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NASCAR needs real cars and real personalities

NASCAR needs real cars and real personalities

You shouldn’t ever feel guilty about harboring a guilty pleasure. I’ve got tons.

I’m a nerd with some fairly advanced pop culture credibility. I love esoteric and thought-provoking TV shows like Twin Peaks and Mr. Robot, but I also religiously watch Big Brother.

I love dark movies with detailed character studies but I’ve also seen “Bridget Jones’ Diary” like 50 times. I thrive on left-of-center artists but I also own the entire discography of Debbie Gibson.

There’s nothing shameful about liking something you’re not supposed to — unless that something is illegal. Don’t murder people, even if you like to. That’s a no-no.

But other than criminal activities, I say embrace your guilty pleasures. Unfortunately, my guilty pleasure is dying off.

I can’t explain why. I realize it represents pretty much everything in life that I’m supposed to hate. But it is my guiltiest of pleasures.

There’s plenty of great NASCAR fans out there and I’m trying to tear you down. I am one of you and, like me, I’m sure you hate the unfair stereotype that most NASCAR fans are uneducated drunken hillbillies.

That’s just not true. Look in the stands at any NASCAR event and you’ll find — well — no one.

I just watched the Brickyard 400, one of NASCAR’s most iconic races. By and large, the stands were empty. In fairness, this year’s race had to be rescheduled to a Monday after a weekend rainout. But do you think Soldier Field would be empty if the Bears had to push back their game by a day? No chance.

The ugly truth is fans are leaving NASCAR in droves and, as they do, so are sponsors. When sponsors dry up, teams dry up.

Last week, Furniture Row Racing announced its ceasing operations at the end of this season due to a lack of sponsor commitment. And Furniture Row is the home of defending Monster Cup champion Martin Truex Jr.

Strangely, though, as NASCAR flounders, they have yet to consult with ME on how to fix things. That’s a shame, because I have the answers.

For starters, let’s put the S back in NASCAR. Today’s top level cars are far from “stock;” they’re aerodynamic racing machines requiring a team of highly-paid engineers to perfect.

The new cars might be technical wonders, but racing was a lot more fun when it was souped-up cars you could actually see at a dealership. I’d rather see the best drivers win instead of the best pocketbooks.

It also would be nice of those drivers had some personality. Over the years, NASCAR has committed to making their events family-friendly, and that’s great — but not when it’s at the expense of racing.

NASCAR needs good guys to root for and bad guys to boo. It needs cars that bump and tempers that flare. NASCAR recently has had the retirement of several older drivers who mostly couldn’t adapt to the new high-tech cars. The new crop of drivers are talented, promising, smart — and super boring to watch.

NASCAR’s only saving grace right now is Kyle Busch.

Most fans hate him. He’s an egotistical jerk with a short fuse and a win-at-all-costs attitude. And he’s a skilled driver who wins. A lot.

Earlier this year, Busch and Kyle Larson were fighting for the win at Chicagoland when, on the last lap, Busch intentionally spun Larson to win. Grabbing the checkered flag to a cavalcade of boos, Busch found the first camera he could and mimed cry-baby tears.

The outrage was palpable — and fantastic. Hating Kyle Busch is incredibly fun.

Today’s combination of safety, science and engineering is impressive, but it doesn’t sell tickets. Nobody wants to see a race where elite cars get a half-lap jump on the rest of the field and everyone else politely drives in circles for three hours.

I’m not saying NASCAR needs more wrecks. If you’re one of those people who go to a race to see a driver get injured or worse, you’re pondscum.

But now that the cars and tracks are much safer, why not let drivers bang it out a little and give all 42 of them a shot at winning? Once races get exciting again, fans will get emotionally invested and will come back.

NASCAR’s not for everyone. When my friends come over and I try to show them an amazing last-lap pass that I’ve recorded, their eyes roll before I can grab the remote.

But for a lot of us, Sundays wouldn’t be the same without cars turning left all afternoon. Here’s hoping they figure it out before I have to find a new guilty pleasure.

Pro wrestling’s still a thing, right?

Car Racing

via nascar – Google News

September 16, 2018 at 04:20PM


Car Racing



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