Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

November 28, 2006

Not your father’s NASCAR

About 7 or 8 years ago, while I was still a BIG NASCAR fan, I created a web site called Racindeals. I didn’t intend to start a racing web site, but I was so amazed that that domain name was available, I had to register it. About 6 months after I registered it, I finally got the site going. Looking back on it, it was a precursor to blogging; anytime I had something I wanted to say about racing I posted it.

I guess it was in late 2003 that I finally got burned out on NASCAR. I’d been following it weekly since the early 90’s, and had been doing the web for the various owners of the speedway at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds since 1996 (that was one of the first tracks in the country to have a web site). With all of that, and some other things, I just felt it was time to get away from it. I turned ownership of the site over to a lady who’d been contributing articles to the site (Nancy Osterhoudt), and she’s still running it today. I also gave up working on the speedway’s web site; they’d gotten their fourth new owner in about 6 or 7 years, and I no longer wanted to spend my Saturday nights at the track.
Anyway, I didn’t completely get out of racing. I still watch it occasionally, but not to the extent I did when I was really into it. I make a point of watching the restrictor plate races, since those are typically the most exciting. This last season I probably watched 5 Nextel Cup races flag to flag, and maybe 3 or 4 Busch races flag to flag. I tried to watch more Truck races, but since they’re still the red-headed step child of NASCAR, they’re relegated to airing on Speed TV.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Speed TV has just hired Melissa Rivers to “work the yellow carpet” as the drivers arrive for the Nextel Cup awards banquet this weekend.

NASCAR has truly hit the big time. They no longer need the so-called “Joe Six-pack” to buy tickets (they priced him and is family out long ago). NASCAR’s market is now the big cities.  With one city having a bigger population than the state of Tennessee, it’s no wonder they’re abandoning the fans that helped them get as big as they are.

Look at the changes NASCAR has made in the last few years: the points system, provisionals, car of tomorrow, etc. And with their insistence on running races on Saturday night, they’re continuing to eat their seed corn. Tracks that run on Saturday nights see attendance decline, so they try other things to get the fans back. But the car counts go down, and eventually instead of the main feature being stock car racing, they’re racing buses or whatever just to stay open.

NASCAR may not have killed the goose that’s laying the golden egg, but they’ve got the ax hovering over its neck.

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