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.
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