NASCAR seems bound and determined to drive away its longtime southern fan base.
Between closing beloved southern short tracks, banning the rebel flag, and tricking Bubba Wallace to play into their fake noose hoax, NASCAR execs don’t seem to realize they’re in trouble.
But now vultures are circling NASCAR as this new racing venture stands to steal its former fans on CBS next summer.
NASCAR execs might be facing a reckoning for spending years alienating their fanbase.
As execs courted new corporate sponsors, they seemed embarrassed about the folks who actually loved the sport.
Though try as they might, opening tracks near big liberal cities, or hiring minority drivers, their plans to broaden their appeal never attracted the “enlightened” liberal fan base they seemed to desire.
And with ratings in the tank, now seems to be the perfect time for a competitor to emerge and capture disenchanted racing fans.
Retired NASCAR driver and owner of Stewart-Haas Racing Tony Stewart announced he is launching a new racing venture called Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) with fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham, agent Sandy Montag, and former NASCAR chief operating officer George Pyne.
SRX races will take place on six short-track races for now, with each of the races televised live on Saturday nights by CBS.
“That’s enough time to showcase the personalities in a way that’s fun and appealing and exciting,” Pyne told Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand. “Having close, competitive racing, you’re going to get 20 or 30 lead changes in a race.”
These tracks, located in “the American heartland” Ourand says, will consist of a number of surfaces and styles – dirt, paved ovals, road courses, etc. – getting back to the roots of racing that longtime fans will love.
The Washington Post writes, “SRX has yet to announce its roster of drivers, but the circuit’s newly created Twitter account follows only seven people, among them retired NASCAR drivers Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (who’s in his last year of full-time racing) and former IndyCar driver Paul Tracy. Ourand says SRX ‘expects to have its pick of well-known crew chiefs and drivers, both active and retired.'”
Evernham hinted that fans may see big name racers competing with SRX when he told the AP, “You know, drivers retiring and being out of the sport so young, we think there are guys who still want to race, still can race, but just don’t want to run 200 mph.”
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