing. there’s plenty to write on besides how wrong it all is. Who won? What happened on the track? Where did they pass? When did they lead? How did it happened? Remember those questions from Journalism 101? that’s what the media needs to get back to.

If ya’ll don’t like the racing, don’t like the coverage, don’t like the drivers, don’t like the rules, don’t like NASCAR, STOP WATCHING! NASCAR will return to the backwaters of TVdom and it’ll be just like ‘the good old days’ that you say you enjoyed more.

Kevin in SoCal
08/14/2009 01:32 PM
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I still dont understand why old school NASCAR fans would rather watch one driver run away with the points title and sit on cruise control for the last 10 races of the season. You dont call that points racing? Now with the Chase, there are 12 drivers all with a renewed chance to win over the last 10 races. I like the idea of the Chase, I just wish NASCAR would go back to the seeding system of each driver separated by 10 points, and then add in the 10 points per win. Mark Martin is a great driver, but his 10th or 11th place in the standings shouldnt give him the top seed just because he’s won 4 races.
Mik, I agree with you. Some people go into the race expecting it to be a bad one and they see exactly what they want to see. I’ve seen some good races this year, and some not so good ones (The Coke 600 with the rain starts and stops comes to mind, but that isnt NASCAR’s fault). I guess since I havent been watching as long as most of you, I’m not burned out yet.

mkrcr
08/14/2009 01:52 PM
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I’d rather see a driver sit on a points lead for the last 10 races because he earned that lead by RACING everyone on the track, than watch a driver sit on his A$$ for 26 races just to get in the Chase.

midasmicah
08/14/2009 02:16 PM
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I don’t know if you will print it, but I have my own name for Brian France. I call him Brain Farts.

midasmicah
08/14/2009 02:31 PM
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If you want to see an obvious problem as to what is wrong with nas$car, you have to look no farther than what happened to Scott LaGasse in the Nothingwise Series. Used to be in the old Busch Series the owners would groom young drivers for the cup series. Well, for those Lagasse fans, forget it. Instead they pulled Lagasse out of the car regardless of the face that as a rookie he was twelth in points. Not mention that he had several top ten finishes. This kind of stuff permeates throughout the whole nas$car series. And who did JGR put in the car? Denny Hamlin, another cup driver. Why even have a second series where you have to watch the same drivers you watch in the main series. As a whole, it’s a joke. I love racing, but this kind of stuff has tried my patience to the point where I’ve started tpo look elsewhere to get my fix. To blame mthe media for their indisgressions is stupid. Nero France needs to look in the mirror and say to himself, “it’s my party and it’s mine to mess it up.” Boy, has he done a job in the last five years or so. Hey D’Hondt. Don’t blame the media. Look in the mirror yourself.

mkrcr
08/14/2009 02:35 PM
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“I feel like I just remember how the other cars drove. I liked how they drove. And I like how this car is safe, but I want to be able to race it like we raced the other cars. … We’re not where we want to be as a sport. We need to do things that excite corporate America, excite the fans, and we need to be proactive immediately. Before [the double-file restarts, racing] was rather poor. The races were very poor, and we almost depended on a late caution to save the day to make somebody race side by side for a couple of laps at least within 10 laps of the finish of the race. Somehow that saved the day, and there was no argument the next week. It would go away. That was very frustrating because 95 percent of the race wasn’t worth the price of a ticket.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NA$CAR’s most popular driver)
Guess all us fans and the media who complain about the state of our sport should just shut our mouths. No justification for it, is there MiK and Kevin?

hmmmm
08/14/2009 02:40 PM
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sometimes you have to take a step back and reevaluate before you move forward. And YES NASCAR will continue to alienate older fans to recruit newer younger fans. Sorry, but that’s the way it works.

NASCAR isn’t running a retirement home.

