Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

October 12, 2010

Why Aren’t The Indy Car Haters Obsessed With NASCAR’s Slipping Popularity?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:52 am

Idiots have been crowing for years about ‘how Tony ruined everything’ and other such clueless nonsense. The boycott of Indy Car by cart after Tony George formed the IRL certainly hurt the sport, and those politics have kept the rabid fans acting as foolish as Tea Party Republicans ever since. After cart walked out in 1996 until Tony George finally bailed them out (after they killed themselves, twice), NASCAR enjoyed more popularity than just about any other sport. Their personalities became household names.

As Indy Car has slowly but surely been rebuilding itself with Randy Bernard in charge, NASCAR has been just as slowly but surely been killing itself. My hope is that as they crash they do not destroy the entire sport.

The numbers for NASCAR are troubling.

-They have not sold out a race since February of 2008.

-Their latest Fontana crowd looked like the last IRL race there. That track could well go the way of Ontario.

-Television ratings are plummeting.

-They are laying people off.

-Revenue and earnings are way off.

What did they do wrong? Here is my $.02:

-Holding two races at most any of their tracks is ill advised.

-They are priced way too high for fans and sponsors.

-There are too many races in a season. Their season is longer than any other professional sport.

-Their product has gotten stale. Millions are walking away.

-ESPN is not doing them many favors any more, and the quality of their coverage continues to slide.

Randy Bernard is making some great strides, and perhaps his boldest stroke yet was bagging the ISC tracks, as painful as it is to lose venues such as Chicagoland.

Oddly, there is no core of hate-filled bleaters portending doom for them every time you turn around. Won’t it be entertaining for them as NASCAR continues taking hits but Indy Car continues to grow?


  1. Randy Bernard is fond of saying that “all boats rise on a high tide,” meaning that the more racing of any type is successful, the better for all racing series. I don’t know if I totally agree with that, but I don’t wish for Nascar to fail either.

    Nascar is more entertaining on Fox than either ESPN or TNT and I think that jumping around to 3 networks is hurting them. You’re mostly right about 2 races at venues, although I might begin and end my season at Daytona. The season should be shortened by 10 races and they could start by losing the road races–I like them, but I don’t think most fans do.

    Comment by redd — October 12, 2010 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

    • Two races at a venue was probably OK right up until the big NASCAR boom of the late-’90s/early-’00s, and its commensurate increase in ticket prices (and hotel room prices, which is just now being addressed near several NASCAR tracks). At that point, the blue collar folks who are the core fanbase of NASCAR (not judging, just stating a fact) would have to say “well, we can’t afford to go to two races at Bristol, two at Martinsville and one at Atlanta amymore. I guess we’ll have to pick two races this year.” And when the economy took a hit and work started being less of a sure thing? Yeah, staying home and watching on TV doesn’t look so bad anymore.

      Comment by The Speedgeek — October 12, 2010 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  2. Tea Party activists acting foolish? Comparing Tea Party activiists to the rabid Cart twisty fans. Outrage. Why them is fighting words!!!!

    God Bless Liberty. And God Bless the Tea Party Movement.

    Beat the so called Progessive Demoncrats in November!

    And we want more Ovals!!!!

    Comment by Bob F. — October 12, 2010 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

    • I can hear Neil Young singing now!!!!!

      Comment by M. Miller — October 12, 2010 @ 8:17 pm | Reply

  3. Dear Defender:

    While most open wheel fans find stock car racing uninspired and technically deficient, I agree with Redd in the belief that damage to NASCAR will result in damage to all forms of American motor sports…when NASCAR sneezes, all of the other series catch a cold and now is not the time to wish harm on any sector of the American motor sports community. The rumor that Dupont will cease sponsoring Jeff Gordon, after more than a decade of one of the most successful partnerships, speaks volumes about the single greatest threat to not only NASCAR but to the IRL as well…sponsorship and the diminishing number of companies willing to sponsor drivers and teams. Forget about all of the other gripes that we have about American Open Wheel (i.e. ovals v. road/street; single chassis v. multiple chassis; paid v. paying drivers, etc.), the single biggest problem Ropin’ Randy and his management team needs to tackle is retaining current sponsors and drawing new players…without 7-11, TK will end up on the unemployment line and that’s shameful for a driver of his skill and experience…all the while Milka and other talentless drivers continue to run with the sponsor dollars that they bring to the table…what ever happened to the sponsors we grew up with such as the oil companies (Pennzoil, Quaker State, Valvoline) and the brewers (Budweiser American, Miller American, the Coors Silver Bullet)… unless and until the IRL can bring back these types of sponsors, we will continue to spin our wheels about all other topics while the series continues to die a slow death for lack of sponsorship $$$$.

    Comment by Neil Rubin — October 12, 2010 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

    • Neil, of all of the sponsors you listed ( 7-11,Pennzoil, Quaker State, Valvoline,Budweiser, Miller, & Coors ) only two are still American owned. Just like our jobs, our sponsors have been shipped overseas.

      Comment by Chris Lukens — October 12, 2010 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

  4. Who would of thought that the IRL was ahead of the curve! By 15 years none the less! Give Tony credit, he drove AOW into the ground long before NASCAR caught on and followed his path. A true trailblazer he is!

    Comment by jb — October 12, 2010 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  5. “The boycott of Indy Car by cart after Tony George formed the IRL certainly hurt the sport, and those politics have kept the rabid fans acting as foolish as Tea Party Republicans ever since. After cart walked out in 1996 until Tony George finally bailed them out (after they killed themselves, twice)”

    Are you really that stupid? Tony forming the IRL hurt the sport by dividing it. CART walked out because Tony was trying to squash them. Tony bailed them out??? It’s more like he decided it was better to finally get together with them than to keep bleeding away money supporting his moneypit of a league. Based on what happened to him 16 months later, it was too late.

    I deal in actual reality. You said it. cart walked out. Tony is said to have been too stupid to have done anything. cart’s own stupidity led to their demise. Twice. That is fact. That is also H20 under the bridge. When are you going to work in positive ways to enhance the future evolution of the sport?

    Comment by TroyM — October 13, 2010 @ 1:24 am | Reply

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