Sweetness And LightSweetness And Light The Score On Sports With Frank Deford

Can NASCAR Steer Itself Back Into Popularity?

Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) and Juan Pablo Montoya (42) drive through turn four on a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va. i i

hide captionSprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) and Juan Pablo Montoya (42) drive through turn four on a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.

Steve Helber/AP
Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) and Juan Pablo Montoya (42) drive through turn four on a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.

Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) and Juan Pablo Montoya (42) drive through turn four on a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.

Steve Helber/AP

As the NASCAR season climaxes, America's prime motor sport continues to see its popularity in decline. For several years now, revenues and sponsorship have plummeted, leaving an audience that increasingly resembles the stereotype NASCAR so desperately thought it could grow beyond: older white Dixie working class.

Both ESPN and the Turner Broadcasting Co., longtime NASCAR networks, took a look at the down graphs and the down-scale demographics and didn't even bother to bid on the new TV contract.

Economics, of course, are part of the problem. Not as many folks can gas up the big old RV and head off to a long weekend at a track a ways away.

But there may be a couple other more fundamental problems NASCAR should face up to.

Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's take on this issue.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Sweetness And LightSweetness And Light The Score On Sports With Frank Deford
Support comes from: