Wednesday, September 3, 2008

NASCAR is Not Racing Anymore. It's Entertainment

I see this statement a lot lately on message boards and blog's. I am of the opinion that the folk's who make that statement have either forgotten the past or never saw it. It has always been called "the show" among the promoters and participants. I am sure one of Big Bill France's motive's in starting NASCAR was to help racer's race and do so in the knowledge that they will be treated fairly and nobody would disappear with the prize money before the race ended.

I also believe that if this was his only motivation, we would be saying NASCAR? Never heard of it. He wanted to make money. Nothing wrong with that. Most of us do. How did he make money? He put on a show. And he sold tickets. He had a product, the promoter's had the track's. Big Bill was always telling driver's to not stink up his show. When he wanted to run some convertibles at a race, and not enough showed up, he offered teams with hardtop's money to cut off the top and run as a convertible. They would hire people to do death defying stunt's before the race to sell ticket's.

It's always been entertainment. From the get go. The sponsors sponsored cars for the advertising value. Those sponsor's reflected those who went to the race. Car dealer's, body shop's, and other automotive related products. As the sport grew and more mainstream people started paying attention, the sponsor's changed to reflect that. Back then, paying to be the sponsor of the race was not something anyone thought anybody would pay for. Now it is. Times change.

I'm starting to ramble so it's time to wrap this up. The bottom line is, NASCAR has always been about entertainment, and always will be. Why do people like myself go to races every chance they get? To be entertained of course. It's just bigger now.

The Geeze

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Auto Club Speedway Track Bash II

It's time for the semiannual bashing of Auto Club Speedway on the message boards. Why to people do it? There is the "NASCAR doesn't belong outside of the southeast. It belong to us" Also, the ever popular "NASCAR doesn't belong in California. They just jumped on the bandwagon when NASCAR started getting popular".

My first exposure at a NASCAR race was at Riverside Raceway in the Mid 70's. Where they had raced since 1958. So, if history doesn't back you up make stuff up. There is also the "California stole dates from some of NASCAR's most historic tracks" Stole? If I remember correctly, NASCAR moved the dates from track where folks just weren’t showing up.

Of course the major battle cry is the racings boring. I have been to all but one of the races there and have never been bored. I have always been able to find great racing throughout the pack. I have also never heard anything about boredom from any of my seatmates or those around me.
So what are these people basing this "the racing is boring" on?

Television of course. They watched a boring race on TV. Or I should say, they watched a boring race telecast. This week, we had the Kyle Busch / Carl Edwards rivalry. I haven't watched my entire TiVo copy of the race yet, but what I have seen showed me a lot of shot's of those two weather they were close to each other on the track or not. I saw a lot of a car whooping the field. They had their story line and were sticking to it.

To their credit, ESPN did show more racing back in the field than they normally do, But this was basically due to fact that Jimmy Johnson was putting a licking on the field and they finally decided they had to show some of the racing.

To make a statement that Auto Club Speedway is boring just because the TV broadcast was is silly. The print media also has jumped on the boring bandwagon. Why? Because in my opinion it's the safe way to go. Nobody wants’ to read what a good race it was. They don't expect that. We have a reporter for the local paper here that does this twice a year. That's it. Never hear from him again until it's time to rip the speedway. A one trick pony.

Oh, don't forget the " It's always 105 degrees out there this time of the year". I have lived here for 57 years and can say with all certainty. NOT! It was 85 at the green flag and in the upper to mid 70's during the race. That's about normal.

All right. I have to give the basher's the falling caution light. Criticism well deserved. Some poster's went over the top on it of course. "They can't even tighten a bolt". That sort of thing. But it did fall and shouldn’t have.

So, after all is said and done, we still have two dates, only one has been moved into the chase starting next year. All I can say to that is neener neener.

The Geeze

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