By now I know many of you have seen the article that ran in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago regarding NASCAR and how the bloom may be off the rose. In fact, the title of the article is a lot more harsh than that – saying that NASCAR has “hit the skids”. A few of you e-mailed the article to me. It’s a good article that not only points out what we already knew about NASCAR’s woes in attendance, sponsorship and ratings – but it goes much further. It digs deep into the schism within the France family that founded NASCAR.
This past Monday was the eightieth birthday for legendary car-owner Roger Penske. He has always been one of my idols. He set the standard for the way racing teams prepare for today’s racing. Like him or not, there is no denying that he is one of the most influential figures in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and open-wheel racing, and he shows no signs of slowing down. His team is always a threat to win the IndyCar championship, just as it did last season. He has amassed sixteen Indianapolis 500 victories as a car-owner and is probably the odds-on favorite to win another this May.
It wasn’t that long ago that everyone complained about the red cars winning everything in the Verizon IndyCar Series. To be precise, it was the 2009 season. Of course, they were referring to the two red cars of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and the day-glo red cars of Team Penske, which were in their last year of carrying the familiar Marlboro livery.
The Test in the West in Phoenix is now over and in the books. Most of the information learned by the teams last Friday and Saturday will never be discussed outside of team circles. But the question that I’m curious about is; how much did we fans learn?
Those that come here solely because they like what I consider to be usually positive posts on here, will probably not like this one. I don’t consider what I’m about to say as being negative. Instead, I consider it a realistic commentary of today’s economic environment.
This is not an ad for Trackside Online, but it is the number one way I learn most of my racing news. Something may break on Twitter, but it is usually the subsequent e-mail that arrives shortly from Trackside Online that really lays everything out there. It is always the best twenty-two dollars I spend all year.
Those that know me and those that have been following this site for a while know how much I detest change. This is not due to my age. I resisted change as a teenager. Nothing appeals to me more than a good comfortable rut. I live by the mantra of “Change is bad”. If something works, why change it? My wife finds my resistance to change especially irritating when she gets in one of her “shake things up” moods.