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brooklynite

(94,428 posts)
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 03:16 PM Oct 2021

Wooing Newcomers to 'NASCAR Nation'

New York Times

“We’ve made no bones about we want to attract some new fans and new teams, and that starts with the car,” said John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president for racing innovation.

But to attract that young, diverse audience, NASCAR must reckon with its past. It’s an open question how much a car can do to assuage a troubling history of discrimination. “NASCAR is doing some things, but they need to do more,” said Bill Lester, who in 1999 became one of the few African-American drivers in NASCAR, and said he was still uncomfortable at some tracks: “At Talladega? Shoot. At Martinsville, Virginia? I was sweating.”

The league is in a difficult position. Its economic clout grew out of its appeal to white working-class fans. For decades, it fostered an outlaw image true to its roots of good ol’ boy moonshiners outrunning the law in hopped-up coupes. By the 1990s, the largely white, right-leaning audience became an economic and political force known as “NASCAR Nation,” valued as the most brand-loyal consumers in sports. But fans warmly nostalgic for Old Dixie are aging out. The young, diverse spectators whom sponsors now want don’t get misty-eyed at the raising of the Confederate flag, which the league banned last year.

NASCAR’s challenge is to appeal to a new audience without alienating an old one, even as it seeks to distance itself from some of what that old audience held dear. The league’s strategy is all rolled up into Next Gen — to pay homage to the past and outrun it at the same time. Honoring the past, it looks like a stock vehicle to “put the ‘stock’ back in stockcar,” as NASCAR likes to say. Anticipating for the future, it can be converted to electric power.

Billions ride on the plan. NASCAR is due to enter negotiations for its broadcast rights, which previously brought an estimated $8 billion over 10 years. Delivering diverse viewers becomes a multibillion-dollar marketing imperative.
28 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Wooing Newcomers to 'NASCAR Nation' (Original Post) brooklynite Oct 2021 OP
They have to want a diverse audience first uponit7771 Oct 2021 #1
They can ban confederate flags at NASCAR races, but you will still likely sit next to rubes. Hoyt Oct 2021 #2
They lost me when some Bush voters were called "Nascar dads". I couldn't have anyone thinking brewens Oct 2021 #3
I was trying to imagine a NASCAR race with all electric cars, might be cool Walleye Oct 2021 #4
How would the crew chiefs cheat then? Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #7
Why would the type of powerplant matter? MichMan Oct 2021 #13
true Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #20
or maybe souped up Priuses DBoon Oct 2021 #11
Jeff Gordon became a liberal when he married his 2nd wife. Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #5
:) Nice. Nascar's changing because the old ways lost the "culture wars." Hortensis Oct 2021 #26
If NASCAR suddenly became the most open and inclusive Aristus Oct 2021 #6
If it were that simple, a whole lot more folks would do it. Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #8
I have shot a basketball before MichMan Oct 2021 #15
Are they going to denounce that "let's go Brandon" slogan?? 🤬 🤬 🤬 a kennedy Oct 2021 #9
Don't know. Misbehavior by part of the audience. Read that audio's Hortensis Oct 2021 #27
I'd sooner watch... 3catwoman3 Oct 2021 #10
:) Me too, but my husband still watches some and chats with friends Hortensis Oct 2021 #28
Formula 1's popularity is starting to eat into Nascar's ratings. FSogol Oct 2021 #12
No it isn't Darwins_Retriever Oct 2021 #14
WAPO reported the other day that F1 ratings were up 51% over last year. FSogol Oct 2021 #23
F1 and NASCAR competed head to head last weekend at the exact same time MichMan Oct 2021 #16
I watch Formula 1 racing, as I have no interest in that roundy-rounder stuff. Brother Mythos Oct 2021 #17
Wasn't it the F1 race at Belgium when they drove a few laps behind a pace car under caution in rain? MichMan Oct 2021 #18
At least it wasn't an incredibly boring circle track, and they actually drove in the rain. Brother Mythos Oct 2021 #19
Shortened? It was only 3 laps behind the safety car at 35 mph or so. MichMan Oct 2021 #22
Non-redneck? Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #21
Obviously my use of the term 'redneck' has touched a nerve with you. So, ... Brother Mythos Oct 2021 #24
You are the one with the touched nerve, I merely pointed out that not all NASCAR fans are rednecks. Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #25

brewens

(13,552 posts)
3. They lost me when some Bush voters were called "Nascar dads". I couldn't have anyone thinking
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 03:24 PM
Oct 2021

supported "W". I just started watching some again after I got me a Bubba Wallace shirt! He's my new favorite driver. It doesn't really have anything to do with some redneck fans I know that hate him.

