Clinton, South Carolina, Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 7:04 p.m.
I’ve got a few thoughts about the Sprint Cup schedule announced officially on Tuesday.
It still doesn’t add up to me. I don’t see as how a month warmer weather at Bristol is worth relegating Atlanta’s one date to the beginning of March. For Speedway Motorsports Inc., Bruton Smith’s empire, it just doesn’t seem to be a fair deal. Maybe I’m wrong. Smith and his advisors apparently disagree.
William C. France used to refer to Daytona Beach as his “bell cow” – he used that term for lots of things – and Smith’s bell cow must be Bristol, not Charlotte, as is widely assumed.
I’m still waiting for a punch line, understanding that it may be a while before anyone delivers it.
Another change is a West Coast swing early in the season – Las Vegas to Phoenix to Fontana – that makes sense in terms of travel, how much remains to be seen, but perhaps not so much in terms of the consumer. Races are expensive affairs for fans, and if Westerners want to attend all three races, it’s going to cost a lot for families still paying for Christmas and shy of tax-refund time. I don’t think as many fans will go to all three of those races, though the ones for whom money is no object will make quite the festival of NASCAR’s merry Western month of March.
Like every other sport, NASCAR caters to the rich folks, and the rest will just have to watch on TV.
Undoubtedly, these considerations have been discussed by the great minds of NASCAR and its partners.
I’m a traditionalist and a sentimentalist, which naturally puts me at odds with the bean counters and marketers, but to please me more than having the Southern 500 restored to Labor Day weekend, the Colts would have to go back to Baltimore and the Dodgers to Brooklyn. I feel like singing the opening tune of “All in the Family.”
“… Guys like us, we had it made, those … were … the … days!”