The Fall of NASCAR

The name says it all!
User avatar
billmurray
Official BleacherCoach
Official BleacherCoach
Posts: 878
Joined: December 2nd, 2012, 9:43 am
Reputation: 67
Location: Centre Hall
Contact:

Re: The Fall of NASCAR

Postby billmurray » November 29th, 2018, 8:35 pm

The downfall of nascar actually began around 1998-2000, before it peaked around 2006-07 when they started shifting body styles to be similar, then allowed everyone to use their own wind tunnels.  They should have kept winds tunnels and dynos in the nascar garages and limited teams visits per year. With the new body styles sales of the winning brand of the weekend dropped. In th 80s-90s if a Chevy won sales of that car increased 35 % the following Monday. They should have stuck with production type body styles. 

Losing Big E in 01 was tough on the sport but there was plenty others to carry the show and Dales “Tough Guy” attitude. 

Then they started Messing with the fan bases, chasing after fake bases and ignoring their core base, building tracks at places thy had no business building them. Kansas, Vegas come to mind, and the took away true racing from great places like darlington and Hickory. They went after the big track with giant bleachers and higher speeds, getting away from the bump and grind racing people loved. 

By 2007 they had already outpriced the average race fan.  In 2003 the price of an infield spot for an RV at the Daytona 500 was $225 and $25 per occupant.  In 2007 it was $2000 for an rv and 250 per person. I used to have a permanent spot right outside the entrance to pit road in Charlotte.  In 2003 it was $100 for the spot and $50 per person.  It tripled by 2007. They became greedy. 

Then they started tinkering with the rules, the cars started being clones, and then they hit the race fan where it hurt even more than their wallets. They took away the personality of NASCAR and tried  to make it family friendly. In 2006 their premiered the movie Cars on a giant Hs screen on the infield. The tried to force everyone from the infield into the backstretch stands to make their whooopty doo red carpet party a success.  People filled the stands out of curiosity but it showed they were going “mainstream”. 

Nascars ultimate demise came when they suspended Jimmy Spencer for **** slapping Kurt Busch. He was told behind doors to cool off on KB as he was their next hit thing.  This backfired for nascar.  Jimmy was actually building a fan base as the bully/tough guy racer, and was the last of his breed. From then on it all seemed staged. Too much Disney. They destroyed the culture that built Nascar.  They hung on with the Gordon and Jr fan bases but kept messing with what made them big.  Playoffs, stages, never knowing what day/time, limiting the nascar driver appearance in what used to be the Busch series.  

 I actually did work with Spencer on and off throughout his career.  Being from Berwick we were friends. I would play Bill Murray’s character from caddy shack at his golf tourneys. We’d  go in the pits at races, go to spencers junkyard saturdays before pocono when Earnhardt, ThebPettys,Parsons, Giant and just a boatload of them would get together and race junkcars around a little 1/8 mile track down by the river, old school. That was the nascar culture, and Bill France tried to make them wear a tie and eat caviar. The reality was, and they didn’t see it, was those wearing ties and wasting caviar enjoyed experienced frogmor stew and grilled ribs.  



  • Advertisement
abpk2903
Official BleacherCoach
Official BleacherCoach
Posts: 3449
Joined: December 7th, 2004, 2:36 pm
Reputation: 161
Contact:

Re: The Fall of NASCAR

Postby abpk2903 » November 30th, 2018, 9:49 am

There have been some great posts and thoughts on this thread. 

 

-Konjo and his father lost interest due to lack of action/passing, too long of a season, and stage racing

-Dougkeklak points out getting away from their roots

-TheAnalyst points out the cost of attending races along with NASCAR getting away from the emphasis they used to put on the manufactures and car models.  This along with the lack of an antagonist like Dale Earnhardt.  He also pointed out the “manipulating” of racing with things such as a debris caution.

-Pineapplesandballs makes a great point about the Speed Channel going away and lack of accidents.  He also mentions the deterioration of local racing due to cost.

-Manfred reiterated the cost to attend a “weekend of events”

-BillMurray made more good points than I can even recap but building race tracks in areas where they have no business being, corporate greed, suspension of Jimmy Spencer, and “becoming mainstream” were some of his main thoughts.

 

So now that I have a little time, here are some of the biggest issues that I see:

 

-I think first and foremost, NASCAR lost its “cool factor.”  15 years ago, everyone wanted to be part of the phenomenon.  You can drink beer out of your own cooler, smoke cigarettes, bet your buddy sitting beside you and watch racing.  The sponsors were Jim Beam, Coors Light, Coca-Cola, Winston, Camel, Jack Daniels, and pretty much anything that most people associate with fun. There were movies such as Days of Thunder with Tom Cruise. The drivers were absolutely their own personality because they didn’t have to worry about their next comment or action costing their team a $30 million sponsorship.  They also were all once local racers that built their own cars and knew how every part on the race car works.  Today, Kyle Larson is a fan favorite of today and he will openly admit that he doesn’t understand one bit how a car actually works or how to build it.  His primary sponsor is DC Solar. He could be a politician because he is so smooth with a microphone in his face.  

