NASCAR fans amuse me at times.
You hear many of them griping about how Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers shouldn’t be permitted to drive in the NASCAR XFINITY Series or in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
They say it somehow waters down the competition.
Well, I’ve got news for you: that’s crazy talk.
This past weekend the NASCAR XFINITY Series visited Road America and guess what? The race did not include one driver running for Cup Series points. The fans should have been elated, right? Not so much.
A race that was close, and even included a fairy tale finish with underdog Jeremy Clements taking the checkered flag, generated several complaints.
“Other then the storybook ending yesterday that may have been the worst race I’ve ever watched.”
“It wasn’t so much the track … it was that some of these guys could not drive.”
Those are just a few of the comments that I’ve read on NASCAR race pages. So what exactly do the fans want? They got their NASCAR Cup Series driver-free race, but still complain?
Complaining is the nature of the NASCAR fan, I guess, and that in itself isn’t something that NASCAR can fix. Nor is it something that they should want to fix.
NASCAR has reinvented itself several times within the last several years. That is something that big money corporations just don’t do regularly. Think about it. How many times have you seen Walmart, Sears or Shell Oil change in the last five or ten years? Very little, if any at all.
Since 2004, NASCAR has changed their version of the playoffs on a regular basis. Stage racing? That was another huge change. Charters? I don’t like charters, but that’s a big change too. You just don’t see corporations changing and reinventing themselves like you see NASCAR doing on a regular basis.
NASCAR listens to its customers (the fans) like no other corporation that I know of. And yet those fans still gripe?
Hear me out: that’s actually a good thing.
As the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. said to Kurt Busch: “It doesn’t matter if they cheer or boo; all that matters is that they are making noise,” and that’s exactly what the naysayers are doing. NASCAR needs to chalk that up as a win.
When the peanut gallery falls silent is when NASCAR should start to worry, but to be frank, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Now that 2018 will put an Elliott back in a No. 9 car, and a new young phenom (William Byron) is going to be climbing into the No. 24 again, along with any potential changes that NASCAR is sure to make over the offseason … both the detractors and the hard-core fans are sure to be ignited.
Things are looking up for NASCAR, no matter what anyone says.
So to those that like to complain, keep making that wonderful noise. It’s a good thing for the future, I can assure you.
The opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Race Chaser Online, the Performance Motorsports Network, Scorpion Radio Group, their sponsors or other contributors.
About the Writer
Andy DeLay is a career law enforcement officer for Clearwater, Florida who carries a passion for motorsports at both the local and national levels. He is an avid iRacer who also spends time away from the virtual circuit at local tracks.
In addition, DeLay is a host of the long-time Burning Rubber Radio Show on the Performance Motorsports Network, the wireless mobile radio affiliate of Race Chaser Online, as well as an onsite reporter for PMN in various capacities.
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