Joe W.
08/14/2009 03:40 PM
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Wow, after reading these coments, I am beginning to think some of you need some serious therapy. Yes there are many things about the “new Nascar” that I find less than thrilling. I think the COT could be a fine racecar if they let the crews have more ability to change things. They need to let them out of the box a little. But , I would rather see a safe racecar than see drivers die. I was watching the Daytona 500 when Dale Earnhardt Sr. died. I hope to never see anything like that again. I watch racing for the thrill of the speed, the sound of the engines, the stratagy of the crews, the competition to win, NOT THE WECKS!! And Douglas I have said it before and I will say it again. If you want Nascar to fail and you hate it so much, just QUIT WATCHING. It is that simple. I know that a certain amount of complaining can get things done but when you move to your level people just ignore any good ideas you may have. I still watch the races and still enjoy them as long as Kyle Busch doesn’t win. I don’t care much for Brian France either, but at least it is not a one trick pony show like the IRL. One engine provider and it is Honda? Not to good. Nuff said.

wcfan
08/14/2009 03:45 PM
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hmmmm,
many of us older fans have followed the sport for 20 + years, I went to my first nascar Winston Cup races over 35 years ago. Many of these newer fans will have jumped on 3 or 4 bandwagons in the next 10 + years, so while the sport does need the new fans they better not forget the old fans who have been here for MANY YEARS.
I agree with mkrcr, I would much rather see someone race hard all year and build a large point lead as see nascar resit the points after 26 races. In racing you COMPETE against all of your competition every week if you can spank them so bad that you can coast the last 5+ races that is not your fault.
Many things changed after FEB.18,2001 in nascar, One of the biggest was the FANS loudest supporter was killed and nascar seemed to quit listening to us.

Kevin in SoCal
08/14/2009 03:57 PM
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Why isnt the ARCA series more popular? They race on short tracks, they race on dirt, they use the old-style Cup car, there’s no Chase, there’s no top 35 rule, they dont race at Fontana, and there’s no Brian France. Put your money where your mouth is.

Douglas
08/14/2009 04:06 PM
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This needs repeating: “I complain about the state of our sport because I LOVE racing. I don’t want it to go away, I want it to get better. So I add my voice to the many thousands in the hope the shouts will be heard.
Maybe instead of falling on deaf ears, NA$CAR will get hearing aids and fire Brian France”.

Thank you mkrcr!

AND! A driver FINALLY speaks out! DALE JR. AT MIS!

“I feel like I just remember how the other cars drove. I liked how they drove. And I like how this car is safe, but I want to be able to race it like we raced the other cars. … We’re not where we want to be as a sport. We need to do things that excite corporate America, excite the fans, and we need to be proactive immediately. Before [the double-file restarts, racing] was rather poor. The races were very poor, and we almost depended on a late caution to save the day to make somebody race side by side for a couple of laps at least within 10 laps of the finish of the race. Somehow that saved the day, and there was no argument the next week. It would go away. That was very frustrating because 95 percent of the race wasn’t worth the price of a ticket.”

Again thank you mkrcr, and of course Jr.‘s comments are all over the news! Wonder how King Brian and his phonies will react to this?

BUT! when Jr. breaks ranks with his fellow wimpy drivers, and FINALLY gives a drivers viewpoint speaks VOLUMES!

Now, will more drivers jump on the badwagon?

Me sure hopes so!

AND! For Joe W! Are you not paying attention? At MIS, fully HALF the fans simply don’t go anymore! Ask yourself WHY? And, please, don’t believe me? Not my problem!

BUT, WILL YOU BELIEVE DALE JR.?

What have I, or “WE”, been saying?

THE CoT SUCKS!

It is NOT RACING!

glenn
08/14/2009 04:14 PM
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back to the point. Face it, journalists like bad news, it sells! D’hondt may be the Paris Hilton of racing but he is right. Doom and gloom chicken little reporting is what you typically get from these electronic rags.

Douglas
08/14/2009 04:20 PM
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Now, yet another viewpoint! As regards that TERRIBLE POS, or as NA$CRAP calls it, the CoT!

I see many observers giving the CoT “credit” for allowing the drivers to walk away from some wrecks!

But we have seen the Nationwide series drivers ALSO WALK AWAY FROM SIMILAR ACCIDENTS!

