The NASCAR Apocalypse.
What is NASCAR without a Dale Earnhardt driving around the track? We did get a glimpse as fans last season when Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sidelined with a concussion. Was there a change in attitude? Track attendance? Viewership?
Already, many NASCAR promoters, websites, and writers have predicted a bright future for the sport with the young, up and coming talent in recent years. However, I wouldn’t be so quick to believe these young drivers have what NASCAR needs and what NASCAR fans want.
Past and current NASCAR fans had a strong connection to their local short track. Ask many short track fans about their Saturday Nights under the Lights and they will mention specific drivers. You have the front-runner, the young-gunner, and the have-funner. Personalities make NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a strong personality. He also has a legendary last name. Combine the two, and you will understand why many rightly imagine NASCAR leadership scrambling for plans or running around worrying.
NASCAR is lacking character and personality. While there is a lot of talent, talent doesn’t always equate to viewership and attendance increases. Jimmie Johnson is the most talented driver in NASCAR, how many people view or attend races to see Jimmie Johnson’s talent? Would you be more likely to watch a race that you recorded to see Jimmie Johnson dominate from Green to Checker or to see Kyle Busch and Joey Logano drama?
NASCAR can make changes all day to the structure and format of the races and race weekend, which I feel they have done a great job with this season. However, NASCAR needs personality, style, and attitude. The sport has talent, but needs aggression and passion on the track, not just in the stands.