Ok, I really hate to be a buzz kill here—given the Nascar ‘chase’ is fully underway— but lets get serious.
The sport from a competition standpoint sucks.
Now, I get it, the way articles(and life) work is that everyone has a different opinion, a different view.
So here are my personal views on why the current state of the sport of big league stock car racing is at its lowest, blandest, most boring point in the 28 years I’ve been a fan. You can agree, disagree, give your views, whatever.
From the top, and in no real order:
1. The emergence of the mega-teams.
Im not talking about Junior Johnson from back in the day here, either. Im talking about the new-york-yankee-ish way certain teams have literally taken over. Change the outfit to fit the year, but HMS, JGR and Roush know who they are.
2.The prime-time TV move and network switching chaos.
Why in the hell NASCAR has chosen to cut the throats of local tracks all over the country would be beyond me.
That is, if I were too stupid to recognize a greed driven desire for higher tv ratings.
Friday or Saturday nights are for local tracks. Sunday afternoon is where the top Nascar series belongs. Plus, I never can keep up with when a race is on or what station anymore.
3.The contrived false drama vs actual competition aspect.
C’mon…this is obvious. From phantom cautions to green-white-checker finishes to the new(and idiotic) double file restarts. Remember, what works on a hot summer night at a bullring in person is one thing–what works at the top level is different.
4. The incredible way NASCAR has managed to find about 30 of the blandest, most cookie-cutter , drab, lifeless robotic individuals on the planet to drive the blandest, most cookie cutter, drab , regressive shoebox cars on the planet. And speaking of cookie cutter….
5.The blandest, most cookie cutter, drab, personality free tracks on the planet with a few, very few, exceptions. Kansas? Chicago? Vegas? What?
6. A simply stupid , false drama building made-for-tv ‘chase’ format to decide the champion. WTH is up with that? Its the same old generic pretty-boy drivers in the same old indistinguiable cars.
7. The introduction of Japanese cars. And yeah, I know they might be made by Uncle Jimmy Earl down on main street, but if you think Toyota is an American car, you were dropped on your head as a kid. Its bad enough we have Government Motors now after all. And Toyota makes a fine vehicle, dont misunderstand. Its just simply a break from tradition that was purely yet another greed driven ratings move.
8. Touched upon above, the COT has simply single handedly struck a huge blow to competition. Its a backward thinking shoebox that erases years of automotive design evolution.
9. Chic terms and big-mouthed ex drivers as announcers.
“Dirty air” might be real trendy, but we get it already. And about those big mouthed ex drivers? Ha…he deserves his own number on this list.
10. Darrell Waltrip. The most biased and ridiculous creature to ever sit in a broadcast booth. He is grating, irritating, usually inaccurate and obviously has a huge man-crush on certain Hendrick drivers….and reminds us of that about every 12.5 seconds.
The above all add up, sadly, to dropping ratings and empty seats. The sport seems in a grimmer state than at any since the break-out boom occurred about 15 or so years ago. Bet your Earnhardt Jr. T-shirts it passed its peek about 4 years ago.
Now Im going to conclude with two phrases I never , ever thought I would say.
Damn, I miss Earnhardt.
And thank God for Kyle Busch.__________________