My summation is that it is the implementation of the HANS DEVICE, NOT the illustrious CoT that has enhanced driver safety!

So, why are we continually bombarded with “the CoT is good”?

The CoT as a race car SUCKS!

It single-handedly is bringing NA$CRAP fans to their collective knees! (and emptying the stands).

And as a reminder for all you fans, SR. was NOT KILLED because the race car failed! The OLD STYLE RACE CAR!

He died from head/neck injuries, something ONLY the HANS DEVICE prevents!

NOT THE CoT!

Lets get the facts straight!

Joe W.
08/14/2009 04:37 PM
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I know why Dale Sr. died Douglas and I know the Hans prevents that type of injury. I think the COT needs changing. The crews need to be able to work with the car more. They are put in such a box they can’t do anything and Jeff Gordon at least partially agreed with Jr. I agree with them both on the rules being to tight, but all I was saying is all the bitching and moaning isn’t working. Like calling Nascar Na$crap and all that. That prevents people from listening to the good ideas you do have. Allot of us in the world in general are just sick of all the negativity about EVERTHING. And I have to agree with Kevin on the Arca series. I personally have always enjoyed it but it is not popular. I am an old school fan too. I was a fan of Sr., Richmond, Allison, Kulwicki and my personal favorite Ernie Irvan. I loved it when a field was 20 Fords and 23 GMs, some Chevys some Pontiacs. Heck I loved Ricky Rudd’s Buick. I am an old school fan and I miss many things but I like Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards and some of the guys you supposed old school fans think are corporate sellouts. Times change and I hate change more than most but it is what it is. Maybe Jr’s comments will help. I hope so, but lets all not be so negative.

wcfan
08/14/2009 04:39 PM
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Kevin in SoCal, you keep defending the racing we have now. When was the last time you actually attended a nascar event?

I have never followed a whole the arca series much, but in the late 70’s thru the 80’s I followed the ASA which was like the arca series short track, fender to fender, where I was able to see Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, along with Musgrave and Benson who all made it to the CUP series,and also Mike Eddy, Bob Senneker, Dick Trickle and many others. I went to many All American 400’s in Nashville, TN. where they had 15,000 fans at the 1/2 mile and it would be standing room only. The ASA series tried to grow too large too quick and last alot of their fan base. They did not get the media coverage of Cup and when they were on the West Coast or north of the border, NO coverage.

I think Matt may have ask the question and it is worth repeating if some of you fans are so in love the the current nascar product and do not like the negative vib on this web site WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO READ IT????

wcfan
08/14/2009 04:51 PM
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Sorry about the large type.
How long will it be before these drivers start taking a break before the chase begins? Last year Kyle clinched a spot in the chase with 3 or 4 races before it began and Tony is in the same boat this year should clinch this weekend, probably by just starting. That is REAL Excitment

Douglas
08/14/2009 05:18 PM
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Hey Joe W. thanks for the observation, maybe I can’t properly “explain” to you my NEGATIVITY, but I will try.

NASCAR (is that better, lol), is simply not listening to it’s fans.

Anyone that has followed the sport for many years, myself, over 40 years, has seen the decline in the racing, and the increase in “money rules”.

Ok, Ok, change happens, and most times can be for the better. But with NASCAR (almost forgot how to spell it), EVERY change made has been to the detriment of the sport! Coincidently, this change happened about the time Brian France (you know, it’s very hard for me to spell things correctly here) took over!

I will actually claim credit for recognizing these problems years ago! And these problems now are causing the fans, including myself, to stay away, far away, from NASCAR! Witness the 50% empty at MIS at the June race, witness the 50% empty seats at Indy!

Since NASCAR is not listening to us, then we get even more rabid about trying our best to save the sport we dearly love!

in it’s simplicity, we LOVE RACING! Pure and simple! In our small way, we are trying to SAVE THE SPORT!

Because Brian France certainly isn’t!

We tried our best being civil, now, let the fireworks begin!

It’s quite clear, Brian France does not understand “NICE”!

