Tuesday, September 02, 2008

They built it, but what will make them come?

Tony Stewart would have made a great "Hancock." We could see Jeff Gordon playing "Spiderman," in a sequel featuring the former teenage superhero as a grown man. Greg Biffle could be interesting in the lead role of the next "Bourne" movie. Kasey Kahne could work on his British accent and be the next James Bond. Mark Martin would make a great "Popeye" Boyle in a "French Connection" revival. Carl Edwards would be a natural as Eddie Haskel in a feature length "Leave It To Beaver" reincarnation.

What the heck are we talking about? We're just trying to help ISC/NASCAR come up with ways to make Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, California, more appealing to the locals in that part of the state. If some of the stars of NASCAR became movie stars as well, they just might be able to draw the Hollywood crowd to the track.

There are true NASCAR fans in Southern California. to be sure, but the heat of Labor Day in that part of the country, coupled with the reputation of the races there being "boring," results in many of them foregoing the opportunity to see a live race. Part of that will be remedied next year, when the race moves to later in the Fall, and the temperatures will be more tolerable. But, so far in its ten year history, the track has not been conducive to the type of racing many NASCAR fans want to see.

In its current spot on the schedule, not only is it on a day that many consider too hot even for a race, but it seems anti-climatic after Bristol and before the regular season finale at Richmond. Between all that beatin' and bangin', a set-up, tire, and fuel strategy race just doesn't seem appropriate.

Fox Sports'Lee Spencer doesn't think the speedway deserves a slot in the Chase for the Championship, and she does make a point in her argument. But ISC/NASCAR is stubborn, and they will not give up a date for a track that was part of their plan to make NASCAR a mainstream sport. That organization does not always make wise decisions, but it is a multi-million dollar corporation, so they must be doing something right.

Being part of the Chase could help. It will still be anti-climatic, but it will also offer a challenge in the Championship format that does not currently exist. Just being part of the playoffs may draw more fans to the track.

But the purpose of building the track formerly known as California Speedway was to draw new fans to the sport, and if NASCAR wants to do that, they will have to think much further out of the box than they are currently. Being pro-active in Hollywood by producing movies featuring drivers and other personalities as stars may not be that far fetched.


DaleJarrett4Ever said...

I will be honest here and I think it is a big mistake to give California a spot in the Chase. Do you think Arnie had anything to do with it? Maybe he flexed his muscles, well what he has left, to the NASCAR folk to intimidate them, yeah right!

This track is boring, plain and simple. Is there anyway to make it more exciting? Perhaps increase the banking or how about just build a brand new track, like that will ever happen.

Lets face it, California does not bring in the crowd and I don't think it will matter what time of the year it is for this race and just adding it to the chase is not going to change things.

You are right Jim, they definitely need to be thinking wayyyyyy out of the box on this one.


RevJim said...

Welcome back to dry land, Tom! I was going to suggest they tie the race in with a music festival. Maybe have a Guns n Roses reunion, fifty laps of the race, Guv'ment Mule, another fifty laps of the race, etc. I was going to put that in the original post, but people who don't already accept that I am crazy would think I'm crazy.