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DATE News (chronologically)
11/20/10
nassprint
Finally, the too long NASCAR season over
Thank goodness.

After 38 weekends of racing and enough hype, hyperbole and hot air to fill the Hindenburg, the NASCAR season will be over.

And not a moment too soon.

The sport wore out its welcome weeks ago with its contrived championship format and its endless races and lack of pants in the seats and in front of the sets to attest to that more than anything else.

The sport born out of roughnecks and red clay, of red necks, white socks and Blue Ribbon beer, and of legions raised by yes sir, no ma'am and the stinging swish of the switch, has become too corporate, too codified and too coddling of its stars. The common fan is turning away in disgust.

And they are doing that in numbers that are shaking the sport to its foundations.

What's the answer? It's got me to the point that I am abdicating my duty of offering solutions in favor of just carping about the
problems.

And there are many.

  • There is no reason for the season to stretch from the beginning of February through three full weeks of November. Oh yeah, we forgot about the championship banquet and all the over-the-topness surrounding that.

  • There is no reason for a plethora of 500-mile races. The argument used to be, as the price of tickets skyrocketed, that fans deserved as many laps (not actual racing) as possible given the price of admission.

    But with the economy in the tank and tracks lowering ticket prices to compensate, what better time to shorten the races?

  • There's no reason for the sport to be awash in corporate money to the extent that the money is sucking the very life out of the sport, the splash, the dash, the color, the controversy that made the sport what it was before it did its Humpty Dumpty impersonation.

    The question now is can all the king's horses and all the king's men ever put NASCAR back together again?

    You can bet your Budweiser they're going to try by doing what NASCAR has become notorious for doing over the past few years, bowing to the lords of the 47-inch LCD gracing your den or wherever you take your weekly Sunday nap as the race drones on and on.

    They'll focus group, fan panel, and use multi-faceted marketing strategies in concert with their corporate benefactors and broadcast partners to map their next sterilizing step while at the same time saying it's all for the fans.

    Right.

    Perhaps it's time for the sport to turn back to the days that the late, great Jim Hunter spoke of with fondness: "There are a lot of fine people in NASCAR and most of them know what a good bologna sandwich tastes like."

    Now instead of devouring the bologna, they dispense it and we've all seen how well that goes down. Florida Today

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