Time To Get “Back To The Banjos” For NASCAR

The last two years, NASCAR’s TV ratings have plummeted and general interest in the sport has seemingly ebbed. And now NASCAR officials are starting to think that all the changes the circuit has been making has something to do with the negative flow.


Ripping races out of traditional markets, the confusing Cup chase thingee and the “Car of Tomorrow” have the sons of the south feeling confused and disenfranchised. And they’re making their feelings known by turning off the set and not attending race. So in a panic, NASCAR officials have dropped talk of more *innovations*, and are focusing on recapturing their core audience.

ESPN.com’s David Newton has a piece on the strategy this week and a great quote from Humpy Wheeler, who runs the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte.

Wheeler: “We need to get back to banjos and get rid of the violins. We got a little too fancy there for a while. There were all kinds of forces moving in different directions in this to make it fancy. It’s not a fancy sport. It’s guys with big hands and getting sweaty and getting out there and banging on each other and knocking each other around and all-American fans sitting there having a good time.

NASCAR CEO Brian France puts it another way: “I know when they change something at my favorite restaurant, it takes me a little while how to get there. If you change too many things that’s confusing a little bit.

Brian France

Based on this recent photo of France, it doesn’t appear Lizard’s Thicket changes its menu all that often.

(Tom Hoffarth on the pointer)