NASCAR Dumb question but are low ratings alone enough to kill NASCAR?

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by furryboy96, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. furryboy96

    furryboy96

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    It seems that the ratings of every race are getting lower every year and it has me worrying: are these low ratings enough to kill NASCAR?
     
  2. Dotini

    Dotini Premium

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    No. For decades before it became nationally popular, NASCAR was a regional motor sport in the South. If it should fall from national popularity enough to lose its TV contracts, it would shrink back to what it was before, southern rednecks running modified stock cars on short ovals and dirt tracks. And with ticket prices low enough for mom and pop to bring the kids.
     
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  3. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

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    Pretty much this, though with less events and smaller fields. There's not as many fans as before, yet the fields have 40 entrants; there's obviously enough prize money to go around, and loads of sponsors footing the bill. Even if mainstream fascination has diminished significantly in the past decade, it's hard to deny that the American public's consciousness of the sport has added terms to the daily lexicon, replaced Indycars/CART as the biggest overall motorsport draw, and made its cultural mark.

    There's lots of folks who would like it to return to "stock car" roots, but unless there's a sudden mass-extinction of sponsors, there will be racing as long as there's plenty of feeder series, teams with a desire to compete, and racers who enjoy doing so. At some point, there might be a consolidation of similar NASCAR-sanctioned series if there's not enough quality teams or drivers to go around.

    Past top-flight racing series' have suffered worse...look at Group C in 1992 as an example of that, imploded CART, various national F3 attempts, Can-Am, et al, as how not every once-exalted series can last forever. By having The Cup controlled as a bit of a spec series, it does smartly prevent manufacturers from yanking out half the field after season's end.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  4. yellosnake

    yellosnake

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    40 entrants of which 10-15 have a legitimate shot to win, The Danica experiment has failed miserably as has the new Bubba Wallace experiment in attracting viewers. Chase Elliott will continue to be a joke, getting his ride based on his overrated old man to try to get a younger crowd. Should be dead within 5 years thanks to France
     
  5. 05XR8

    05XR8

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    When people stop buying Tide and M&M's, then, yeah.
     
  6. TheElbows

    TheElbows

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    It'll just end up back to where it should be, a nominally popular motorsport. It's explosion into a dozen TV franchises, etc. was just a spasm. They tried to maintain unsustainable growth. No big deal.
     
  7. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

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    So...25% with one or two outliers due to attrition? That's actually pretty good, and on the better side of most forms of racing. Any series can get dominated by a pair of drivers or just 1-2 excellent teams(s).

    If the teams and sponsors still show up, someone's still watching with interest. After all, people will watch professional wrestling. Or another series featuring sex and violence. Superhero movies. Relationships-in-Hospital Dramas. You get the point...you'd think there's an over-saturation spot on a graph, but...nope.

    (For interest's sake, I haven't sat through an entire Cup race in about 8 years.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  8. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    Do you know how to troll decently?

    As for the thread topic, a simple no suffices. If someone else thinks otherwise I'd ask what would take over in place of NASCAR.
     
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  9. twitcher

    twitcher

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    I could see NASCAR making rather drastic changes in the coming years, such as trimming the schedule extensively, adding more road courses, and generally following the direction laid out by Aussie Supercars.

    That said, it won’t go away completely. Events like Daytona are larger than the series itself, and the Daytona 500 won’t just disappear. It’s become a global spectacle that people from around the world anticipate every year.

    As long as short track and dirt track racing a thing in the US, there will be some form NASCAR.
     
  10. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    Getting rid of the gimmicky "stages" and going back to cars that are a spitting image of their road cars would bring me back in:

    [​IMG]

    Until then, don't miss it.
     
  11. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I know I'm weird...but I would love to see the series go to a showroom-stock model. Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers, etc, with minimal modification (safety, obviously) racing around ovals. I think it could be cool. Kind of like the 60s. I wouldn't even mind if it was FWD Impalas and Fusions. :lol:
     
  12. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    GT4 spec? :O
     
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  13. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Yeah. But on ovals!
     
