What is wrong with NASCAR? -  Nothing!

What is wrong with NASCAR? – Nothing!

The last couple of years if you read any commentary about NASCAR you would read about declining attendance at the track and ratings on TV. It is sad to see the pictures of massive grand stands with very few fans. It’s also sad to see the TV ratings lower than the year before. It is easy to say there is something wrong with NASCAR and fans are leaving the sport. But are they? Can we know if they are?

NASCAR is a product of their own success; there are so many ways to keep in touch with the sport that going to the track is less important than it was years ago. NASCAR has apps, the networks have apps, we can keep in touch with the action no matter where we are. NASCAR embraced Twitter and Facebook; there are updates on the race there. Even the fans are engaged on Facebook and Twitter. If you wanted to know what was going on at a race and check in on it, you can and no one would know about it. It doesn’t show up in the ratings and you are not seen at the track. It literally looks like no one cares.

How about the racing, isn’t that what it is about. Well the racing is better than ever. Each and every week we have not one but about 15 drivers who can win a race. Sure there are some that seem to have a better shot than others but the days of 5 or fewer cars on the lead lap are over. Oh, the good old days where maybe five drivers had a shot and were on the lead lap but usually less. It’s hard to see people tweet and talk about the good old days.

Sure the “at the track” attendance is lacking. Much is said about the Xfinity and Truck race attendance being light but back in 2001 to 2005 even those series did not have great attendance unless they were at a stand-alone short track. Those series at a 70-90 thousand seat track never filled the seats. It was mind boggling going to one of those races, passing fans in the campground that were not. Now those tracks look even worse when shown on TV.

I stopped going to tracks as media because I felt I was losing touch with the sport. I don’t want to pick on any track but last year at Chicagoland Speedway I went for the first time ever as a fan for the whole race weekend. I bought the whole package and received a Fan Zone Pit Pass. On the first day, the ARCA race, I tried to go to the infield for the prerace. The security guard told me that I could not but he let me anyway but  he said you won’t be able to do that tomorrow. I did and I was the only “Fan” there other than friends and family of ARCA drivers. If you want people to think that there is a party that they need to be a part of, shouldn’t there be people on TV at the party. Why so exclusive?

On Friday for the Truck race and Saturday for the Xfinity race I could not only go to the prerace in the infield I couldn’t go on pit road and look at the trucks and cars? Again, If this should be a party you should be a part of shouldn’t we have people at the Party? TV is great at showing parties. They love that but if there is no one there then they have to fish a story. It won’t be about the party. In support of Chicagoland Speedway, they did give me access to the infield and pit road before the Cup race. It was the party I’m talking about.

This year I went to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Just like Chicagoland I was given pit passes. This time for the Xfinity race it was only good during the race. No prerace, no seeing the cars lined up before the race. For the Cup race, just like Chicagoland, it was what was expected. As I said above, why the limit, they should have a party and make it available for TV so that it appears that it is the place to be.

So what is wrong with NASCAR? Nothing is! NASCAR, the tracks and TV need to make it something you need to attend, something you need to watch. It has to be a party you have to be at.

Feature Photo Credit: 309149 Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.


7 thoughts on “What is wrong with NASCAR? – Nothing!”

  1. The racing ISN’T good. Please stop spreading the false narrative that fans think the only good racing happened in the 70’s with two cars on the lead lap.

    The late 90’s to mid 00’s racing was far more compelling to watch. The cars could pass, ran closer together, and there were plenty of teams that could win. The COT killed Nascar more than anything else.

    Don’t be fooled when Brad Keselowski walked back his comments after the Kentucky crash. He was absolutely right, the car they use now is a poorly designed car that doesn’t promote good racing. Nascar can try different packages, but you can’t polish a turd.

    Also, why can’t people like yourself in the media realize that cars on the lead lap statistics are totally useless now. Between fake cautions for debris, lucky dog, wave around, stages… you are comparing apples and oranges.

    Nascar has big problems, and they don’t have the solutions to truly fix them. Too bad they didn’t see the canary in the coal mine when the complaints were rolling in years ago.

  2. What do you think happens when the track operators have to close the tracks because they are losing money due to fans watching the races on television and using all the other media devices that you think are so wonderful? The drivers then will race on their X-boxes and we’ll all tune in and watch “virtual racing” instead?

    More cars on the lead lap? Sure, by means of “lucky dog” rules and “wave arounds” and “stage racing.” It has nothing to do with a greater degree of competitiveness. All those cars on the lead lap are not racing, though, they are just a parade where the ticker at the top showing the positions never changes.

  3. “Nothing!”
    The Truck and Xfinity races are dominated by Cup teams and drivers, the racing in all three series stinks and mostly because of the gimmicks NASCAR comes up with ranging from a clock in the Truck series to this heat racing we now have.

    The cost of racing has gone up so sponsorship is harder to come by (buy) thus the cost of going to a race is to expensive. The real reason we have Cup qualifying on the same day as the race is the track has lowered its cost over head with one less day. Meaning they cannot afford a three day even due to dwindling attendance.

    Even Dale Jr say the drivers are making to much money and the sport cannot withstand it.

    Yeah, “Nothing” is wrong here so I hope you enjoyed your glass of NASCAR Kool Aid Brian Berg Jr.

  4. Some of the things wrong with NASCAR is stage racing ,the chase(playoffs), wave a rounds, lucky dogs. But the biggest thing wrong
    with NASCAR is Brian France

  5. Exactly how many gallons of Franceohol do you have to chug to actually believe the nascar narratives?
    The racing is abysmal everywhere except road courses and short tracks. The aero package couldnt be much worse. Its almost like they let Brian France design these cars with a set of Crayolas.
    The idea of a one race championship race is ludicrous. Luck factors too much in racing to crown a champion in this manner and have it be taken seriously.
    And last but not least, how stupid to you think the fans are when you write this stuff down and try to sell it as truth? It may be your opinion and you may truthfully believe what you write. If so, Im sorry you never followed this sport when it was in its heyday. Even in those days when there were 5 cars on the lead lap, those 5 cars were dicing and swapping the lead more times (under green) 50 laps than the lead changes the whole race in this era. Most lead changes happen on pit road now.

  6. It is NOT about racing any more. it is about entertainment.. IF it was about racing you would not have all the gimmicks.. stage racing overtime line chase format NASACR micro manages every part of it.

    Racing use to be you start and finish winner takes all. I don’t see any other pro sports awarding points at half time. YOU RAN the whole season WINNER TAKEA ALL AT THE END –no reset.

  7. You are joking,right? I dont know what you are watching, but the racing gets worse every weekend. Toyota has bought NASCAR.,lock stock and barrel. RIP NASCAR.

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