Every sport has evolution NASCAR is no different. I have wrote articles before touching on just this the evolution of our sport. I have been watching this sport for most of my life and have seen the France family change NASCAR for the good and the bad. The format changes, rule changes the list could go on and on. One is more apparent now than ever before. That is this sport has become more money driven than ever before and I personally feel we the fans are the true losers.
This sport started with roots that lead back to the days of the blue collar working man and the days of moonshining. The cars that they drove were cars that were built with their own hands in their garages and were just that a STOCK car. After all the sport is called National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. The sport has forgot where it came from. I recently in helping my wife understand more of the sport sat down and watched 3 the ESPN film on Dale Earnhardt. The movie sparked my already turning mind as to has the sponsorship and big money destroyed our sport.
You see in the movie Dale Sr. is a mill working blue collar man the thing I feel brought so many fans to his side. Work during the week and race on the weekend. You see we as a world like to see the little guy win. The sports evolution has taken the little guys out of the sport. Yes we have the one car self funded teams but the only time they can compete are the restrictor plate tracks.
The big purses and the corporate money has polluted where it all began. These days we have the ” Super” teams if you will Penske, Gibbs, Roush, Hendrick, Childress, and the teams growing into the big teams like Stewart-Haas and Furniture Row. But you see the last two mentioned are examples of money running our sport. Furniture row was a one car team from Denver that some said would never make it because they were not based in the Charlotte area. The first few years would prove to be rough and they were a substandard team how ever they played their cards right and moved in to a alliance with Joe Gibbs racing one that would prove to be the best of the sport currently. The team alone did not have the means to do the R and D it needed or the technical support but once the “super” team took them in it all changed. Stwart-Haas started with an alliance with Hendrick and eventually would make the move to a Ford team and work closely with Penske. Teams now have shops that are 30,000sq to miles of shops(like Hendrick )that are their “garages”. Last I checked the blue collar men that started this sport had a garage that was a single car garage if they were lucky. My point is the money has changed not only the people in the sport but the cars and how they are built.
NASCAR is known for having the “best drivers in the sport.” I do not feel this is a correct statement. You see this day in age it’s not about how well you drive its about how much money you can bring and do you have sponsors. I was in a conversation with a fan recently and we were discussing the recent announcement of Danica Patrick not being picked up buy Stewart-Haas. The statement the fan made when asked outside of a pole at Daytona what has she done to stay there? Their reply was well “she brought in a lot of money” she has also spent a lot. They are correct she has but she does not have finishes other drivers that have been let go do. It used to be you perform or your done. Recently my hope was restored that we may get back to that. The announcement of Smithfield Foods leaving Petty Motorsports for poor performance.
You see money has destroyed our sport from being charged to much to attend, to merch. of your favorite driver being to high to the cars no longer being STOCK the list goes on and on. But one thing is true money is the root of all evil and evil almost always wins. Money is going to continue to destroy our sport and put drivers that are aspiring to develop their skills as to those that are proven champions.
Share your thoughts with us at racing assimilation or on facebook. Do you think money is destroying our sport?