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Toying with Disaster, NASCAR's Unhinging

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

Toying with Disaster, NASCAR's Unhinging

Jeremy T. Sellers
September 25, 2007

There is no way to poll the general NASCAR fan base to obtain my answer, but if I were to make a hypothesis, many asses, like mine, are truly tiring of the incessant politicalization and commercialization of a sport that is nearly as rich in tradition as baseball. I admit, I've only been a diehard fan for 12 years, yet with only smidge over a decade under my belt, the continuous degredation of this great sport is ever apparent. We, as fans, are left to cope with the continual changes in teams, apparel, collectables, nazi-like rules, cookie cutter cars, and over-expansion of our beloved obsession. As demonstrated, what is the governing body's take? "Take it or leave it".

Granted, change can be good in the right context, and commercialization, truthfully, has given the sport the popularity it has come to enjoy. However, we're beginning to enter a period which all other professional sports have followed, except with NASCAR, it's a role reversal. Ah, I will explain. The MLB, NFL, and NBA are all just majorly AFU when it comes to loyalty. Though with the aforementioned, it's the players for the most part who refuse to establish roots on one team. Once their contracts are up, they are seeking more millions of dollars from the same organization, or are quick to hop the train to the next town for the greener grass. With NASCAR, it is indeed, different. Here is a sport where the owners know no loyalty and adimantly refuse to seek the extra mile to retain their drivers, but with a strange irony, the "greener grass" theory still applies.

I imagine that for some of the veteran fans, this season could be compared to the second coming in the scheme of things. Sprint replacing NEXTEL, Coor's Light to be the official beer of NASCAR, (what the hell are they thinking there?) Joe Gibbs running Toyotas, Budwesier on a Dodge, Kyle Busch to Gibbs, Earnhardt to Hend(p)rick, Yeley to Hall of Fame (who is also switching to Toyota) booting out Tony Raines, veterans such as Marlin and Nemechek unsure of next year's status, refused the respect they have rightfully earned in the NASCAR community, and adding road courses in other countries with hopes of taking it across the pond in the near future. Face it folks, it's the downward spiral; the ungluing of an empire that Big Bill worked so hard to adhese. Who's left to bare the brunt? Fans!

Oh I reckon I'm a tad bit of a hypocrite as my tickets to the 50th running of the Daytona 500 are already bought and paid. My prose doesn't mandate that I have to hand it my fan card, but rather vent frustration due to the fact that Brian France and his SS fail to see they're knocking the sport out at the knee caps. We are allowed to be disgruntled, vent our anger, and yet retain the desire to inhale burnt rubber and 110 octane. It's what makes us fans of something that we know at least USE to be great. That my friends, is something we can hold on to tightly!

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