15 june 2004 - kspeedway + winston cup ≠ profit
(this was written in response to a thread on the insidetheville.com message board reguarding the k(entucky) speedway getting a winston/nextel cup race. other than some structural changes, this post is verbatim.)
i personally don't think that getting a winston cup race here does much. the only thing that nayscor is these days is a crack dealer selling to the junkies (theoretically). have a look at what they are doing these days: they gave phoenix another date that was traditionally the sping race at the rock (a track with as much history as the sanctioning body itself). they stripped darlington of its rightful labor day southern 500 date and pared it down to one race, the saturday before mother's day, a weekend winston cup traditionally doesn't race. the date that used to be the southern 500 is nearly 3000 miles across the country in southern california in the suburbs of los angeles. it abandoned north wilkesboro and gave one of it's dates (texas got the other) to the highest bidder (loudon) which traditionally produces some of the worst racing i have ever seen (and this coming from a non-oval based stock car fan who has watched some races when bored out-of-mind). texas got a second date to settle a lawsuit that bruton smith had filed years ago because he was promised that second nwilkes date.
nascar has expanded way too fast, as evidenced by going to kansas and chicago, two markets that aren't necisserily in need of any racing. and think of the tracks and communities that winston cup left out in the cold when they packed up and went away to the shiny new facilities far far away. can you imagine what would happen to the cities of bristol (virginia and tennessee) if bristol lost even ONE race? i can. i believe that one day, bristol is only going to have one race, sacrificed so that the series can race near a major media market. you want k-speedway to get involved with that snake-pit of backstabbing money whores who only care about the show rather than the product? besides, if they are (god forbid) going to add another race, it's going to be in one of those major media markets, something in the lines of maybe new york or possibly san fransisco (and i mean an oval, not the bastardized road course sears pointERRRRRRRRRRRRRinfineon raceway near "the city"). if you really want to stretch it, denver (pikes peak international raceway) and milwaukee (the milwaukee mile) are more likely on the winston cup scope than ky is because of their media size. why does the miami/metro-dade hoestead motorsports complex (homestead motor speedway) have a race? the racing there has been godawful so that can't be the reason. could it be, maybe, the vicinity to miami perhaps?
a lot of you people may disagree with this statement, but i'm going to say it anyway: nascar, winston cup especially, ain't necisserily good for business. the rating and popularity have peaked and are starting to wane a little bit. the on-track product is horrible. the cars are basically moving billboards with the same chassis and a slightly different engine. its all about the sponsors. the tracks are nearly the same (ky is based on vegas which was the basis for kansas which is similar to chicagoland which design is nearly (new) atlanta whose redesign was based on charlotte which was the basis for texas...). the rules change weekly, and even during the race weekend. and what does nascar have to offer? other than some added economy, not much and even then, not in louisville.
if the speedway is really hurting for business, then they should attract other series. busch and the trucks are a perennial stop. the crapwagons put on a good "show" (and don't get me started on their business philosophies). arca stops here and the asa (if they can get their act together in time) will stop here. if you add in an infield road course (sacriledge to some) you can get superbikes and possibly grand-(sh)am and american lemans. the banking is low enough, maybe the track can swing a champcar race in the future. winston cup isn't the endall-beall for a track. venues can have storied histories without having winston cup turn a lap there.
i don't think that the winston cup schedule isn't going to expand anymore, or else they would have to split into a divisional format. i believe that they have a 36 race sched not counting daytona speedweeks and the all-star race. i don't think it feasable for them to go year-round. winston cup is a leech that will latch onto a market and suck it dry, the local people who support the race for decades be damned.
nascar is trying to stretch out and become a national sports entertainment scene. i think that we are too close to the southeast (and the track is too far away from a major city) to make an impact, otherwise the nashville superspeedway would have a race already.
one thing that we have going for us to get more series here is the fact that we are an independant track not affiliated with anybody. i believe that more people would rather deal with an independant body than the corporate monopoly that isc/nascar is today.
that's my opinion and i'm sticking to it. think that i'm just being a sore openwheel fan that don't know what real 'murcan racing is? then by all means tell me. i am open to response. e-mail me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! EARNHARDT!