Creedence Clearwater Revival would be proud of how well the BIG WHEELS keep on turning (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProudMary) . Indeed, over the past couple of weeks since I last posted a blog, a lot of wheels have been turning. Some of what’s been happening has been purely racing — take Kasey’s performance the last two weekends. And pity poor Tony for the blown tire with three laps to go last Sunday. And Greg Biffle, second twice to Kasey in races at Charlotte.
But there’s more happening — for example, the retirement of Humpy Wheeler and the promotion of Bruton Smith’s son Marcus as president of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. And, speaking of Bruton Smith — how about the purchase of Kentucky Speedway and his announcement that there will be a Sprint race there in 2009? Still, Brian France noted during a press conference over the weekend that NASCAR would not be scheduling such a race in Kentucky in 2009; indeed, France indicated that there may be a saturation of the market in that area.
And, NASCAR — Brian France specifically—has acknowledged that gas prices are indeed affecting fan attendance. We suggested that when interviewed for USA Today over a month ago. Gas prices didn’t, however, seem to affect attendance at the Indy 500 over the weekend — 300,000 fans in attendance (even if that’s an inflated number, it’s still impressive).
Finally, I have to comment on the All Star Weekend a couple of weeks ago. As I watched the pre-race show, I immediately asked myself the philosophical question: Is NASCAR a sport or a business? I think we all know the answer — and it certainly was loud and clear in Charlotte that weekend.
At least, that the view from here.