Once upon a time far, far away but not all that long ago, at least in the grand scheme of things, a bunch of men with big plans sat down at the racing round table to hatch a scheme to take over the world. (Or at the very least, make a whole lot of money.)
Mr. Peabody, set the Wayback Machine to Dec. 12, 1947. Your coordinates are 140 Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, Fla. 32118. The Streamline Hotel was an art deco disaster in light green and aqua in a town that was pretty much nowhere at the time other than a couple weeks a year. That’s when drivers (and fans) from around the country gathered to race on a track that was mostly beach but also included some of highway A1A.
In the Ebony Bar atop the hotel, a group usually listed at 35 members consisting of track promoters, drivers, mechanics, race car owners, moonshiners and other ne’er do wells gathered with a mission. They were out to organize a national auto racing series that would crown a champion and they were fixing for it to be a big deal. Very big, indeed.
The Ebony Bar was the sort of place where they served hard drinks to men who wanted to get drunk fast and didn’t need any characters around to give the place atmosphere. But a character, in fact, didn’t just crash the party: He called it. That man was Big Bill France Sr. France and his guests were, in fact, hard-drinking men. Any photo I’ve seen of the gathering shows most guests glassy-eyed and leaning a bit to starboard.
In addition to a lot to drink, these men had a lot to talk about. The meeting officially concluded Feb. 21, 1948. Doubtless more interested parties drifted in and out in addition to the original 35 during the two month-plus bacchanal. That is, if they could find the joint. Back in those days, you didn’t give directions in Daytona Beach by telling someone go past the speedway, take a right at the light, keep going straight until night and then boy, you’re on your own. Back then, Daytona International Speedway was over 11 years from being built.
Instead, what you might have seen in that era was signs along the dunes between A1A and the beach that read “Danger! Poisonous Snakes!” See, Bill France organized the February beach races in those days, and he was incensed an occasional spectator would climb over the dunes to what, in fact, was a public beach without forking over the admission charge. In reality, there were no poisonous snakes at Daytona Beach. But if there were, Bill France had imported sacks of them to bite skinflints who wanted to crash his party without paying.
One of France’s ideas for the new race series seemed particularly absurd. He wanted the race cars in his series (which he wanted to call Stock Car Auto Racing or SCAR until his fellow attendees shot down that unfortunate acronym in favor of NASCAR) to be brand new production cars. In the early days, there were no rules against foreign cars competing. In fact, a Jaguar driven by Al Keller won a NASCAR race in New Jersey, the only victorious overseas automaker until Toyota came along and crapped in the stock car punch bowl more recently.
Keep in mind that during World War II, all the major U.S. automakers (and there were a lot more than the Big 4 back then) ceased producing civilian cars to make bombers, fighters, ships, tanks, Jeeps and other material necessary to fight the Axis across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. With the horrific war finally over and the Allies having prevailed, there was a huge demand not only in the U.S. but around the world for any new cars. Waiting lists for a new Ford, Pontiac or Packard in any color other than olive drab were months if not years long.
The idea that a returning G1 or other gainfully employed American citizen would wait all that time and spend all that hard-earned cash and combat pay on a shiny new Oldsmobile, then take it to a dirt racetrack risking wreck damage, mechanical mayhem or worse, was almost blasphemous.
But there were, in fact, some blasphemers out there. Lee Petty, patriarch of the Petty clan, talked his neighbor into lending him his 1948 Buick for the first NASCAR race ever held. (Charlotte Speedway on June 19, 1949. No, not the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This one was a ¾-mile dirt track.) Unfortunately for Petty and doubly unfortunately for his neighbor, Lee rolled that car on lap 105 of 197, totaling it. Perhaps Petty gave the neighbor some of the 25 dollars he won that day for his 17th-place finish. What is known is that Lee, Richard and Maurice Petty were forced to walk home that afternoon. Given Lee’s reputation for being ill-tempered even under the best of circumstances, my guess is it wasn’t a very pleasant walk for the Petty children.
But the use-your-own car routine appeared to gain traction. A total of 28 cars, not one of them older than three years old, showed up for that year’s Strictly Stock Daytona Beach and road course race in July. 41 cars entered the February Daytona Beach race in 1950. So the idea of racing new and gently used cars wasn’t so absurd after all, as it turns out. My guess is those who invested in the idea made out handsomely. I know at least one of them did: Bill France Sr.