-I was at the following race after the Kurt Busch/Jimmy Spencer incident which happened in Michigan.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Half the 160,000 in attendance at Bristol Motor Speedway were wearing “Free Jimmy” tee shirts.  Kurt Busch was great for the sport, Jimmy Spencer was great for the sport and they both spent portions of their careers either suspended or between competitive race teams because they both actually had a bad boy mentality.  NASCAR didn’t want that.  So instead, they started to put these upcoming drivers into programs at 16 or 17 years old to get them ready for interviewing skills, presentation, public relations, etc.  They sat Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch for run-in’s they had at the track.  Dale Earnhardt Jr got a big fine for saying “s**t” in victory lane. Every dang driver in the garage became exactly the same.  The one’s (like Jimmy Spencer, Kurt Busch, Robby Gordon, etc.) that didn’t struggled to last.

-NASCAR just started to absolutely ignore the local racing scene.  They didn’t promote young upcoming drivers in the area in which they came from.  Everyone in Georgia adored “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville”, those from Kentucky loved the Waltrip’s, from southern VA you are probably pulling for the Wood Brothers. Did you all know that Ligonier, PA has a driver that has competed full time in the NASCAR Xfinity and even has a few Cup events over the last 4 years?  In fact, he even has finished in the top 20 in points in the Xfinity Series along with top 10s at Daytona. Garrett Smithley is his name, look him up.  The fact that the majority of you are finding this out on a “high school sports” message board goes to show you the lack of awareness by NASCAR to market their sport and drivers.

- The schedule hasn’t changed in 20 years.  19 of the 36 events are held at Speedways that are owned and operated by the France Family.  It would be like a rock band going on tour and doing that same tour on the same weekends for the next 20 years.  Most of the tracks are in metropolitan areas and on 1.5 mile tracks.  It’s the same race as the week before and the week before that and the week before that and the year before that.

So here are some thoughts on how to fix it:

-Most importantly change the schedule.  Go to new venues.  Heck once or twice a year go to a local short track off the beaten path and “find new fans.”  To use a local example, if NASCAR made a trip to Jennerstown Speedway   that would build the excitement of the sport up for the entire central PA region.  They would pack the place, and maybe even a local racer could try to qualify a car into the field.  Every state in the country has a few Jennerstown Speedway’s.  Go find one or two a year and race a Cup event there.  Additionally go to more tracks that take away aero issues.  You don’t hear of “aero-tight” at Martinsville or Richmond or a road course.  Go to more places like that.  It is way more entertaining of an event.

-Find ways to promote the drivers to the area in which they are from.  People want to cheer for someone that talks, thinks, and relates to things like you do.  Jimmy Spencer had a huge following in PA.  Kentucky loved the Waltrip’s.  Everyone knew where “Awesome Bill” was from.  Every big sports fan in Western PA should know who Garrett Smithley is.

-Have weeknight events.  Stop trying to compete against college football and the NFL.  You aren’t going to win.  Using a local example:  On a Tuesday night in late September when the Steelers aren’t playing and the Pirates are already out of playoff contention, maybe a few more eyeballs will be drawn to a NASCAR race.

-Work to reduce the barrier of entry.  Work hard to find talent with personalities and then work even harder to find them funding.  Of the 40 drivers in the field on a given week, probably 35 of them were born into an upper class household.  Fans can’t relate to that. 

-Make the cars more stock.  I’m not talking a little bit of change like they did the last few years by making the nose of the car look similar to stock versions.  I am talking requiring suspensions that get the cars up off of the ground, reduction in horsepower to make them raceable and get rid of “aero-dependency”, and unique features of each specific vehicle being allowed even if it does create a competitive advantage.  NASCAR tried way too hard to make each car manufacture in the sport “equal” but that took the joy out of figuring out just what car make and model was truly the fastest and best.

-Work with a “racing/cars only” channel like MavTV to get your personalities in front of people more.  Everyone should know where they can go to find NASCAR.  Much like they did in the days of SpeedTV.  It really helped market the “middle of the pack” driver that may not have been discussed during the broadcast but allowed you to connect with them as a fan.  Jimmy Spencer, Michael Waltrip, Kenny Schrader, and Kenny Wallace all became fan favorites with weekday shows on SpeedTV.  The currently middle of the pack racer has no outlet like this to market themselves.

Will it even be the sport it was in the 90s and early 00s, probably not.  But there is still a market for motorsports in this country and NASCAR needs to make drastic changes if they want to remain part of that landscape.