  14. yellosnake

    yellosnake

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    What would take its place? Baseball in the spring and summer and football come fall. With Gordon and Junior in the booth, fans are leaving in droves. There is no face of NASCAR now
     
  15. winet

    winet

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    Nascar was once about Chevy fans vs Ford fans etc. Making all the cars look the same took away much of their original fan base .
    I also think that in the year 2018 the races are too long . People have more distractions and are not willing to watch a race that takes 4-5 hours at times. A change in format to add excitement and some level of unpredictability is needed.
     
  16. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    No, because those fan bases are already there. Also NASCAR wasn't losing fans during its peak to those sports, so why would it now. The fans of the series long time ones like me and short term ones aren't leaving because Junior is gone and so is Gordon. I've been a Junior fan since 97, and his retiring didn't cause me to leave, I was already one foot out the door because of the knock out playoff gimmick. I'd say 2014 the year he last one the 500 was also the last full season I watched. Even then fans were leaving.

    The numbers show that the fans have been steadily dropping off each year, because NASCAR is at fault, not anyone else but NASCAR. When I ask what would take over, I'm talking about other forms or racing in the U.S.

    Not stick and ball, ball and hoop and football. Those sports have seen their numbers on a decline too, so clearly the missing NASCAR fans aren't going there as well. And it's probably safe to say that many of the fans following NASCAR, followed plenty of cross platform sports as well. So nope, these groups aren't going to replace it if it dies. If anything nothing will replace it, and sponsors will inject money in other things.

    It may have been about Chevy vs Ford in 90s because that was really all there was, since Pontiac may as well been Chevy. Though it is interesting you bring up that time period because that's when all the cars started have a spec template, and the only thing to differentiate them exterior wise was the stickers indicating brand and make. This was also the same time period that the sport started to massively grow and kept doing so until the mid 2000s.

    With the COT the cars no longer look the same as far as the entire front clip and bumper go. And yet fans haven't returned. The cars 6 years ago actually had 4 manufactures and yet fans were still leaving? So I'm confused how what you think would help hasn't...

    I would implore you to find me a race that took 4-5 hours long. Most races only take about 2.5 hours long, and considering races haven't changed length wise from the time NASCAR had tons of fans to now, I don't see that as the issue either. As for format change and trying to add unpredictability, it's already been done a few times. I'm curious as to how long you've followed NASCAR?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  17. Northstar

    Northstar Premium

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    NASCAR has quite a ways to fall before they are in danger of a complete collapse. Even their worst viewed races are considerably more watched than any other racing series in the U.S. They also have a few years before they really need to start panicking as their monster TV deals don't end until either the 2022 or 2023 season.

    Well, there actually is, despite your irrational hatred of him, Chase is rather popular (Still not sure why you hate him, yet like Spencer Gallagher).

    https://www.nascar.com/news-media/2017/12/14/top-selling-die-casts-2017-lionel-racing/
     
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  18. yellosnake

    yellosnake

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    Being popular does not make you a winner. And thats exactly my point. Danica was popular and never won a race either. As for Spencer Gallagher, he put the same 23 car in victory lane that Chase also drove as his replacement and failed miserably in the Xfinity Series
     
  19. Northstar

    Northstar Premium

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    His daddy also happens to own the team and his sponsor. Which seems to be the main focus of your irrational hatred.

    Also, a win at a restrictor plate track doesn't mean much, Trevor Bayne won one for crying out loud!
     
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  20. yellosnake

    yellosnake

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    I understand what you are saying. However the money put up by Maurice Gallagher to fund a team was earned by the Gallagher family. Chase Elliott got his ride based on his father's name who wasn't much of a driver anyway. Won 44 races of which most were won in an era where you had maybe 5-10 competitive cars each week. Elliott Dale SR and DW are probably the most overrated drivers in the history of NASCAR.
     
  21. Northstar

    Northstar Premium

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    So let me get this straight. You're fine with a kid getting a ride solely because of his family (who got their money by running a crappy airline that puts lives in danger for the sake of profits), but you're not ok with another kid getting a ride solely because of his family (whose only crime is being overrated)?

