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NASCAR Popularity Continues To Fade

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I was watching some of the Darlington Race yesterday on cable, since the regular networks didn't carry it. Of course the Toyotas dominated, but was interested in some of the commentary from Ned Jarrett and others about the mostly full attendance. I had to do some research and discovered interesting statistics. Darlington has removed almost 10,000 seats in just over 2 seasons. In addition I noticed huge reductions in other mostly popular tracks (attached) that lead me to believe this sport is not sustaining its popularity as it has in the many previous decades. The millennial age is not much interested.

 

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/interactive-nascar-tracks-removing-hundreds-of-thousands-of-seats/article24857227/?ref=https://www.theglobeandmail.com&

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Well I think to this old guy, part of the problem is the expanded base of manufacturers. As a kid growing up, it was Ford, GM and Mopar. the family car-note singular "car"-was likely one of those. and that to me fostered a " Ford-vs.Chevy-vs. Mopar" competitive spirit. And my interest in Nascar was fueled more along the lines of brand loyalty vs. driver loyalty.

 

Today how many kids are growing up in households were the family "cars" are more likely something other than the former "big three"

 

Plus did Nascar price themselves out of a large segment of their fan base.??

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Well I think to this old guy, part of the problem is the expanded base of manufacturers. As a kid growing up, it was Ford, GM and Mopar. the family car-note singular "car"-was likely one of those. and that to me fostered a " Ford-vs.Chevy-vs. Mopar" competitive spirit. And my interest in Nascar was fueled more along the lines of brand loyalty vs. driver loyalty.

I don't think many people really truly care about what "brand" wins anymore, it's all about the driver these days for most.

 

Today how many kids are growing up in households were the family "cars" are more likely something other than the former "big three"

the vast majority of people see cars as a disposable appliance these days. The days of the true "gearhead" are gone.

 

Plus did Nascar price themselves out of a large segment of their fan base.??

Every major sports league has done that or is in the process of doing that.

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Since brand loyalty seems to have diminished and what wins on Sunday doesn't sell on Monday...maybe Ford should follow Dodge and pull out? How many non-sponsor millions is Ford spending to keep the Blue Oval in the Monster Series? Brad Kezelowski saw the writing on the wall in the truck series and pulled out. Everyone knows that Toyota has much more money and technology invested and will ,if not already, totally dominate the series. In order to win and not just compete , Ford will need much more investment than Doug Yates building engines compared to the giant Toyota Racing Division. Is it worth it? I think Dodge knew that and pulled out. They didn't really lose any sales after that. Do you really think Ford would sell more Fusions than Camrys if they started winning again?

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I've been a fan of NASCAR for a long time. I used to have season tickets to Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) from 1997 thru 2004 or so and I would usually camp out there with my motorhome for the entire weekend. As my kids got older, it got harder & harder to find the time to go to all the races and it got too expensive. I still go to many of the races at TMS, but it's not the priority that it once was. From my own observations, NASCAR grew in popularity in the late 90's mostly due to guys like Dale Earnhardt & Jeff Gordon. It seemed to peak when Dale Sr. died at Daytona. That along with the post 9/11 economy and the high gas prices in the mid-2000's, people stopped going to the track as much (me included).

 

In my opinion, NASCAR made a few key mistakes when it was booming. They failed to realize that most people that attended NASCAR races liked other sports like football & baseball more than stock car racing and if they had to choose, they would spend money on their favorite sport over NASCAR. They also seemed to base their long term business plan on their best years. They figured if they could sell out races at tracks with over 150,000 seats, they needed to build more of them and add more races. Now they have too many races and too many seats to sell. When Texas had one race a year, you would have thought it was the biggest event in the world. Ford would host driver meet & greets at the Dallas convention center, Chevy would host a big party at the Fort Worth Stockyards, and many sponsors would events all over the Metroplex. When Texas got a second Cup date, that all went away. Now no one seems to care. It barely even gets mentioned on the local news, especially if the Rangers or Cowboys are doing well.

 

What they need to do is shrink the schedule by eliminating the second race at many tracks like Texas, Pocono, Michigan, Martinsville, Bristol, etc. Then they need to add two or three more road courses like the Circuit of the Americas, Road America, etc.

Edited by NLPRacing

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Getting rid of the second date at a lot of the tracks could certainly help. Look at what it did for the track in Fontana as exhibit A. As much as it would make me sad to see the second date at Michigan go, keep the traditional Father's Day date and give the August date to a short track or even a new state of the art track like Circuit of the Americas. I know I'm tired of the 1.5 mile tracks, I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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As much as I like Ford being involved in racing, I don't really see much value in NASCAR for them. The cars share little if anything with production cars. I would rather they devote their resources to race series that utilize production vehicles or modified versions. Perhaps it could get back to race on Sunday buy on Monday in a sense. Or at least race series where their Ford Performance products are are used. Maybe this would translate to adding to Ford's bottom line instead of completely extracting from it.

 

Nascar is just uninteresting to me because there is nothing for me to connect with. The drivers aren't that important to me as I like the machines more so.

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As much as I like Ford being involved in racing, I don't really see much value in NASCAR for them. The cars share little if anything with production cars. I would rather they devote their resources to race series that utilize production vehicles or modified versions. Perhaps it could get back to race on Sunday buy on Monday in a sense. Or at least race series where their Ford Performance products are are used. Maybe this would translate to adding to Ford's bottom line instead of completely extracting from it.

 

Nascar is just uninteresting to me because there is nothing for me to connect with. The drivers aren't that important to me as I like the machines more so.