What are we to do?

The frustration continues to build, the fans are leaving the sport! Is that really the answer, we just quietly go away?

What will be left?

Hambone
08/14/2009 10:16 PM
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How to fix NA$CAR:
1. Hang Brian France from the tallest tree in Rockingham.
2. Return Rockingham and THE Southern 500 to thier rightful places on the schedule.
3. Sh*t-can the stupid & insulting chase for the chumps points scam.
4. Sh*t-can toyoya. (They make a fine car/truck but have NO place in NASCAR(.
5. Hang Brian France from the tallest tree in Rockingham.
As a former fan of 45+ years, these are what must happen before I’ll ever give NA$CAR the time of day again. Brian France has taken what was the best racing in the world and turned it into just another insignificant TV sitcom. Good riddance to it.

SrRaceFam
08/14/2009 11:53 PM
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I have been following stockcar racing for 50 years and NASCAR has always been my preference. Trucks, the “Cup lites”, ARCA, regular Cup races – loved them all and didn’t miss any more races than absolutely necessary (like when family invitations interfered). However….

I’ve now lost my enthusiasm for the following reasons:

I don’t like cookie cutter tracks.

I don’t like cookie cutter cars.

I don’t like NASCAR playing fast & loose with the rules & penalties.

I don’t like crossover drivers. If you’re a major league player in Cup, you stay in Cup. You don’t use the Nationwide race as a “practice” run, thus eliminating the chances of an up-and-coming driver in a lower series.

I don’t like resetting the field after a given number of races. Whatever happened to “May the best man win”?

I don’t like criticism of certain car manufacturers. A great many of them are made in the USA using USA employees. They’re willing to put up the bucks, so why shouldn’t they be allowed to race?

Yes, I blame Brian France for the majority of the problems. Yes, the economy has certainly taken a toll, but NASCAR was falling BEFORE the economy was.

There is nothing that will bring back racing like it was years ago and I understand that. Progress goes on, whether I like it or not. But I don’t see progress in NASCAR now. I see a long downhill slide and that’s sad.

Kevin in SoCal
08/15/2009 12:30 AM
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wcfan, I am not defending the racing we have now. I am simply saying I dont see it being as bad as the doomsdayers and negative nancy’s are making it out to be. I’ve posted before that I am a new fan, only seriously watching since 2003. So I dont have much in the way of comparison to old races other than what’s on ESPN Classic. I last attended a live race at Fontana in 2003. I’m one of those poor people who cant afford $100 tickets every year. I am a AAA member though so I am using that discount to plan to go to the October race.
Douglas, sharing your opinion is fine, but constantly beating us over the head with it is really annoying and turns people off to your message.

JoeW
08/15/2009 01:28 AM
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O.K. Douglas, that last post was good and I understand your frustration. Don’t worry about spelling Brian France’s name right because I don’t like him anymore than you do. I kind of agree with Hambone on his list. I think there are several facors involved in lower attendance and TV viewership. I do think Toyota is one reason. They can sell cars in the U.S. but Nascar is just not the place for them. Thanks for your explanation.

Matt
08/15/2009 01:45 AM
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If Ford was to put an engine out there for IRL teams, I’d have completely made the switch to the IRL from Nascar. The racing in the IRL is somewhat better, the personalities more vivid, and the product less fake. One key problem with the IRL, only one manufacturer, and it’s not a manufacturer I like.

Never was a diehard Ford loyalist till this year, (If you don’t know why, you haven’t been paying attention), I just liked American cars in general, and grew up watching Nascar.

I’d love to see Ford put the money up to get back into the IRL, start it as a side project with the Wood Brothers again, Nascar’s all but shuffled them out, maybe it’s time for the Woods and Ford to head back to Indy, especially if they got Bill Elliott to drive that… That just might be the move that killed Nascar at this point, I think the majority of diehard old-fashioned Nascar fans would defect with them.