User avatar
12HankQB
Official BleacherCoach
Official BleacherCoach
Posts: 2468
Joined: August 29th, 2009, 4:32 pm
Reputation: 710
Location: Mile 129

Re: The Fall of NASCAR

Postby 12HankQB » November 30th, 2018, 9:58 am

With the economy doing so well, there's less people out there who are poor and stupid. You have to be very poor and stupid to be good at or enjoy NASCAR. Coooooo Kenny!  Bamfff, bamfff, bammffff
 
If only closed minds came with closed mouths

User avatar
billmurray
Official BleacherCoach
Official BleacherCoach
Posts: 878
Joined: December 2nd, 2012, 9:43 am
Reputation: 67
Location: Centre Hall
Contact:

Re: The Fall of NASCAR

Postby billmurray » November 30th, 2018, 1:33 pm

abpk2903 wrote:There have been some great posts and thoughts on this thread. 

 

-Konjo and his father lost interest due to lack of action/passing, too long of a season, and stage racing

-Dougkeklak points out getting away from their roots

-TheAnalyst points out the cost of attending races along with NASCAR getting away from the emphasis they used to put on the manufactures and car models.  This along with the lack of an antagonist like Dale Earnhardt.  He also pointed out the “manipulating” of racing with things such as a debris caution.

-Pineapplesandballs makes a great point about the Speed Channel going away and lack of accidents.  He also mentions the deterioration of local racing due to cost.

-Manfred reiterated the cost to attend a “weekend of events”

-BillMurray made more good points than I can even recap but building race tracks in areas where they have no business being, corporate greed, suspension of Jimmy Spencer, and “becoming mainstream” were some of his main thoughts.

 

So now that I have a little time, here are some of the biggest issues that I see:

 

-I think first and foremost, NASCAR lost its “cool factor.”  15 years ago, everyone wanted to be part of the phenomenon.  You can drink beer out of your own cooler, smoke cigarettes, bet your buddy sitting beside you and watch racing.  The sponsors were Jim Beam, Coors Light, Coca-Cola, Winston, Camel, Jack Daniels, and pretty much anything that most people associate with fun. There were movies such as Days of Thunder with Tom Cruise. The drivers were absolutely their own personality because they didn’t have to worry about their next comment or action costing their team a $30 million sponsorship.  They also were all once local racers that built their own cars and knew how every part on the race car works.  Today, Kyle Larson is a fan favorite of today and he will openly admit that he doesn’t understand one bit how a car actually works or how to build it.  His primary sponsor is DC Solar. He could be a politician because he is so smooth with a microphone in his face.  

-I was at the following race after the Kurt Busch/Jimmy Spencer incident which happened in Michigan.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Half the 160,000 in attendance at Bristol Motor Speedway were wearing “Free Jimmy” tee shirts.  Kurt Busch was great for the sport, Jimmy Spencer was great for the sport and they both spent portions of their careers either suspended or between competitive race teams because they both actually had a bad boy mentality.  NASCAR didn’t want that.  So instead, they started to put these upcoming drivers into programs at 16 or 17 years old to get them ready for interviewing skills, presentation, public relations, etc.  They sat Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch for run-in’s they had at the track.  Dale Earnhardt Jr got a big fine for saying “s**t” in victory lane. Every dang driver in the garage became exactly the same.  The one’s (like Jimmy Spencer, Kurt Busch, Robby Gordon, etc.) that didn’t struggled to last.

-NASCAR just started to absolutely ignore the local racing scene.  They didn’t promote young upcoming drivers in the area in which they came from.  Everyone in Georgia adored “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville”, those from Kentucky loved the Waltrip’s, from southern VA you are probably pulling for the Wood Brothers. Did you all know that Ligonier, PA has a driver that has competed full time in the NASCAR Xfinity and even has a few Cup events over the last 4 years?  In fact, he even has finished in the top 20 in points in the Xfinity Series along with top 10s at Daytona. Garrett Smithley is his name, look him up.  The fact that the majority of you are finding this out on a “high school sports” message board goes to show you the lack of awareness by NASCAR to market their sport and drivers.

- The schedule hasn’t changed in 20 years.  19 of the 36 events are held at Speedways that are owned and operated by the France Family.  It would be like a rock band going on tour and doing that same tour on the same weekends for the next 20 years.  Most of the tracks are in metropolitan areas and on 1.5 mile tracks.  It’s the same race as the week before and the week before that and the week before that and the year before that.

So here are some thoughts on how to fix it:

-Most importantly change the schedule.  Go to new venues.  Heck once or twice a year go to a local short track off the beaten path and “find new fans.”  To use a local example, if NASCAR made a trip to Jennerstown Speedway   that would build the excitement of the sport up for the entire central PA region.  They would pack the place, and maybe even a local racer could try to qualify a car into the field.  Every state in the country has a few Jennerstown Speedway’s.  Go find one or two a year and race a Cup event there.  Additionally go to more tracks that take away aero issues.  You don’t hear of “aero-tight” at Martinsville or Richmond or a road course.  Go to more places like that.  It is way more entertaining of an event.