When France proposed a 2.5-mile, high-banked paved course (built mostly on land he had the city give to him), doubtless there were howls of laughter from those who thought such a thing impossible. Yep, we’ll be there again this February.
It is part of history that we tend to see the founders of a mighty enterprise as visionaries: brilliant and benevolent people. Such is the case with our founding fathers despite their peccadilloes, or Henry Ford, who was actually a loathsome son of a bitch. Some will try to glamorize NASCAR’s founding fathers as well. Truth be told, while they eventually succeeded beyond their wildest imagining, a lot of them were pretty much thugs.
Back in those days, small towns in the rural south had racetracks the way that a stray hound has fleas. There were many other sanctioning bodies hosting championship series besides NASCAR. But if a driver participated in a non-sanctioned race at a non-NASCAR sanctioned track, he lost all the NASCAR points he’d accumulated to date that season. When the drivers made noise about unionizing, France met them with a gun in hand to discuss the idea. Suffice it to say, France was not in favor and the organizers were not in favor of the idea of being shot dead. It never happened, though Curtis Turner and Tim Flock were (temporarily as it turns out) banned from the sport for life. It’s ironic that the Spaniards originally came to Florida in search of the Fountain of Youth. The Streamline Hotel 35 came to the Sunshine State searching for a Mountain of Loot and damned if some of them didn’t find it.
Even basing the NASCAR organization in Florida was a bit of an odd call. The Carolinas were and still are the cradle of stock car racing. But France owned a service station in Daytona Beach so if Mohammed won’t come to the mountain, the mountain will come to Mohammed. Back in that era, before air travel became commonplace and at least somewhat affordable, Florida was, in fact, far, far, away. The trip wasn’t equivalent to the pioneers taking covered Conestoga wagons across the Rockies to the promised land, but loading up the wife and kids into a Plymouth station wagon for a ride to Florida was a major undertaking indeed. In that era, cars were a lot less reliable, mechanics even less scrupulous, and few vehicles were air conditioned. (You had to hand crank down the windows in most of them to escape the hellish, sulfurous smell of your older brother’s farts.) Flat tires were all but guaranteed on any road trip of length as were full-blown temper tantrums by the younger members of the clan, if not Mom and Dad.
Back then, most of Florida was a hellhole rife with swamps, gators and mosquitoes the size of fighter jets. But chintzy roadside attractions littered Florida, and starting in 1950, Little Pedro’s South of the Border (conveniently at the halfway point between New York and Florida … or so they claim) had carloads of red-faced, sweaty, worn-out children. That Little Pedro’s South of the Border never sponsored a NASCAR race car, much less a NASCAR champion, is a major disappointment to me. Of course, these days air travel from the northeast to Florida is commonplace and relatively affordable. Good luck getting the pilot pull over to the roadside attractions, though.
Over the decades, Bill France’s brainstorm did, in fact, flourish. For a while, NASCAR wasn’t only a rapidly growing sport, it was “the next big thing.” The reins were passed from Big Bill Sr. to his son Big Bill Jr., who, if he was a still a bit of a thug, was at least a more well-polished one. And then, the reins were handed to one Brian Zachary France and all four wheels fell off the circus wagon practically simultaneously.
I’ve never seen or even heard of a better example of the dangers of nepotism. You could tell he was clueless every time Brian Z. spoke, usually while bright red in the face and waving his arms around like he was swatting hornets. During the few instances he wasn’t lying, the third generation France was wrong on whatever topic he was speaking about. He tended to use a tidal wave of words without a tablespoon of common sense to back them.
Brian France was so convinced that NASCAR was going to continue its rocket-like ascent that the best of course of action was to drive away lifelong NASCAR fans and tracks that contained the scrolls of the sport’s history. He’d replace them with newer, younger, hipper and wealthier fans, paired with newly constructed palaces of speed in diverse geographical regions where folks had never shown much interest in auto racing.
As it turns out, Brian France managed to drive off a large percentage of the old-time fans quickly but was far less successful attracting richer people in geographical regions that continued to show little interest in auto racing. That occurred despite France’s attempts to lead a big brass band on parade with Mike Helton falling in step, stomping his elephantine hoof in time.
But that’s spilled milk under the bridge, I suppose. Life doesn’t offer a handy rewind switch. If it did, I’d have likely worn mine out before my adolescence ended.
Faced with the extraordinary problems stock car racing faces today, perhaps it’s time to rekindle some of that spirit of the Streamline Hotel. Better to fail trying to do nobly than to succeed in doing nothing.