Walleyed Fran¢e The Drunk
08/15/2009 12:41 PM
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HaHaHAHaHaHAHaHaHA. S¢rew you NA$CAR and Brainle$$ Fran¢e. Before the Cha$e and the POS COT I used to love this sport. Now I barely follow it at all. It is in total disarray. Brainle$$ Fran¢e, your Pops told you that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and you started changing everything anyway. NA$CAR and all you “yes men” team owners deserve all the negativity and criticism that people give you. Before 2004 when that walleyed drunk idiot took over there was virtually no negativity spoken about this sport, now that is all there is. Your product is simply trash now. Simple capitalism, if you don’t produce something that people like it’s not going to sell, no matter what you say. Eddie D’Hondt is really living in a dream world, brainwa$hed by the NA$CAR brass like many others on the inside. I’m glad owners like you are having trouble with sponsorship. This sport needs to be knocked down off its high horse to knock some sense into you people. For all you fools who say “if you don’t like it don’t watch”, I don’t and millions of others aren’t anymore either. I watch every single ARCA race that is televised and all the IRL, F1 and Rally racing I can. Douglas, I see that a lot of people that post on here don’t like you, but as a former longterm, diehard fan myself I agree with everything you have to say. The truth hurts sometimes and these people can’t take it. I am a rat that has long jumped off this sinking ship and am not coming back until the problems are righted (NO CHA$SE, NO COT, NO Brainle$$ Fran¢e) Since this will never happen, goodbye NA$CAR, have fun on the ride back to mediocrity.

Douglas
08/15/2009 08:03 PM
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Hey “Walleyed”, etc, etc, etc, thanks for the comment, we each in our own way express our disgust with King Brian, but no matter how we express this disgust, it is always with one single purpose!

Virtually every one of your points is DEAD ON!

DUMP THE IDIOT!

Oh, I used to be a “rallyist”, such as the POR in Michigan, and others. Oh, don’t miss the “ISLE OF MAN TT” MOTORCYCLE RACES!

32 miles long, all public roads, including thru the towns and villages, speeds approach 180MPH, fastest lap was 128MPH average!

I don’t know how these guy get their pants on!

Douglas
08/15/2009 08:53 PM
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ON A SERIOUS NOTE!

As straight and as nice, and as honest as I can be, I wish to provide a “state of NASCAR” summation, as it stands RIGHT NOW!

For quite sometime I have been VERY adamant about the disgusting way Brian France has changed NA$CAR for the worst, driving the fans away, a million at a time.

One of my biggest complaints, is against the CoT!

NOW! After all this time, Dale Jr. YES! Dale Jr., breaks rank with his fellow drivers and tells the world “he cannot drive that car, it needs work, it needs help, and the current racing provided by NA$CAR is not worth the price of a ticket”!

FOLKS! THIS IS FROM DALE JR.!

And, when asked, Jeff Gordon supported Jr.‘s comments!

Now, lets look at the facts: At MIS a year plus a couple of months ago! NA$CAR held a “special drivers meeting” to tell ALL the drivers to SHUT UP about their concerns with the CoT! And, the drivers, until now, have kept their silence.

Remember the phrase that Mike Helton used in that particular drivers meeting, quote: “you, the drivers, need us, more than we, NA$CAR, need you!” WOW! What a threat!

And it worked, up until 14 Aug 09, when Jr. finally went public with the truth! “The CoT sucks”! (my words)!

And, now, search your collective memories, not long ago, NA$CRAP held a special meeting for all drivers/teams, at Daytona, around the 4th of July race me thinks, to get their, (drivers/teams)input on what NASCAR needs to do to improve!

Does it sound like this was an “open discussion”, when Jr. has to go public with the trials and tribulations of driving the CoT, a couple of month’s after this “come to Jesus” meeting with NASCAR?

Do you get my drift?

As I see it right now, we the scorned fans are on the attack! And now! We have the drivers, or Driver at this time, the most popular driver on the circuit, going public with what I, (WE), have been saying and writing about the CoT!

I think, and I hope, the squeeze is on! Wonder how NASCAR will react to this turn of events?

We can only hope!

A “glimmer”?