 

It has as much value as the Lions playing at Ford Field or Ford being the official car of the Dallas Cowboys. At this point, Ford's involvement is just advertising. Ford must be seeing an ROI for being in NASCAR's Cup & Xfinity series or they would have pulled out already like the did in the Truck series. Ford is also involved in many other forms of motor sports where real Ford cars and Ford Racing parts are being used.

 

ford_ctsc.jpg?itok=zMm1XNEx

008-mint-400-2017-ford-f-150-raptor.jpg

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Your two photo examples are exactly what I'm talking about. I would like to see more of the resources put into those kind of things than just straight advertising. I think production vehicles would benefit more from that. In motocross they introduced the production rule years ago which meant all pro race bikes had to be based on a production bike. From that point forward the production bikes got significantly better.

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Bingo. It's just advertising at this point. The Ford GT program is mostly advertising since normal folks aren't going to buy one, but there is some technical applications to regular Fords especially with the engine.

 

Ford's GT4 mustang is the only real stock racing car that regular buyers can relate to.

 

NASCAR is no different than Indycar or F1 at this point - bespoke spec cars with very little differentiation where drivers are more important than the cars or brand names.

 

Going around an oval track outside daytona or talladega is boring. Doing it in a spec car with no ties to production models is super boring. High speeds and concrete walls dictated bespoke cars for safety and it was downhill from there. Road courses don't have that problem - you can run stock or almost stock cars safely.

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Using the Lions playing at Ford Field is a bad example, as the team is owned by the Ford Family (specifially Martha, widow of William Clay Ford) and likewise contributed a good chunk to the construction of the stadium. It's not even real advertising as far as I'm concerned.

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How about NASCAR race on a dirt road course like the moonshiners did which is where this sport was born.

 

I know that that will never happen but they do actually race that type of racing with production based Focii. I think it's called rally cross and it's a bitchin' sport.

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I have lost so much interest in NASCAR that I have not watched a complete race in nearly ten years. I used to go to the spring race at Bristol every year and have been to at least a half dozen other tracks including Daytona several times. It has gotten so uninteresting to me that I actually turned down an invitation from NASCAR earlier this year to join the Fan Council. I think it really went downhill for me when they introduced the COT. I have always been extremely brand loyal and when it became more about the drivers than the cars, well, all I can say is ...yawn. The over reliance on big-time sponsorship has also hurt this and most other professional sports.

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I have lost so much interest in NASCAR that I have not watched a complete race in nearly ten years. I used to go to the spring race at Bristol every year and have been to at least a half dozen other tracks including Daytona several times. It has gotten so uninteresting to me that I actually turned down an invitation from NASCAR earlier this year to join the Fan Council. I think it really went downhill for me when they introduced the COT. I have always been extremely brand loyal and when it became more about the drivers than the cars, well, all I can say is ...yawn. The over reliance on big-time sponsorship has also hurt this and most other professional sports.

I agree.. it would be nice if they put a little stock back into the cars... it would be interesting to see if a tuned up 3.5 ecoboost could outlast an LS chevy or have the option to run the coyote. It would be interesting agian. adding road courses and dirt tracks would be cool to.

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I agree.. it would be nice if they put a little stock back into the cars... it would be interesting to see if a tuned up 3.5 ecoboost could outlast an LS chevy or have the option to run the coyote. It would be interesting agian. adding road courses and dirt tracks would be cool to.

I couldn't agree more. You have to give somebody something to connect with.

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They should start a hybrid and an all electric venue. That's the future. They could pipe in the engine sounds over the loud speakers. How cool would that be. Maybe Chase Elliott could even drive a Ford with the #9 on it instead of a Chevy.

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They should start a hybrid and an all electric venue. That's the future. They could pipe in the engine sounds over the loud speakers. How cool would that be. Maybe Chase Elliott could even drive a Ford with the #9 on it instead of a Chevy.

.

Piping in "engine sounds" would be counter-productive to promoting hybrid / all-electric venues...

 

I would bet that FIA Formula E racing doesnt do that...

 

Calendar of races puts them in North America...

 

http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/calendar

Edited by twintornados

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.

Piping in "engine sounds" would be counter-productive to promoting hybrid / all-electric venues...

 

I would bet that FIA Formula E racing doesnt do that...

 

Calendar of races puts them in North America...

 

http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/calendar

the world has gone nuts-"piped in engine sounds."

 

On a similar note, our local Ag fair this summer generated all sorts of "hate mail" on facebook because at the oxen pull some woman thought one of the contestants was a little too aggressive with his "twitch"and was hitting the animal "in the face"-these animals are beautiful, clean as a whistle and obviously well cared for. But MSPCA gets on the case-bottom line-they find it a rules infraction (can't "twitch" in front of their ears)-but not significant enough to warrant charges. One yupster posts-.."crazy-why aren't they using tractors to pull the concrete blocks"

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Another left turn....  i have an easier time watching commercials, then watching nascar these days....

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17 minutes ago, MasterX said:

Another left turn....  i have an easier time watching commercials, then watching nascar these days....

But, but, but,,,,, they run naturally aspirated V-8's,,,,,,

HRG

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6 hours ago, HotRunrGuy said:

But, but, but,,,,, they run naturally aspirated V-8's,,,,,,

HRG

...with pushrods.

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Bracket racing, NASCAR, Pro Sports in general have too many cry babies who require special rules so they have a chance to get lucky and win!  and yes IMSA too.

 

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