Monday, January 14, 2008

dale, dale, and my other brother dale

If you read this blog on a regular basis you’ve picked up on my hostility towards NASCAR. I sometimes have a hard time putting it into words. It’s not just about drivers like Sam Hornish Jr., Dario Franchitti, and Buddy Lazier leaving Indy Racing for NASCAR. Although, when a great driver like Buddy Lazier-an Indy 500 champ, I’ll add-can’t get a good ride, who can blame him?

On a few occasions I've stopped my television on Fox (or whatever they're on now) and have attempted to take in a stock car race. After a few laps I find myself reaching for the remote. It’s not that these are unknown drivers to me. I could probably list fair amount of NASCAR drivers for a person who doesn’t closely follow the league. The things that I have been able to pinpoint might seem petty (no pun intended) to die-hard fans. But here you go.

In comparison/contrast to Indy Cars … I don’t like the sound of stock cars. It seems like they are going slow. I don’t like all the bunching up and lack of passing. If you asked most IRL fans who are in concert with me on this matter they just may print out a page from Indy Star writer Curt Cavin’s Q & A blog from January 11.

Question: I have been reading some of your past columns and must say there are alot of IRL fans out there that have a pure hatred of NASCAR. I have to ask why this is? (A.J., Indianapolis)
Answer: I certainly can't speak for all race fans, but here's the sense I've felt and part of what irks me: NASCAR has become the 24/7 of the sport, and it's often difficult to hear any other motor sports noise over the clutter of stock car racing. While that's good for NASCAR, it's not good for open wheel racing, drag racing, short track racing, motorcycles and the rest. I promise you, local dirt tracks across the country have suffered as a result of NASCAR if for no other reason than a father or husband who spends four or five hours with NASCAR on Sundays (plus three or four hours through the week, plus Internet time) isn't as likely to spend his Saturday night at a dirt track, too. Bottom line: We're at a saturation point with all the NASCAR airtime, which I believe is why ratings and attendence are suffering there, too. On top of that, I believe fans of motor sports are tired of drivers using their favorite series as a stopover on the way to NASCAR. That's part of the reason I root for guys like Dave Darland (world's nicest man anyway), who understands and is satisfied with having a great career in USAC. Truthfully, I always thought Hornish and Franchitti felt that way, too, although I was proven wrong. The bottom line is, this sport is called "motor sports" or "auto racing" ... not "NASCAR." As long as the rest of the world would accept that, there wouldn't be as much disdain for NASCAR.


(Photo from BustedTees.com. And, yes, I do want that t-shirt.)

5 comments:

Jeff Iannucci said...

It seems like they are going slow.

Well, actually they are. On similar tracks they're usually about 30 mph below IndyCar speeds.

And by the way, that shirt is AWESOME!

Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. said...

Jeff, I know they're not...but it feels like they are going even slower than that.

Sarah said...

I don't get how people can only be a fan of one segment of the sport. Auto racing is NASCAR, IRL, Greg in his go-kart, paying $22.95 to order the Chili Bowl on Pay per view, the dirt tracks, that crazy figure 8 thing they do at Beech Bend...

Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. said...

I think there are enough differences between open wheel and stock car that it just doesn't appeal to some people. Just as some really get into college sports but not pro. Or vice versa. They may love NFL football, but not care about college. They may love NCAA basketball, but just can't get into the NBA. It's the same sport ... but different.

I think Curt Cavin's main point is that IRL fans often feel like our league doesn't matter to the powers that be. That North America sees auto racing and only thinks NASCAR. That has turned a lot of us off towards NASCAR. But like I said, I've tried watching NASCAR races. I wanted to be fair and give it a chance. But it just didn't take. It didn't do it for me.

jason said...

i like NASCAR because i like the pretty colors...