Will the “Jr. Nation” get involved? And apply pressure to King Brian?

Will Jr.‘s comments about the CoT give us all, we the ones each and every day, criticizing this POS, some CREDIBILITY?

I hope!

Matt
08/17/2009 01:30 AM
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There is a lot going on in the sport today that I would say could be fixed. I think the CoT could be made into a better race car in a couple different ways, first of all they need to put a normal front suspension under the thing and get rid of the bump stops. Stop limiting the teams with what they can do with the suspension as well when you come to the track with a common template car and your springs are limited to this or that it really takes a lot of the mechanical equation out of racing and the takes away that part of innovation from the crews.

Secondly I think they need to get rid of the wing off the back of the car and the Nationwide series might prove me correct next season seeing that it looks like they’ll have a normal spoiler. I think the wings almost make these cars have too much side force some guys put their cars in situations where they would have crashed with a spoiler instead of the wing. Take away about 50-100 horsepower too, slow the cars down a little 800 horses is plenty and slowing the cars down some could improve the racing.

They also need to go with earlier start times for the races I understand that there are people in the west coast that have to get up early to watch the race but the MAJORITY of your fans are still on the east coast you have to cater to the majority. Also put tracks on the schedule that make for good racing. Who cares that the Rock didn’t sell out look at the kinds of racing that place produced a true multiple grooved track that saw side by side battles down to the end like when Bill Elliott and Richard Petty dueled it out back in the day all the way to the last race there where the battle between Kahne and Kenseth came down to inches. There are a lot of tracks that don’t sell out but don’t lose dates. Put Darlington and the Southern 500 back to Labor Day weekend, putting that race in the west coast really was a slap in the face to a lot of long time NASCAR supporters and the racing at Darlington is a lot better than that at Fontana, I would think that a casual fan having a long weekend would be more inclined to watch a more exciting race.

TV coverage today isn’t nearly what it should be people feel like races at places like MIS are boring but I’m telling you half of it is what they show. I’ve been to MIS twice and the racing through the pack is very good a lot of three wide passing and battling from 10th through 20th and even this weekend at MIS the TV coverage would break away from those guys racing hard in the pack to Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson running singe file up front why show that when there is racing going on behind them? Broadcasts need to show the racing through the pack more, put the cameras where the action is happening.

As for the chase it is what it is, there have been good championship battles with the new system and with the old, Elliott and Kulwicki comes to mind but lets remember that Kurt Busch only won the title in 2004 by only 8 points. There are situations with either system that could let a driver just points race. Matt Kenseth didn’t have to race very hard at the end of 2003 , in fact he wrapped the title up a week before the end of the season.

I for one don’t think that the racing is as bad as some people make it out to be. But like I said earlier there are a few steps NASCAR could take to make it a lot better again. Show the racing let the teams have some room for innovation in the suspension and shock packages again instead of putting them in such a box. Were too close to IROC standards as it is now. I know a lot of things are to cut down costs but are they really even working? You know teams are still spending plenty of R&D money trying to find just a little extra advantage and being in a tighter box might actually increase the money put into finding that little bit of an advantage. Honestly to me things could be worse but if just a few things were changed it could make the sport a whole hell of a lot better.

Michael T
08/17/2009 04:24 AM
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I think the decline started in NASCAR when its popularity exploded in the early 90’s. Not that huge popularity is a bad thing, but the race dates became too valuble. Track owners and cities started building tracks trying to tap into this money machine even without the hint of actually obtaining a Cup race. NASCAR kept adding race dates to the schedule. By the way, I’d love to go back to a 28 race schedule. Then when they said we can’t stretch it any further, track owners started buying race dates.

NASCAR jumped the shark when they allowed track owners to buy tracks with dates and move the races to their new facilities. Who is to stop Bruton Smith from transferring more of his races to Las Vegas where they would go there four times a year? NASCAR owns the race dates, not the track owners. Stop letting them find loopholes in your system and highjacking it. I don’t want to see two races at Vegas, or Fontana, or Pocono, or New Hampshire, or Michigan.

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