More calls for NASCAR to leave Indy
[Editor's Note: On the heels of AR1.com making a strong case for kicking NASCAR out of the Indy Speedway comes more and more articles essentially saying that NASCAR's wallowing taxicabs put on a true snoozefest at the flat Indy Speedway.]
It was good to see Indiana boys Ryan Newman and car owner Tony Stewart celebrate their big win yesterday in The Brickyard 400, but the race itself was a snoozefest and another glaring indication to me that NASCAR's run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway needs to be brought to a close. I've read a lot of the comments floating around the major media outlets today that are brimming with suggestions to improve the NASCAR show at Indy, including going to a night race, messing with the track to generate more passing, etc., etc., etc. But the fact of the matter remains that the novelty of having stock cars race at The Speedway has long since exceeded its "sell by" date.
NASCAR arrogance is so incredibly ingrained in everything they do that getting them to admit that they no longer belong at The Speedway racing before a depleted crowd is virtually impossible. But that's exactly what needs to happen. The idea of having stock cars running at The Speedway might have had merit for oh, say ten minutes or so, but the reality of what it has become is another thing altogether. The Brickyard 400 has morphed into an exhibition event, an excuse to watch NASCAR's top class of cars running around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with no rhyme or reason. No wonder the fan interest continues on its downward spiral.
And this is after the NASCAR trucks competed in the most talked about event in recent NASCAR history at Eldora. There was more excitement surrounding that event than the entire first half of the year. Correction, there was more excitement surrounding that event than the last five years of NASCAR combined. Why is it that everyone can see what NASCAR needs more of than the NASCAR brain trust itself? Why is it that NASCAR's death march of a schedule, the boring, repetitive racing on too many cookie-cutter tracks, the repeat visit at the same tracks within weeks of each other, the too few road races on the schedule (which is still the best racing that NASCAR can muster, by the way) - why is it that basically none of that seems to sink in to the NASCAR executive mindset?
I will tell you why. The automobile manufacturers and corporate America have become the chief enablers of the NASCAR show. As long as those respective entities continue to blindly fork over money to NASCAR with a stunning lack of due diligence and without extracting meaningful and measurable accountability, then the NASCAR brain trust will continue on its merry way. Will it last forever? Oh hell no. This latest contract embellishment with NBC Sports is another stopgap measure for the declining fortunes of NASCAR. Eventually the numbers won't lie and the realities of what these manufacturers and corporate sponsors are getting in terms of ROI will cease making sense. And then in typical fashion, NASCAR will scramble to demonstrate its relevance.
We've seen this before, actually, most recently with the much ballyhooed "Gen 6" cars. NASCAR touts them as an example of its visionary brilliance, when in reality the cars were a direct reaction to the auto manufacturers threatening NASCAR with retribution if they didn't get rid of the dreaded CoT.
And so it goes.
Oh and one more thing? This business about the number of wins at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway being bandied about in the media is patently absurd and it pisses me off. Mentioning Michael Schumacher's five wins at Indy and bringing up that Jimmie Johnson had an opportunity to get five wins at The Speedway should never be mentioned in the same breath as A.J. Foyt, Al Unser or Rick Mears and their four wins each in the Indianapolis 500. There is no connection to what those drivers achieved in the Indianapolis 500 and what has happened with the experiment with F1 and with NASCAR at The Speedway whatsoever. None.
I'm glad Jeff Gordon and others are consistent with separating the Indianapolis 500 from everything else that happens at The Speedway.
It's simply the way it should be. Autoextremist.com