Count the 2012 Sprint All-Star Race the latest in a string of NASCAR races this season that have left fans feeling less than satisfied.
Keeping in mind, that I’m not a fan of “wrecks for entertainment” in NASCAR, apparently there is a segment within the racing community that are indeed just that and track marketing reinforces this claim.
Just watch the commercials promoting upcoming races for NASCAR and you’ll see plenty about the “action” fans can anticipate in their upcoming events. These commercials promote fans to buy their tickets so they won’t miss any of the “racing action” at the track. Visuals show cars bumping each other or wrecking, implying this is the type of “action” fans can expect when they buy their ticket and attend the race.
Whether a fan buys a ticket and spends their hard-earned money to go to the track or they’re staying at home and investing three to four-plus hours of their time every week to watch on TV, the well-crafted marketing commercial is promising an action-packed race.
So, at least part of the blame for dissatisfaction among some fans has to lay at the doorstep of marketing…right? They’re promising fans will see plenty of action on the track at these upcoming races and yet when race day arrives that specific promise isn’t delivered, with fans saying the racing was “boring” instead.
Again keep in mind, The “wrecks for entertainment” segment does not represent all NASCAR fans. Even if we look at the next segment of fans, who’s motto is “Rubbin is Racin,'” and if you’re not bumping and banging on the track, you really aren’t racing – the question begs to be asked. Are these fans getting their share of even that kind of action on the track?
There is another segment of fans that want to see good clean racing on the track, with drivers racing their opponents and skillfully passing through the field and to the front, using their god-given talent, and working with their crew to execute masterful strategy and pit stops to gain advantage on the track. Once again – just asking – are these fans seeing their kind of action on the track for the 2012 season?
The last segment of fans have most likely been least dissatisfied this season, however, even this group had at least some doubt after the All-Star race on Saturday night.
It’s true that fans did see drivers racing hard to win each segment of the race, but once a segment was won, the strategy implemented by those top drivers and crew were to ride-it-out at the back until the last ten-lap shootout. And why did they do that? Because, it didn’t make sense, from their perspective to take the risk and put that wear and tear on their car. They wanted to save their equipment and energy for those last ten-laps and then, and only then, go for the win.
The lone exception to this idea was Brad Keselowski. I just happened to be listening to his scanner for the All-Star Race and Brad was not liking the idea of not racing every lap. It was evident, he wanted to be in the mix and racing every lap going for another win, but his team finally coaxed him into the same strategy and he too, fell to the back of the pack with the other segment winners.
NASCAR fans watch races to see drivers race and unfortunately, three of the sports’ top drivers were all hanging around at the back of the pack just riding in circles until the ten-lap shootout at the end. Personally, I think it would have been better to just let them sit in their pit boxes for those segments than to see these stars not racing the race.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, as a fan, I respect and like the driver Jimmie Johnson and admire his driving skill and his five championships. In fact, I truly enjoy all the drivers in NASCAR with Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski among some of my favorites.
The problem though, is that millions of fans didn’t get to see them racing for a good portion of Saturday night’s race. Amazingly, the ALL-STARS “chose” to not race at least a portion of the event!
|Where the top drivers chose to NOT Race
at least part of the night
Johnson didn’t “race”more than half the race &
walked away with $1million
On Saturday night Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and even Brad Keselowski, although it was against his will, took advantage of NASCAR and the fans. They didn’t deliver what fans invest of their time and money for – and that’s racing. That’s what we tune in to see each and every week for hours of our day. That’s what thousands of fans pay to see when they spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for a race weekend.
And to add insult to injury, it was the five-time champion of our favorite sport, Jimmie Johnson who implemented this non-racing strategy the longest and then walked away with $1 million dollars of fans’ hard-earned money…smiling all the way to the bank, pleased that he and his team out-smarted everyone, once again.
Come on drivers, all fans of racing want to see you – our favorite drivers – RACE each and every event, each and every week and yes every lap. Note, the word “race” and not “wreck.” Please, give us a race to watch by racing.
Fans love their favorite drivers, but it’s time now to get down to business and give fans what they pay your high-level salaries for – some racing action on the track.