The internet can be a double edge sword. On one side, you have helpful, fulfilling, and proactive advice. On the other hand, people will tell you that you are in a state of perpetual despair. A look into NASCAR would find mourning of memories and a life that was great and filled with promise. What happened to those men that were heroes to some but villains to others? The great finishes, the daring drives, the prestige? Despite what many might think, it never left.
As a sport in transition, it is clear to see that there are trying times ahead. With an economy still rearing an ugly head, it leaves empty seats at the track. Sponsors are finding it hard to commit the necessary dollars needed to run a team, and we have popular drivers retiring from the sport. All of these various factors are adding fuel to the fire of the many keyboard warriors who are trying to convince the younger generation that NASCAR is dead.
I believe that if we are despising the sport at its highest level (NASCAR), are we not killing the sport of auto racing as a whole? For example, reading or hearing these negative comments is like wanting to go to a new restaurant but being deterred because your friend had a horrible experience. What are the chances of you going to that restaurant? This kind of word of mouth action is preventing new fans and leading to empty seats. Losing sponsorships at the track, and leaving the young guns of NASCAR with no one to cheer for them. No fans equal no revenue. If we have no fans, then there is no reason for sponsor investment. No fans mean no racing and all because those who claim to love the sport are too busy destroying it.
Everyone seems to have an assessment of what is wrong with the NASCAR but never a comparable solution. “The stage racing and points suck,” “caution clock ridiculous,” “playoffs a joke,” and “those awful Toyotas” are some of the many common negative comments that plague NASCAR.
For me, the stage racing has produced a level of intense competition all race long as every point truly matters toward a high playoff seeding. The caution clock has reduced the level of debris cautions on track, and the playoffs produce some of the most intense ten weeks of racing that humanity could have created. As for those Toyotas-who have been outspending their competition to kick butt and take championships-are doing just as their slogan suggests; They are going places.
I ask that we enjoy those that now wear the black hat. Hold your breath during those daring drives on the high line, and most importantly, cheer on those trying to live to the prestige of their numbers. Let us recognize that our words have the potential to deter a younger generation and keep those who are curious about the sport away. Let us productively grow the sport and remember what my mother said… “if you have nothing nice to say sometimes just say nothing at all.”