Sprint Cup Headline News, Commentary and Race Coverage
TickCo Premium Seating
Copyright © 2000-2008. All Rights Reserved.
Nextel Cup® and NASCAR® are registered trademarks of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. This web site is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by NASCAR®. The official NASCAR® website is "NASCAR® Online" and is located at..www.nascar.com
Toyota and foreign-born drivers still an issue for someAn Opinion
By Chuck Abrams
It seems that the Toyota (foreign car) in NASCAR issue and having drivers such as Juan Pablo Montoya (foreign driver) is still an issue to some of you folks out there.
Combine that with some empty seats at Atlanta and a Come Home To NASCAR television campaign and you have an evidently combustible mix to some.
In case you are one of the still fuming about foreign makes and drivers, let’s take a deep breath. Toyota is not going to get out of NASCAR any time soon. And while you hate the Japanese because of Pearl Harbor, look at the good side of things – they are building cars and trucks in this country and providing jobs that the Big Three can not supply. The Tundra was Tuck of the Year. Something must be going right. If it weren’t for the Japanese automakers, we would be even further behind in alternative fuel transportation. We wouldn’t have as many fuel economy vehicles or cars that are as safe. The Japanese have forced automakers in this country to step up to the plate and deliver cars that we want to buy. The Camry is the top selling car in the country for some reason.
Before you come firebomb my home, I was not an advocate of Toyota in NASCAR but they are here and we have to accept it. You want Chevy, Ford or Dodge to win? Then let them step up to the plate and get it done. That is what this country is about – not handouts and charity wins.
Juan Pablo Montoya. Dario Franchitti. Jacques Villeneuve. Patrick Carpentier. Open wheelers and foreign-born drivers. So what? Villeneuve has taken his attitude and promptly gone out of NASCAR for now. Franchitti and Carpentier are struggling to get a handle on the new car and the new form of racing. Montoya is the only one that has done anything remarkable in NASCAR so far. Will the others make t? Maybe, maybe not. But don’t we want to see the best racing in the world with the best drivers? I know I do. I love the fact that Paul Tracy tried stock cars and did not get it done. I think those kinds of things show just how difficult it is to compete in NASCAR’s top series.
My race watching is not limited to NASCAR. Heck, before 1979 about the only racing you saw on a regular basis was Indy style racing. The Indy 500 was THE premier race in the world. The bloom is off that rose to a certain extent and NASCAR is the apple of our eyes.
You can’t discount the empty seats at Atlanta and other tracks. While TV ratings are up, attendance does still seem to be lacking at some tracks. That will not be the case at Bristol or Martinsville. I think attendance is an issue that NASCAR will have to deal with from some time to come. First of all the racing is not that god right now despite NASCARs best attempts to tell us how good the racing would be. It hasn’t happened yet with the new car. If that does not get better, look for more and more fans to turn away.
Secondly, the entertainment dollar is very tight these days and even when times are good, there are a lot of ways to spend it. NSCAR needs to be able to convince me they have a better product to spend my dollars on. Better racing and not requiring me to buy Nationwide tickets so I can see the Cup race are two really good places to start. Do I need to see Jewel sing? No, I came for the race. Just line em up, gas em up and get on with it.
And the new brand campaign for NASCAR? Is Matchbox 20 the best they could do? And just what am I coming home to? It is an interesting idea but poorly executed in my humble marketing opinion.
That’s it – I am off to Key West for a week. Catch you on the flip flop.
Drive fast, turn left and keep the shiny side up. Let me know your thoughts on all this.
Feel free to send Chuck your thoughts on this and other race topics at Insider Racing News.
Other Articles By Chuck Abrams
illnesses through research and treatment