This week, NASCAR announced its new rules package for 2020. There were a few changes announced, most of which will be invisible to the fans. Other than that it is more of the same old, same old. As for the schedule released a month ago, there was no major overhaul nor a single new venue added. NASCAR admits their polling indicates the fans would like to see more short tracks and road courses. But that simply couldn’t be done in time for next year. Maybe in 2021.
Likewise, fans haven’t embraced the Gen-6 cars as they don’t race real well at some of the tracks currently on the schedule. If Sunday’s race at Dover (Oct. 6) didn’t put you to sleep, you might want to talk to your doctor about insomnia. Yes, they’ll need to be redesigned. But there’s simply no time to do that until at least the 2021 season.
It’s true that fans were drawn to NASCAR racing initially because the race cars looked like what many of them drove on the street. But a common chassis and common bodies are much more affordable for the team owners. Reading between the lines, most of the changes announced this week are at least intended to save the team owners some money, limiting things like wind tunnel time and the amount of chassis each team can have. How that’s supposed to trickle down to cheaper ticket prices for the fans is beyond me. It seems what NASCAR is saying is the old business model of how a race team operates is no longer a profitable one. We’ll have to make it cheaper to get in the game.
Keep in mind these changes do come at a huge human price down the road. The numbers I’ve seen indicate that somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 highly-skilled NASCAR team members, particularly fabricators, aerodynamicists and research and development types will lose their jobs. Not yet, but the handwriting in on the wall. Some of those workers have skill sets that include things like welding that will be useful in other businesses (if likely less lucrative). Some of those displaced workers will be able to find jobs working for the companies that build the common chassis and engines, but not all of them. Some tough times lay ahead for people whose only fault was being good at their jobs.
Yes, I mentioned common engines, too. NASCAR thinks not only will they be much cheaper but they’ll help equalize the playing field between bigger teams and smaller ones. Perhaps the common engine specs will also attract some new manufacturers into the NASCAR racing fold. If that effort brings Dodge back, I’m all for it. If it brings more foreign car companies to the sport, thanks but no thanks. The day I read a headline that a Hyundai Elantra won the Daytona 500 is the day I quit on NASCAR altogether. But there’s no way to go with a new engine rule until at least 2022 with the new chassis being designed at the same time.
So it seems the NASCAR is, at long last, willing to admit that all is not well. The sport does, in fact, face some stiff challenges as evidenced by declining TV ratings (which could lead to financial Armageddon the next time the TV deals have to be renewed, given how addicted the sport has become to the opioids of TV money) and sagging attendance numbers. The recent downturn actually caused some tracks to spend money tearing down seats for the sake of appearances.
Yeah, there are problems and NASCAR is ready to address them. Eventually. This strikes me like a homeowner waking up in bed one night to find his bedroom ablaze. At that point, he dials up the local volunteer fire company and asks, “How you guys looking for one, possibly two pumper trucks late morning this Wednesday? Grand. Pencil me in. Any chance there’s still a ladder truck around for Thursday? It would need to be later in the afternoon because my daughter has soccer practice right after school. Brilliant! We’ll look forward to seeing you then. Sorry about all the noise in the background. That’s just our smoke detectors. And our little Mikey screaming about something. He’s a great kid. I’m going to miss him.”
Most people thought NASCAR’s founders were crazy and nobody was going to risk damaging a rare brand new car to race it. Nobody thought any passenger car was going to last 500 miles of racing at the first Southern 500. They thought Bill France Sr. was insane when he laid out his plans for Daytona International Speedway. In times of crises if you must sin, sin boldly.
Screw waiting another three years, NASCAR. Fix things now.
About the author
Matt joined Frontstretch in 2007 after a decade of race-writing, paired with the first generation of racing internet sites like RaceComm and Racing One. Now semi-retired, he submits occasional special features while his retrospectives on drivers like Alan Kulwicki, Davey Allison, and other fallen NASCAR legends pop up every summer on Frontstretch. A motorcycle nut, look for the closest open road near you and you can catch him on the Harley during those bright, summer days in his beloved Pennsylvania.
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Great read Matt!!! NA$CAR will continue on the downhill with increasing velocity as they see themselves as entertainers and not sportsmen.
Would like to see an update covering the Smokey Yunick award and why it is hypocrisy since he is not a candidate for the HOF.