Eliot Rosewater

(31,109 posts)
7. How would the crew chiefs cheat then?
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 03:30 PM
Oct 2021
If you arent cheating, you arent doing your job, which is true about all auto racing.

But how could you gain an advantage if they were electric, I would like to find out...it is what is needed.

MichMan

(11,887 posts)
13. Why would the type of powerplant matter?
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 06:39 PM
Oct 2021

Do you think the only rules involve ICE engines? There are pages of rules regarding bodies, suspensions, brakes and everything else.

In fact, I can't remember the last time there was an engine related rule violation

Eliot Rosewater

(31,109 posts)
5. Jeff Gordon became a liberal when he married his 2nd wife.
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 03:29 PM
Oct 2021
https://nascar.nbcsports.com/2015/04/10/jeff-gordon-gives-a-high-five-to-his-familys-meeting-with-president-obama/





I saw an event where both Barack and Bill Clinton were appearing, and in the crowd taking pics and smiling the bigest smile ever was Jeff Gordon, not sure if his wife was with him or not.

Dale Earnhardt Jr is liberalish, by the way. One of the first to tweet support for Colin Kaepernick when he was fired.

And there is now a generation coming up of liberalish drivers, Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick and others.

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
26. :) Nice. Nascar's changing because the old ways lost the "culture wars."
Sun Oct 31, 2021, 01:48 PM
Oct 2021

We're currently living through the biggest shrieks of fear and rage from losses that have been going on for several decades. It makes it worse, not better, for them that they largely lost their own kids' generations.

Aristus

(66,303 posts)
6. If NASCAR suddenly became the most open and inclusive
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 03:29 PM
Oct 2021

entity in the nation, I still wouldn’t be a fan.

Driving really fast and turning left a lot? While trying to outwit a bunch of hostile road-hogs?

I do that every day just getting to work.

MichMan

(11,887 posts)
15. I have shot a basketball before
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 06:43 PM
Oct 2021

That must mean I have the same talent as NBA players.

You have zero comprehension about what it takes to compete in professional motorsports

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
27. Don't know. Misbehavior by part of the audience. Read that audio's
Sun Oct 31, 2021, 02:13 PM
Oct 2021

being altered, though, so unseemly background noise can be cut out of the media feeds. That spoiler should also put an end to the worst of it.

I noticed that, after confederate flags were banned last year, organizers of a race this year apologized after a driver snuck in a flag decal and finished one race with it mounted inside the car. Track officials were responsible for catching it, though.

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
28. :) Me too, but my husband still watches some and chats with friends
Sun Oct 31, 2021, 02:16 PM
Oct 2021

about car stuff, while I pay somewhat less attention than if it were paint drying.

Darwins_Retriever

(853 posts)
14. No it isn't
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 06:41 PM
Oct 2021

Nobody watches it. Yes, Nascar is in decline, I've stopped watching it. I stopped watching F1 after Lauda. I loved it back with Fittipaldi, Stewart, Mario, Peterson ... I was a big fan of endurance racing--Porsche, Ferrari... Siffert, Rodriguez (my fave).

FSogol

(45,457 posts)
23. WAPO reported the other day that F1 ratings were up 51% over last year.
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 09:36 PM
Oct 2021

F1 has a huge international internet viewership and fan base, something that NASCAR doesn't have.

MichMan

(11,887 posts)
16. F1 and NASCAR competed head to head last weekend at the exact same time
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 06:46 PM
Oct 2021

The TV ratings for NASCAR were double that of F1.

Not only that, the second tier NASCAR Xfinity Series also outdrew the F1 for TV ratings.

Brother Mythos

(1,442 posts)
17. I watch Formula 1 racing, as I have no interest in that roundy-rounder stuff.
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 07:07 PM
Oct 2021

I mean, they drive around in a circle. Then they drive around in the same circle again. And again. And again. Wash-Rinse-Repeat.

Now, that's great fun at the local dirt tracks. But, on big, paved tracks it's just boring.

In any case, Formula 1 is planning two races in the USA next year, and possibly three sometime after that. And, Michael Andretti is rumored to be in negotiations to buy a controlling share in an existing F1 team. So, I'm pretty sure that's what non-redneck racing fans are going to be watching in the future.

