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Monday, November 4, 2013

NASCAR; For the time being, I'm still watching

Samsung/RadioShack 500 on Sunday, April 9, 200...
Texas Motor Speedway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I unabashedly admit that I am Ryan Newman fan. I am confident in his ability, which he proves every single time he climbs into his race car.

If it wasn't for my devotion to Newman, as a driver and the person I believe him to be off the track as well, I doubt very much that I would continue to watch NASCAR. I have been devoted for the past eight years, never missing a race. But lately, there are more things about NASCAR that I dislike than otherwise. I've never been shy to point them out in posts on CHonTrack nor will I be in the future.

Just a few of the things that drive me crazy and may drive me away from NASCAR are:
  • Too many commercials on television--which is ridiculous because everything about NASCAR is a commercial, from the drivers' fire suits, decals on the cars, banners and billboards along the track, to commentator's coffee cups and shirt logos
  • We know the gas is from Sunoco; we see the signs throughout the track, must we mention "drivers are filling up with Sunoco gas"?
  • Must we hear "drivers are pitting to get their Goodyears"? 
  • Too many and too inconsistent seat-of-the-pants rules
  • Driver favoritism, especially by commentators 
  • NASCAR's obvious political affiliation and non-secular activity--is a public invocation really necessary?
  • Driver fines and suspensions imposed inconsistently
  • Timing of rain delays, qualifying set based on top drivers first, competition cautions, timed debris cautions, emphasis on points versus winning
  • Drivers' free speech curtailed by NASCAR brass
I'm sure there are more things. The bottom line is NASCAR is now totally "managed" resulting in predictability and political correctness.

I don't think I'm alone either. I couldn't help but notice the empty seats in the grandstands at Texas Motor Speedway. It didn't used to be that way. If there is a place where NASCAR should be a staple of southern living, it is in Texas. But Texas is not alone. Not only are there less fans filling the seats, but there is more of a buzz than ever about NASCAR potentially dying on the vine. Just one Google search will show how much negative buzz there has been about what ten years ago was considered the most watched sport.

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