The final nail in the coffin, it’s spec racing. I have drag raced all my life and enjoy running my 1972 Pontiac 455 H.O. against other real cars with real world engines and bodies. These new rules and common engines and chassises will be a disaster to people that know racing. Nobody I know wants to see the same exact cars with exactly the same engines race. The whole point of racing is to build the hardest car you can to race against other brands of cars. Nascar years the fans ,as few as they may be , buy doesn’t give a crap , just like dumping many tracks and fans in a bid to expand. Greed is part of what’s killing the sport . I grew up by Rockingham motor speedway , and we went to both races every year from the late 60s till they took a giant crap on us fans and shut the track down. I would say the vast majority of old school fans are done with a sport they loved and has disappeared. The pill popping drunk ruined it all.
I’m one of those gray hair Southerners bzf abandoned. Put simply, I don’t care anymore whether nascar sinks or swims. Best wishes to nascar & the smattering of fans left.
Turning the series into an IROC series is not the answer. Starting races later will not help put butts in seats. Sometimes it seems like, if they just did the opposite of what their instincts tell them, things would be better off than they are now. I can’t help but wonder what things would be like now if BZF had never been given the reigns.
BTW, nice “It’s A Wonderful Life” reference.
So… you’re saying they should employ the George Costanza Theory? Might just work!
No, no. I am saying exactly the opposite.
No. They’re saying “I hope this works! I hope this works! I hope this works! I …
+1 to Bill on the spec series NOT being the answer. NASCAR was built on innovation and engineering to make the cars better, to gain an advantage and win on the track – and in the showroom. THAT should be brought back to NASCAR (and the American auto manufacturing sector).
Also, I don’t get why people get so upset over foreign manufacturers coming to NASCAR. If GM, Ford, and Dodge are so great, then what are you afraid of? Perhaps what America (and NASCAR, GM, Ford, Dodge) needs is a foreigner to come in and whoop everybody’s candy ass to open some eyes. You skeered of competition? Afraid you might lose? Is that it?
Competition breeds innovation. Innovation means in some way, we, the automobile consumer, ultimately win.
So Come on Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Mercedes… anybody who thinks they’re big and bad enough to challenge American Muscle! Bring what you sissies got to NASCAR! I dare ya!
I AIN’T SKEERED!!
Why do people get upset over foreign manufacturers coming to NASCAR?
I can’t speak for everyone but for me, it’s the same reason it irks me seeing bands/artists in the Rock & Roll HOF that aren’t rock and roll. Donna Summers? Really?
Last time I looked foreign manufactured cars had 4 wheels and a steering wheel just like American made. So what’s the differences? Not only that I think a good many of the so called “foreign models” are actually built in this country by American workers. So who cares where the profits go. It’s that global economy that they all talk about. I’m all for more brands joining in.
But if NASCAR takes more and more control of the race car content (as noted in the article) then who really cars what brand names are on the cars. They are barely distinguishable now. Down the road the manufacturer will just pay to have a name decal on the car. They can put Tesla on there for all it matters. It is just IROC 2.0 and the car brands are a joke.
Bill B – but a stock car is a stock car (well, not really anymore, as Ricardo pointed out). The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing doesn’t imply American made only – unless I am missing something that was put into the bylaws a long time ago (possible). And I know you know foreign manufacturers raced NASCAR in the early days (I admit, I had to look up which ones) – the most recent being Alfa Romeo and Austin-Healey in 1962.
What if Fiat comes back with a Dodge entry… wait, what?
Besides, the door has been kicked open by Toyota. Hard to refuse Honda or anyone else’s money now if they want in and can play by the established rules (basically, paying to put their company logo, headlight, and taillight stickers on a NASCAR body).
I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be allowed to race in NASCAR, I was just explaining why people might not like it.
That word NATIONAL usually means “associated with a specific country”. As in the national anthem, national guard, national league, national aquarium, national security agency, etc..
of, relating to, or maintained by a nation as an organized whole or independent political unit:
owned, preserved, or maintained by the federal government:
a national wildlife refuge.
peculiar or common to the whole people of a country:
devoted to one’s own nation, its interests, etc.; patriotic:
to stir up national pride.
a citizen or subject of a particular nation who is entitled to its protection:
U.S. nationals living abroad.
Often nationals. a national competition, tournament, or the like:
We’re invited to Minneapolis for the nationals.
Change the name to International and no one would complain. Change the Rock and Roll HOF to the Music HOF and any issues disappear.