    [​IMG]

    Do you even think these things through before you post them? :lol:
     
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  22. yellosnake

    yellosnake

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    Yes. The Gallagher family earned the money. Your opinion or mine mean nothing when it comes to their poor safety record as an airline. And since you noted being overrated is a crime, I will agree with you on Bill Elliott being overrated and his son being the beneficiary of the crime.
     
  23. Northstar

    Northstar Premium

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    Is that really the best you can do? :rolleyes:
     
  24. yellosnake

    yellosnake

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    Yes sir. I have been drinking tonight
     
  25. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    Now I know you're trolling and just out there without a paddle. Senior (the guy that got me into the sport) was more adaptable in the changing regs from the time he started until his death than many others. The only other drivers I can think of that were as good at it, were Gordon, Wallace, and Martin. Also 5-10 competitive cars (there were more) is quite better than the 3-6 currently. I don't even have to watch a race to know who is going to likely win. Let me guess next race's winner is one of these names: Truex, Harvick, Busch, Bowyer, and the Penske drivers potentially.

    Hell the cars then were more equal in parity than they are now, and were more capable of building in small shops and going out there to win. If anything the 80s and even 90s were more competitive than arguably now.

    That explains it.
     
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  26. twitcher

    twitcher

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    As someone who’s only ever watched NASCAR on TV, I never really understood the appeal of watching a race live.

    You pay how much money to sit in traffic and lines, eat expensive hotdogs and drink watered down beer, and then sit on some metal bleachers in the direct sun for 3-5 hours, all while having a worse view of the racing than if you watched it on TV.

    Ever notice how if you go to a hockey or basketball game, if you look around the stadium at any given time, most people are watching the big screen, not the actual game.

    Do some of the new nascar venues have movie style folding chairs? Most tracks I can think of have those horrible bleachers. You couldn’t pay me to sit on those things for 3 hours.

    As much as I enjoy watching racing, I kind of can’t stand watching it live just sitting in one spot. If I go to a circuit, I usually spend the day wondering around from one vantage point to the next, like going for a walk in the park. Can you do that at nascar events?

    In ‘04 I went to the Canadian GP in Montreal, got seats in the second most expensive grand stand down by the hairpin....hated pretty much every minute of it. When I went in ‘05, I just got a general admission ticket, spent the whole weekend wondering around, and had a much better time.

    The idea of sitting on an uncomfortable metal bench for 3 hours while squinting at a sunlit monitor that’s 100ft away is just not as appealing as watching or listening to a race while at home.

    I totally get the appeal of going to see the cars live, walk the pits, go to the gift shop, etc. It just seems to me like if I were to go to a nascar race, I’d enjoy everything but the race itself (if I was indeed basically confined to sit in my designated seat).
     
  27. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    @twitcher I think that's kinda the case for every motorsport really. WRC involves a lot of standing around in poor weather to see a few cars go past for a few seconds and then you're done. F1 means being sat half a mile from the bit of track you're watching to see cars in which the drivers are barely visible anyway. Even when I've been to Le Mans, I'll probably actually watch cars going past for four hours out of the 24...

    If anything though I suspect NASCAR is a better spectator sport than most motorsports. The ovals are set up so you can see most of the track from wherever you're sitting which is already better than virtually all road courses, and you can get fairly close to the catch fencing if you want a decent impression of speed. And I've never been to a NASCAR race live, but I imagine the sound is quite something.

    Going to motorsport events is really an atmosphere thing, like it is in most sports. I'm not really interested in football (soccer) or hockey, but I've been to events of both and even though you don't get the view you do on TV, it can still be an enjoyable day out.
    NASCAR thread... checks out.

    Do like the concept of someone who "wasn't much of a driver" winning 44 races.
     
