Veteran motorsports writer Gordon Kirby has a new piece out on NASCAR at midseason. The good:
NASCAR continues to define automobile racing to the American public and media. Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are the great names of American racing. Anything and anyone else are small beans.
Also, NASCAR’s fan base is a graying demographic with few young fans. In fact, the US Army specifically cited the lack of young fans as a key reason for terminating its NASCAR sponsorship while continuing in the NHRA.
Another issue is that there probably are too many races and too many long races in particular lasting three or four hours. But neither is likely to change. There are always new tracks looking to promote Cup races and none of the existing tracks are ready to give up or cut back their NASCAR weekends.
The first two points are undoubtedly correct. The question going forward is how proactive and imaginative NASCAR’s leadership will be in addressing its sagging popularity. Doing something about the number and length off races could be part of making NASCAR as popular as it can be. But do Brian France and friends dare doing something so bold? For that matter, do they even consider it a real possibility? Kirby things the answer is “no” and he may well be right.