I know, it sounds stupid but that’s the way it is.
Bill B – It wouldn’t let me reply to your reply (at least I don’t think it will put this where I’d like it to be), but I wanted to note I mis-interpreted your post. Read it as that was your reasoning as well and not simply a musing about possibilities. Always like reading your thoughts/opinions on the sport, even when they diverge from mine.
Yep, I was just trying to explain the mindset. The “National” in NASCAR doesn’t bother me much but, as you can see, the “Rock & Roll” in R&RHOF, really does bother me. I hate watering anything down in the name of diversity and inclusion. The definition of rock and roll is more nebulous than the definition of “national” but I know it when I see it and there are too many artists that have been let in that aren’t R&R. Just change the damn name to Music HOF. Sorry for the rant.
BTW, I feel the same way about your opinions. They are usually well thought out and presented. Actually most commenters are OK but there are a few,,,,,,
Exactamundo! I was wondering if anyone would pick up on the Seinfeld reference. LOL
i think they need to set the way back machine to pick dave marcus up so he can set up all the cars as he did for iroc series.
todays’ fans probably don’t know what the iroc series was.
NASCAR has became scripted just like pro wrestling, just in for the cash too hell with fans.
Lucky Dog’s, Wave arounds, Stages, 7 or 8 Caution laps for spin outs are just a few of the NASCAR new things that drive me crazy. Being 66, I realize my racing days are numbered but being a fan and attending races since I was 7, I keep hoping somebody in Daytona will get smart. Listening to the TV commentators, all the things that drive me crazy are great for the sport, so, I guess that won’t happen!
Thanks Matt, nothing better explains why my wife and I watch the NFL live and tape the race on Sunday.
The one exception? ISM raceway in Phoenix
Potential new fans won’t suddenly decide to go to a race. They’ll see some racing on TV first so fix the TV coverage first. All the in-car views, audio and experienced NASCAR annalists are good but Rick Allen is a huge drag on the broadcast. He talks down to viewers, acting as if we have never watched a race before. Does he seriously think fans watching championship play-offs know nothing about racing? Allen talks down to the viewers, repeats what the Professionals are saying and is so bad at this job that I mute NBC’s sound and listen to the radio broadcast. Fix the TV coverage first.
I have no.real.ax to grind with Allen but often later in a race he reminds me of an old Saturday Night Live skit where the comic imitating Richard Dawson hollers ” I hope you’re all.half as excited as I’m pretending to be.”
My biggest beef with NASCAR is stage racing. There is no way a driver should get more points for where he finishes on some arbitrary lap than a guy who finishes the race ahead of him. No way. It’s blasphemous.
They need to realize that many of the younger audience that they are going after will only watch for a while when NASCAR is considered “cool.” As soon as it isn’t, then they will quickly move on to whatever is deemed “cool” at that time.
These aren’t the people who will be watching NASCAR 20, 30 or even more years down the line. They aren’t the ones spending their hard-earned money supporting the teams and their sponsors.
Unfortunately, NASCAR has managed to run away the majority of the long-time fans, like myself. I used to plan my day around what time the race was and sit through the entire race. Now, the only way that I keep up with the “sport” is through this website.
My first race I ever attended was” high atop Quarry hill, at the Nation’s Site of Excitement ” in the early 1970’s. For those who know, enough said.
To me what has changed NASCAR to almost unwatchable, is now there is almost as much speculation and news coverage in NASCAR as there is about politics. ‘Experts’ dissecting every little detail of the sport. Everyday there is at least two channels, with a handful of commentators and guests, (drivers or crew chiefs) all giving their opinions on what needs to change in the sport.
Well here is mine. NASCAR is no longer NASCAR, it is IRO-whos driving that car this year. They all race the exact same car with a different logo on the front. Front to back there is .100th of a second difference in speed but only 3 teams have driver’s capable of winning? There is no loyalty in NASCAR anymore. Unfortunately it’s just about the Dollar! As someone else commented it’s not a sport anymore it’s trying to be turned into a money making show, ‘entertainment’. And a few are benefiting. But the fans are losing and NASCAR is losing the fans.
Pick the cars up off the track, they don’t sell them like that and they are not Indy car’s or go carts. Take the spoilers off the back, limit horsepower for safety, most normal people won’t know the difference between 200 and 160 mph. Limit teams to two cars. And build or reopen smaller tracks. Fans wanna see the whole track not just cars every 30 seconds.
