Why NASCAR is kind of a mess
Posted in the Sterling Marlin Forum
#1 Sep 13, 2007
Remember when Tony Stewart said earlier this year that NASCAR is like pro wrestling? They got him to back off those comments pretty quick, but what he said sort of makes sense.
Think about the other major sports. There isn't a single one where one owner has more than one team. The reason: who's going to trust the competition level when an owner can manipulate the standings, the playoff race, the salary structure by setting up supposed "competition" among his various teams.
Also, think about how many major sports need "sponsors" so that their teams can actually compete each week? Don't tell me that naming a stadium is the same as sponsoring a race team. It's not. The naming rights for stadiums are still low enough that the annual fee wouldn't pay more than a couple players' salaries.
If NASCAR doesn't do it, someone else should start a stock car series where the ownership is like it is for major league baseball, football and basketball: the teams own the league, and they share in the league's profits. In NASCAR, the speedway corporation takes the bulk of the money and doles out only a tiny fraction to the teams. The teams - even the best ones - have to grovel to the sponsors for the money that makes the difference between running a car that finishes 35th every week and one that has a shot at a cup.
When one owner has four teams, that means he has almost 10% of the cars on the track each week. How much competition does that provide? Almost half the cars on the track are owned my multi-team owners. The single-car teams are pretty much a thing of the past, and each year it gets harder to compete if you're not a heavily-sponsored, multi-car operation.
Tony Stewart was right: anyone who believes there's real competition in NASCAR is kidding themselves. It's one step away from pro wrestling, and it's closing the gap.
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