As a race fan who has seen many of races ( whether at the track or on the tube), it’s been a slow and painful process to watch a sport I grew up with slowly (more rapid in recent years) lose it’s identity. From the car’s all being the same (can’t tell a chevy from a ford or dodge or even a toyota) to the fact that corporate america seems to dictate all the rules of competition or even the young drivers now who got NO respect for the guys that made it possible for them to be where they are today! I don’t know what’s worse.
I remember as a kid, my dad would take my brother and me to Pocono PA to see the Purolator 500 (back when Big E was driving the Wrangler No. 3), back when you could tell the make of the car as it was going by you at 190 mph, back when you had to earn you’re lap back(before the Lucky Dog), back when you had to qualify on speed (none of that top 35 in owner points crap), back when the driver was the biggest difference, not like today where if the car is set up right just about any one of the drivers could win in it!
But all those good times were before the $$$ (corporate america) took over the sport. Other than the fact that they finally (it took the loss of Dale E.) made the sport a lot safer for everyone, they have managed little but to corrupt it in every other way.
Today it only requires a little pressure from a major sponsor to make a change that benefits them. God forbid if a car can’t qualify for a race and that poor sponsor loses exposure for that race. No problem, we’ll just change the rules so as long as our car is in the top 35 in owner points we still get in the race on Sunday. And what ever happened to the respect (even drivers who didn’t like each other had respect) for the other drivers? Now you just wreck whoever is in your way, and if your the one who get’s wrecked, you just walk into victory lane and punch the guy in the head. The worst thing you’ll get is a chat with nascar officials and a 25K fine. What the hell, when you’re a driver 38th in points and still making a cool million a year what do you care!
I feel sorry for the fans today, who have never (and probably never will) get the chance to see how they did it 25 years ago. They truly don’t have any idea what it was like then. And although we all know everything in our lives will change (a lot for the better) sooner or later, clearly this is one example where Nascar should have stuck with what got em where they are today!
Hey Nascar, if you can hear me, take a good look at all the things you did right. Take back the sport for the fans! Put the love and hard work back into it! You’ll still make just as much $$$, and you’ll reward the fans with what they deserve. After all, it belongs to the fans! WAKE UP! and remember where you came from!