-Find ways to promote the drivers to the area in which they are from.  People want to cheer for someone that talks, thinks, and relates to things like you do.  Jimmy Spencer had a huge following in PA.  Kentucky loved the Waltrip’s.  Everyone knew where “Awesome Bill” was from.  Every big sports fan in Western PA should know who Garrett Smithley is.

-Have weeknight events.  Stop trying to compete against college football and the NFL.  You aren’t going to win.  Using a local example:  On a Tuesday night in late September when the Steelers aren’t playing and the Pirates are already out of playoff contention, maybe a few more eyeballs will be drawn to a NASCAR race.

-Work to reduce the barrier of entry.  Work hard to find talent with personalities and then work even harder to find them funding.  Of the 40 drivers in the field on a given week, probably 35 of them were born into an upper class household.  Fans can’t relate to that. 

-Make the cars more stock.  I’m not talking a little bit of change like they did the last few years by making the nose of the car look similar to stock versions.  I am talking requiring suspensions that get the cars up off of the ground, reduction in horsepower to make them raceable and get rid of “aero-dependency”, and unique features of each specific vehicle being allowed even if it does create a competitive advantage.  NASCAR tried way too hard to make each car manufacture in the sport “equal” but that took the joy out of figuring out just what car make and model was truly the fastest and best.

-Work with a “racing/cars only” channel like MavTV to get your personalities in front of people more.  Everyone should know where they can go to find NASCAR.  Much like they did in the days of SpeedTV.  It really helped market the “middle of the pack” driver that may not have been discussed during the broadcast but allowed you to connect with them as a fan.  Jimmy Spencer, Michael Waltrip, Kenny Schrader, and Kenny Wallace all became fan favorites with weekday shows on SpeedTV.  The currently middle of the pack racer has no outlet like this to market themselves.

Will it even be the sport it was in the 90s and early 00s, probably not.  But there is still a market for motorsports in this country and NASCAR needs to make drastic changes if they want to remain part of that landscape.

you make some good suggestions for fixing...but nascar just cant return to it's glory in todays good two shoes society. They number one issue is they took away the personalities of the drivers to make everyone play nice.  Lets face it, people tuned to to see the pettys/yarboroughs/spencers/buschs fight. 
as for getting back to short tracks, todays cars are built for speed due to the lack of short tracks. every team would have to completely overhaul their entire operations to do so.   It's a billion dollar fix, and they are struggling to find millions.  unfortunately, I see the demise of nascar in the next 10 years......and the fault lies on the France family.  When Nascar moved away from "local" to go corporate, they left a sour taste in the mouths of young drivers who gave up on the sport, and because they did many small tracks shut down.   

konjo78
Official BleacherCoach
Official BleacherCoach
Posts: 4052
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 5:17 pm
Reputation: 139
Location: tri cities, Washington

Re: The Fall of NASCAR

Postby konjo78 » November 30th, 2018, 2:18 pm

Nascar is done for no matter what. Average viewership age us 58, and thats probaby going up every year.

Their marketing and product just doesn't match up with younger viewers for awhile now. Ask teenagers and 20 year olds if theyd rather watch nascar or netflix, I imagine 90% would say netflix


Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/812519/nascar-viewers-by-age/

Manfred
Official BleacherCoach
Official BleacherCoach
Posts: 4823
Joined: August 2nd, 2009, 7:23 pm
Reputation: 222

Re: The Fall of NASCAR

Postby Manfred » November 30th, 2018, 5:30 pm

Maybe if Nascar switched to Prius', or econo-hybrids, the "kids" would tune in.
The world as we know it underwent a rebirth 11-8-16. Conservatives have made themselves heard!

konjo78
Official BleacherCoach
Official BleacherCoach
Posts: 4052
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 5:17 pm
Reputation: 139
Location: tri cities, Washington

Re: The Fall of NASCAR

Postby konjo78 » November 30th, 2018, 5:41 pm

Now if nascar had a self driving car race, that would draw their attention for sure! Plus itd be something of overall appeal as it would be something new

Manfred
Official BleacherCoach
Official BleacherCoach
Posts: 4823
Joined: August 2nd, 2009, 7:23 pm
Reputation: 222

Re: The Fall of NASCAR

Postby Manfred » November 30th, 2018, 6:39 pm

Maybe Nascar could start hovercraft drone or hoverboard races.
The world as we know it underwent a rebirth 11-8-16. Conservatives have made themselves heard!


Return to “College and Professional Sports”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests