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More Signs of NASCAR's Struggles

Jul 09, 2014 -- 9:21am

Today’s topics: NASCAR woes and July:

  • It’s no secret NASCAR has problems. Attendance is down. TV ratings are down. It’s harder than ever to get sponsorship dollars.

The problems may be worse than NASCAR is willing to admit.

I was in Daytona Beach for the 4th of July weekend. I was there with my wife visiting friends, not for the races which I have covered for many of the last 40 years. The timing for a relaxing weekend would have been awful in years past because then the hotels and motels were jammed with racing fans. Ditto for the restaurants and bars. Traffic was horrible. There was a party on every corner, from the race track to the ocean, from Flagler Beach to well south of Daytona.

Not last weekend. There was little sign it was a racing weekend in Daytona Beach.

That may be the worst sign of all for NASCAR.

  • I love July. I hate July.

I love July because of Independence Day and the British Open. It’s the heart of the baseball season. It’s the month of my birth and that of one of my give grandsons. It’s vacation time.

I hate July because it’s the slowest month on the sport’s calendar. It’s when so many people whine about there not being any football. (I don’t want to hear from any Canadians or soccer lovers.)

And I hate July because of all of the damn lists. Because it is such a slow month for sports many of my unimaginative colleagues labor for ways to fill time and space. So they come up with lists: The best coaches, the worst coaches; the best fans, the worst fans; the greatest plays, the biggest chokes. They make lists of stadiums, hairdos, uniforms, mascots . . . anything they can think of.

Seldom, if ever, do they do any real research or give the lists any serious thought. Most often some guy or gal comes up with an idea about a sport he covers and then comes up with a quick list so he can leave the office early and take a long weekend.

And yet we can’t resist them. Yeah, dadgumit, I say “we”. 

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