Fans like this one having a selfie using Kyle Busch, at Daytona, would prefer to observe instead of parsing its own future racing.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — It is late Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway. The atmosphere is cool as well as the beer is cold. But the temperatures of these men swallowing those beverages are running plenty sexy. Maybe not too much away, at the NASCAR Dragon Energy Cup Series garageteams are busy packing up to the evening . The two winners of those Duel 150 qualifying races are done celebrating. The two teams who did not get the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500 are in their way out of their in field.
Here, in this infield’s campgrounds down below the fencing that traces the inside of Turns 3 and 4 and also where the sky is framed by palm tree silhouettesare pissed. And never about the Duels.
“Do not disturb. It’s just gonna be people complaining. That people do is whine especially when it comes to NASCAR.”
“Drives me f–ing crazy,” says Londerman’s friend, Bill Hairston, a fellow semi-retiree. Hairston claims that this is his Daytona Speedweeks. Londerman says it’s his 40th. “I have been a NASCAR fan my lifetime and I’ll be a fanatic until they irritate me. But I don’t look at nothing, read listen to nothing”
“Because I am fed up with folks running my game down all of the time. I can’t read anything or talk or listen to the radio without it all being’Wellit sucks now. No one cares .’ Walkers state it, too. Well, do you know what? I really care and Tim cares and each of these people I visit here annually, always backthey care” He cups his hands around his mouth and shouts to the RV. “HEY! Do noty’all love racing?!” Cheers move up.
By the camp site to the shores of Bill and Tom, at Daytona Beach, in the dining rooms along with party deck and the reception bar at the Streamline Hotel of Racing’s North Turn there is no lack of avid fans, or fans. All nod in agreement, If they’re told about the anger at the in field.
“Together with my loved ones there’s a’no whining’ rule. Go sit in the car if you will complain. We’re here to have fun and see racing,” explains Teresa Brookings, a pre school teacher from Georgia, since she sips white zinfandel overlooking the white sand beach where NASCAR first hurried at the 1940s. “I am no idiot. I am aware that there are problems with all that and television and attendance ratings. However, it gets people talking all the time to despair and gloom, exhausting. They get obsessed. Today, However, do you see any gloom and sadness here? I don’t.”
Stockcar racing, the game that was once the darling of Madison Avenue and press row equally, has spent months being pounded by connections such as”After turning its brakes in 2018, NASCAR putters at 20-19″ (Forbes),”NASCAR decreasing American fans” (CNBC) and”All that’s left for NASCAR may be the funeral” (Greensboro News-Record). This week, a sc news channel asked”Is NASCAR a dying game?” The Daytona Beach News Journal, the area newspaper, kicked off its always-excellent Speedweeks policy using a comprehensive interview with NASCAR president Steve Phelps that was new. The subject of conversation? Can the sport ever go back from what it was not? Phelps, to his charge, stands firm by saying,”NASCAR’s greatest days are in front of it” His positive deFIAnce was met with lots of appreciation, but plenty of”Well, bless his heart”
No, it isn’t tough to come across comment and unwanted news. That is especially true at the Cup Series garage, even where in fact the wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth and also the behind-a-stack-of-tires conversations of”The hell are we gonna do?!” Are louder than the engines being tuned nearby. All these are the men and women who leaking celebrity and are losing money.
But even among them there are people who stand with the in field fans and with Phelps. They’ve circled the wagons, particularly as the attacks on their livelihood have gained momentum.
“Listen, nobody has had a harder time than I’ve, okay?” Explains Richard Petty, whose family-owned team has won a record number of championships, races and Daytona 500 successes. But because it was founded by his dad seven years past, Petty Enterprises have had to be resurrected by broken and bankruptcy business models. “It ain’t as simple as a glass half-full or vacant type of bargain, however, you do have to make a choice. Am I gonna let that unwanted stuff be? You won’t last long, because in the event that you do this? Believe me . Or, how are you gonna song the complaining out, and also keep your eye on the ball? Do not worry about the issue. Stress about the way you are gonna correct the issue.”
The Captain is just really a billionaire who had a hand then and first in ripping apart in reconstructing racing, including the IndiaNapolis 500. “When times are hard, they have a method of clearing the area. A group will be boiled by the pressure of difficult down to only the men and women who truly think it’s great. The men and women who don’t desire to take care of it, they probably weren’t as dedicated as you needed to be”
Penske driver Brad Keselowski, who grew up in a group of scrape-by racers, was more pointed in his analysis. “Give me that the folks who want to be here when they’re tough. The men and women who look at an issue and say,’Let’s work the issue.’ Those are the actual racers. Continue is exactly what racers do. Then we are all in this together, if you truly love the sport, enjoy Roger does and just such as I do and like the actual fans do. We have to interact to find this boat turned and headed in the perfect direction”
The 2012 Cup Series champion angles his eyes on the entrance doorway of the in field construction where he’s sittingglancing toward the campgrounds. “This goes for its fans, too. Give me the race fans who are sticking together. Those are my own people. They are with us through thick or thin. Now could feel thin. If it’s thick 10, they’ll be here. And it’ll soon be again. The real fans, I really think they believe that”
All those would be the fans that Phelps has admitted that NASCAR didn’t listen to at the height of its forces, opting to push hard in to the long run that it accidentally ripped its roots out of the soil. “I really don’t think we listened to what the hardcore enthusiast needed,” he told the Daytona Beach News Journal. “Those days have stopped.”
If Petty, Keselowski, Penske and Phelps are looking to put on a focus group, they could do worse than the camp sites over in Turns 3 and 4. But Bill and Tom have a message about that. “We’d be happy to talk with all of the brass, although not this week,” Tom says as he tips a Natty Light. “Look here…”
He motions to the camp fire, where he’s a trail package of bacon. He points to the sky above, as stars fight to force their twinkle throughout the ring of light coming off the high banks of the racetrack. From the length, Hank Williams Jr.’s”Family Tradition” plays, along with squeals of delight by friends of folks racing wheelbarrows.
“I’ve got cold beer, racing, good music and great friends. Hell person, the Thunderbirds flew here today. I understand NASCAR has problems. But let us speak about that B.S. later. This ain’t the time. I don’t have one damn problem at the moment.”
Bill jumps in. “anybody who would have an issue sitting here, with the Daytona 500 on the road, their problem isn’t racing. Their problem is these “