There is a lot more but I’m going to close because nobody will hear what the true fans have been saying anyway, unless they can make money from it. They forget that without fans corporations will not sponsor because they are out for our money also.
The billionaires and millionaires have made enough money; give us NASCAR back before they smash it into the Widowmaker!
Also “Dynamite Dave Dion” will always be # 27 to me.
I’ve got a picture of Dave and me from Martinsville in 1978 on the wall. I’ve read his book and recommend it as must read. He has not had an easy life.
Glad to see Dave Dion mentioned. Maybe a cup race at Oxford will get things going.
what made it a bad race was the chase coming out of the announcers mouths every 3 seconds and the manufactured drama then 15 commercials
What is sad for the old-time fans is we had to watch BZF destroy NASCAR for 15 years with our only option to do anything about it was to leave. There seemed to be no grown ups to tell him no. Everyone too afraid of being exiled. Everyone in his purview would talk about what a great leader and visionary he was knowing damn well he was an idiot, or they at least had to think he was an idiot. I have always wondered if he destroyed it on purpose. That’s the logical conclusion. But as we witnessed time and time again, nothing he did was ever logical.
I would love to see stock sheet metal again.
Stock blocks and heads again.
So what if 25% of the engines fail at Talladega
Remember when JRs team changed Cales engine in 20 minutes?
These are the things that made Nascar great.
Cheering for Fords vs Chevys vs Chrysler.
In the 60s 70s and early 80s brand loyalty was more important than drivers.
Limit teams to 3 cars, remove aero packages, go stock block, and recruit more mfg nameplates th an Chevy, Ford and Toyota. Get some cheaper prices for tickets, and 1200 dollars for a camper spot for a weekend, really? My biggest complaint..road courses and shifting start times. And spoiled brat drivers who when being interviewed spout a sponsor’s name every fourth word. That and allowing cup drivers to compete in xfinity series.
It’s all about big money now days. Greed has set in on nascar and its dieing. Each race we see more empty seats and nascar can’t figure out why.
Brian France deliberately destroyed the sport as it was. When he took over he got it in his head that it should be run like a stick abd ball sport.
Then he let Rib Kauffman screw things up even more.
Here’s where the decline started: Top 35 rule.
That was the beginning of the downfall. The idea that a team could literally phone in their qualifying and still have a guaranteed spot in the race was a joke. The idea that the 5th fastest guy in qualifying potentially could have went home because he wasn’t high enough in points was a real problem. And it nearly happened too. One year under the rule Boris Said was inside the top 10 during the July Daytona qualifying and some other go or go home teams had out ran him… had qualifying not gotten rained out he would have went home from inside the top 10. I think he still missed on points anyways. I could be wrong.
Then you have to look at the Chase. Most long time fans thought it was dumb. Myself included. The first couple of years of it was actually pretty fun. But of course Brian couldn’t live with it and nearly every single year there was a new format. Fans got more and more confused. Then you let Kaufman, who was quitting the sport make a move for the Charter system. We lost teams because of that. Now they don’t give teams without charters a fair piece of the purse. MBM could go out and finish 20th and still not make as much as Kyle Bush who wrecks and finishes 38th. That’s not right. Now they have trouble getting cars to fill the field. So much so that they reduced the field size and still can’t fill it half the time.
It’s not the tracks or the markets the series goes to. It’s not the gen6 car that most fans have liked. They hated the COT. but the gimmicks are what has brought the sport down. The tv deal hasn’t helped either. While everyone has access to Fox and NBC there are a lot of people who can’t tune in to the races because the networks dump it off to their secondary or even tertiary channels that not every cable package contains. So ratings suffer.
Matt, thanks for this. You put into words what I’ve been thinking for the past few seasons. Bring back the NASCAR I grew up with in the late 60’s and early 70’s. THAT WAS RACING; this? I’m not sure what to call it.
They need to go back to the run what you brung days. Ford is Ford for a reason, chevy is chevy, Toyota is Toyota. Each brand should look different, have different engines, etc. cut out this segment mess, playoffs,etc. it should be a dog eat dog world and whoever can figure out something to give them the advantage should be able to. I’m almost 52 yrs old and have been a serious WInston Cup fan all the way up to about 2010 and haven’t watched a whole lot sense. Used to be season ticket hold for bot Atlanta races but it got so boring that it’s not any fun watching them just ride around, pit, ride, pit, finish without trading paint or punches. Racing is rubbing!