MichMan

(11,887 posts)
18. Wasn't it the F1 race at Belgium when they drove a few laps behind a pace car under caution in rain?
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 07:18 PM
Oct 2021

and called it official, with the drivers scored according to how they were lined up behind the pace car? I'm sure that was mesmerizing for the fans who paid hundreds of Euros for tickets, and the promoter who paid millions in sanctioning and rights fees.

Brother Mythos

(1,442 posts)
19. At least it wasn't an incredibly boring circle track, and they actually drove in the rain.
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 08:12 PM
Oct 2021

In any case, that 'race' was very much an outlier. I've watched every F1 race for the last five seasons, and never saw that happen before, as it has to be raining really hard before they'll 'shorten' a race. And, something like that is unlikely to happen again, as F1 fans have made their feelings about it known.

Still, I stand by my original post. Even a couple of my best friends from high school, who actually owned and ran a NASCAR Cup Series team for several years, don't pay any attention to it anymore.

If you, however, like NASCAR, then go ahead and watch it.

MichMan

(11,887 posts)
22. Shortened? It was only 3 laps behind the safety car at 35 mph or so.
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 08:51 PM
Oct 2021

They didn't race in the rain.

I know one thing, NASCAR would never treat it's fans with just total disdain like that. People paid a lot of money and were told too bad, it was a complete race.

Eliot Rosewater

(31,109 posts)
21. Non-redneck?
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 08:49 PM
Oct 2021

Look, I get it, I get why folks consider NASCAR a rightwing, red-neck operation (is red-neck politically appropriate? I am asking not making judgment, can someone chime in please, I dont like using it anymore.)

But as of last year, things have changed. Zero hesitation to outlaw and denounce confederate flags, for instance.

Some drivers coming out publicly for BLM and Colin, and they took shit for it too. So yes still lots of racist assholes in NASCAR stands. But like I said earlier, Dale Jr and Jeff Gordon are liberalish and other drivers are too.

I know Gordon is retired but he is important. Jimmy Johnson also is liberalish.

As to driving in circles, just ask 2021 Indy Car champion Alex Palou, when interviewed recently by Dale Jr. he described his initial attitude about ovals and then his learning curve and respect for same.

As someone who wrenched on a stock car and drove it even once, and who has talked to racers I can assure you the physical fitness, athletic ability and skill needed to drive 200 mph 2 inches away from another car going 200 mph, side drafting (look it up) and keeping the car straight (mostly at Talladega and Daytona) and not crashing and doing this for THREE SOLID HOURS or more, at those speeds with other cars INCHES away from you, well my friend there few things (F1 is one) more stressful or needing of skill than that.

I am also a F1 fan, big Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Max Verstappen fan and others. The skill level needed to drive those cars is off the chart, for sure. Which is why they get the really big bucks.

Car racing is bad for the environment, I wish they could go electric NOW!



Oh, one of my FAVORITE stories is an example of how good some NASCAR Cup drivers are, former NASCAR Cup Champion Kurt Busch (his brother is Kyle, a little better known) a few years ago raced the Indy 500, in an Indy Car (not talking about the Cup version which is a 400 mile race) and my memory is he had never driven an Indy Car before and so on that day he finished racing his Cup race in Charlotte I think, flew to Indy and raced and finished on the lead lap in 6th place. HOLY SHIT!

In fact he may race Indy again. He and his brother both have serious racing genes.

Brother Mythos

(1,442 posts)
24. Obviously my use of the term 'redneck' has touched a nerve with you. So, ...
Sun Oct 31, 2021, 12:11 AM
Oct 2021

please feel free to report me to the moderators.

When I see signs in restaurants proclaiming the owners and patrons to be Proud Rednecks (Back in the day, we jokingly called those very same people 'ridge-runners.'), and have had the misfortune of working with people who had 'Redneck' tattooed on themselves in prominent places, I feel free to use the term.

So again, feel free to report my use of the term 'redneck' to the moderators. I post here infrequently as it is, and don't really need to be here at all.

Eliot Rosewater

(31,109 posts)
25. You are the one with the touched nerve, I merely pointed out that not all NASCAR fans are rednecks.
Sun Oct 31, 2021, 01:20 PM
Oct 2021

And that I probably shouldn't use the word.

You do you, I will do me.

I am a very left liberal who despises MAGA and the kind of people that term usually depicts, but when you assign an entire sport to it, wrongly so, I decided to respond.

Implying that I am DEFENDING the people it applies to is far more egregious than your first comments, but I wont report that either.

And lastly, my post was filled with some pretty interesting stuff, you ignored it all.

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