As NASCAR season finished up this past Sunday, I look at my most popular post, Liz Clarke’s “One Helluva Ride.” A lot of people have read that post. I think some were diehard NASCAR fans and some were Tony Kornheiser fans. I reviewed it and thought this is a perfect time for a follow-up.
The main reason for the follow-up is all bunches together: automaker troubles and the economic crisis. From my previous post, I mention that NASCAR is having an identity crisis. Yes, they got the big sponsors, but what about the diehard fans? Eight months later, everything has changed. The fans are still split of what the image of NASCAR is, but now NASCAR is in a lot of trouble because sponsors are not looking good next year and the U.S. automobile industry is in a deep ditch. NASCAR became popular because it can relate to the regular folks: the personalities, the big cars, crashes, the wives. However, The Big Three (GM, Ford, Chrysler) did not help NASCAR’s cause by reflecting America’s mood.
The Big Three believes American people will buy American cars no matter what. What did happen is The Big Three are stuck in the 1990s and the foreign automakers moved into the present and relating to Generation X and Y. The business model has change, but The Big Three never did and that is why foreign manufacturers like Toyota and Honda are killing us. What I propose on other blogs and other social networking sites, but will reiterate again; the U.S. auto industry doesn’t need a bailout…it’s needs a BLOW UP. The government has to intervene on the Big Three and fire the board, fire the executives, bust the union in Michigan, have employees take pay cuts and tell them this is going to turn around. Workers are worried about taking a pay cut and I understand it’s not their fault. However, the combination of union leaders, executives, and government leaders have done nothing and failed the workers. All the workers want to see is results and what they are doing is like our military in Iraq: they’re working for nothing. That has to change soon.
The US automobile industry is dragging down NASCAR, but NASCAR did this to themselves as well. A terrible contract with Sprint and their corporate ethics have change the culture of NASCAR. The sport became popular in the mid 1990s after open-wheel split into two leagues (Indy Racing and CART). Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, and Dale Earnhardt kept bringing crowds to record levels. However, the death of Dale Earnhardt changes the sport forever and it was the opening “corporate NASCAR” was looking for to change its image. What it did was gave more exposure to drivers, but did they connect with fans? It was working for a few minutes with personalities like Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart, however, the fans are upset that NASCAR went global and last year prove it when there was a big argument if Toyota should be in NASCAR. As it looks right now, Toyota is staying for the long haul while the Big Three are scrambling. This includes Jimmie Johnson, who became the second person ever to go back-to-back-to-back championships. However, the response has been timid because fans think Jimmie is a Californian with no background. It’s not good the fan reaction is quiet after a historic championship for Jimmie.
What NASCAR has to do is stop being like football. Try to end the season at the end of September, not the middle of November. Also, remove California and the repeat tracks out of the schedule. I don’t want to see Pocono twice or Martinsville. Only Daytona, Talladega, and Bristol are acceptable. NASCAR needs to reformat the points so a win actually makes a big difference. Have the winner get 200 points and keep the scoring from 2nd on down. Finally, let your guard down, NASCAR. People are out there and they will respond. The drivers will sign autographs and take pictures when the race is over. Right now, NASCAR is like a typical office: you must follow policies and procedures to make everyone happy; we need big money from sponsors, so be quiet. May I say…was NASCAR going to do this to Dale Earnhardt’s face if he was alive?
Let me conclude on a lighter note about the follow-up, which is the author. Actually, I have nothing to add about Liz Clarke except she’s preparing for her trip to Tampa to see Bruce Springsteen at the Super Bowl. What I’m worried are three things:
- She’s bringing stripper clothes since Tampa has the most strip clubs per capita. Bruce, you have been warned.
- Liz Clarke is going to have a public orgasm at Halftime. Audience, step away a few feet back from her.
- Liz Clarke + Patti Scalia = CAT FIGHT!!!!