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  28. Blood Eagle

    Blood Eagle

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    I've been to several NASCAR races since 1997 and get free tickets to the Auto Club 400 in Fontana CA every year because my family owns a AAA approved automotive repair facility that I manage. Even with free tickets I don't go every year because with hotel expenses, food, drink travel etc it can cost me upwards of $1K for the weekend. I can tell you that the seats are movie style folders but not padded like a movie theater. It's not really at all that uncomfortable and my seats are typically under quite a bit of shade. There is a lot of walking involved to get beverages and food and restrooms. My phone's step counter recorded around 30K steps the last time I went in 2017. The biggest downsides are that the exhausts of the cars face the crowd and will make it very uncomfortable for you and may damage your hearing if you aren't wearing ear protection. The price gouging from everything from food, drink, hotel rates when the race is in town etc. It's also pretty hard to follow live and you don't get to see a lot of the action. Overall it's a good time if you are into NASCAR. If you are not a fan (like my wife) it's not a good time. The races I attended in the 90's were more friendly especially the hearing aspect because the exhausts faced the infield then. I don't remember what year but sometime in I believe around 2007? they rerouted the exhaust to the crowd side and I'm here to tell you that these cars are extremely loud by themselves and multiply that by 40 it can be miserable and make a person physically ill (like my wife again!). NASCAR said last year, I believe, that they are trying to make the cars quieter. I did notice a pretty big sound difference from previous events at the 2017 race. It wasn't nearly as loud but still very loud.

    NASCAR events are way overpriced and I only go because I get free tickets. In that respect, I understand why the lower attendance numbers. I'm fortunate enough to not live paycheck to paycheck but that's not the case for a lot of people. It begs the question, why would I go all the way out there, wait in traffic to and from, pay for a hotel, pay for dinners, get price gouged at the track for literally everything and not even be able to see a lot of the action because the cars look like grains of sand at the farthest part of the track and blow out your eardrums when they are flying by, when I can flip on my TV and see it in HD quality with replays, slow-mos and have announcers explain everything that is happening from my living room? IMO NASCAR got way too big for their britches when the popularity exploded in the early part of the millennium and now is coming back down to Earth. It's still the most watched motorsport in the US and there is still millions of fans from casual to hardcore.

    NASCAR's fanbase itself is extremely toxic and if you read social media comments it seems that they don't know what they really want and fluctuate from a hardcore resistance to change to wanting to change everything. I've said this before but NASCAR is at a crossroads with fans and the old heroes of the sport have retired or are retiring soon. I do not think NASCAR is in bad shape just not as popular as it was during the popularity explosion. I like change and respect that NASCAR is at least trying something different whether it works or not to drum up interest. The season is extremely long and the races can be very long and drawn out and sometimes downright frustrating. I'm of the opinion that younger people nowadays have a very short attention span and can't make it very long without having other distractions like their phones, the internet, dank memes and what have you. They need young fans. Monster Energy is a great title sponsor because it's an edgy brand with a lot of credibility with young people. I think there are a lot of people who think they are above NASCAR and are stuck on the notion that it is a sport for dumb rednecks. I believe that's an image they have been trying to shed but that's easier said than done. So how does NASCAR stay relevant without the fanbase feeling alienated? Not sure. That's the biggest setback currently.
     
  29. twitcher

    twitcher

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    This is basically what i was getting at. For the money you have to spend, it doesn’t seem like all enjoyable of an experience. Or at most something a person might go to see once.

    Again, not talking about all the extra stuff that comes with going to a race, talking just about sitting on the grand stands and watching the actual race.

    Just relating to my experiences in Montreal, sitting in the bleachers was awful, whereas walking through the park under the trees was quite enjoyable.

    Look at the Watkins Glen 6hr this year. Commentary remarked that there were lots of people there, but they were literally hiding under the grand stands because it was too hot.


    I totally get doing something like going camping at Daytona, Sebring, Road Atlanta for the weekend, RV parked near the circuit, friends family...a whole weekend event. Again though, to just go and sit in the bleachers, barely able to see the cars in the far side, barely able to see a big screen which I would assume makes the action tougher to follow - personally I would rather just stay home, and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this way.


    I’ll be completely honest....I love watching WRC, but I can’t for the life of me understand the people who go watch it live. I kind of get it in places like Monaco, going to watch the first stage at night, or going to the parties at the jumps in Sweden or Portugal....but the people who just hang out on the side of the road eating dust all day, I just don’t get it.
     
  30. Blood Eagle

    Blood Eagle

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    Off road racing is my first love (Baja 1000 etc) been to a lot of those but not since I turned 30 because you go all the way out there, it's hot, the vehicles come by and you never see them again. It's not worth it. Still love it though.