• May 18, 2009
According to Nielsen, ratings for NASCAR on Fox are down by an alarming 11.5% so far this year, and while we're sure that many NASCAR haters will suggest that it's just not that interesting watching non-stock "stock cars" turning left over and over again as they circle oval tracks, race organizers and TV ratings researchers believe there's much more to the decline in viewership than that.

Certainly, the sorry state of affairs surrounding the world's sagging economy doesn't help matters any, and neither did the rain that forced an early end to the Daytona 500, the sport's pivotal first race of the season. Paul Brooks, president of NASCAR Media Group, also points a finger in the direction of Dale Earnhardt Jr, who's second season as part of Hendrick Motorsports isn't exactly going as hoped.

Regardless of its downward ratings trend in '09, it seems most experts on the subject predict the NASCAR brand will pull through over the long haul, although it will be interesting to see if/how the auto industry crisis affects the cash-intensive motorsports series. In the meantime, NASCAR and Fox are reportedly "looking at every angle" to boost viewership in the short term.

[Source: Sports Business Journal | Image: Roger Smith]


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  • 73 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      It was fun when:

      A. They raced available for sale (basically) cars with available engines. "Win on Sunday; Sell on Monday!" works.
      B. You had team owners like Smokey Yunick, Junior Johnson, The Pettys, The Woods Brothers, etc.
      C. You could bang fenders, bumpers, etc. without the 1/64th inch sheetmetal having to be replaced because it ruined the car aerodynamically.
      4. No friggin' restrictor plates.
      • 5 Years Ago
      WRC, WRC, WRC, WRC, If I say enough times will it happen?
      • 5 Years Ago
      With the cars now using most of the same templates, outdated engines that are architecturally the same, and way too many rules, it's just getting boring.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Race Mustangs,Camaros and Challengers. Not 4 door,front wheel drive , non fuel injected fake cars. How many V-8 /rearwheel drive/ 2 door cars does Toyota make? Get rid of Digger and Darrell Waltrip. Race every track once, cut the season in half - too many races. More roadcourses. Shorter races,heat races, real qualifing. No locked in 30 some cars,make it or go home. Oh, I am a Kyle Busch fan, because everyone else hates him.
      • 5 Years Ago
      1. Races last to long
      2. The cars and engines are boring - use stock cars, 5 liter, 8 cyl. engines (any configuration), no turbo/superchargers.
      3. The corporate talk coming from the owners, the drivers, the network, ect...
      4. Staged celebrations at the end of every race. Gotta get them commercials in.
      5. To much hillbilly talk. Can't grow the audience if the people their trying to reach can't understand what their saying.
      6. Don't race at the same track twice. Drop the second race and go to the many road courses in North America and have 2 sprint races. Ex. drop the second race at MIS and instead go to Road America and race two 20 lap races. After the first race reverse the grid and get racing.

      Nascar is unlikely to see to much trouble simply because there isn't a great alternative. Back in the days of CART Nascar was second fiddle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nascar and the FIA have a lot in common. There is a lot of behind the scenes drama, favoritism and questionable calls that detract heavily from racing. They are not officiating races, they are influencing races. Not to mention Nascar has whored the name out for everything its worth. They are always there to remind you that its all about money.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's funny that this is the case. I hated NASCAR with a passion up until about 2006. I watched the past couple season pretty regularly. But this year, I think I've watched a total of less than 1 hour worth of races. There just isn't anything to get excited about this year. Kyle Busch is a little douchebag prick, and that is probably turning a lot of people away.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So true. Who the hell likes Kyle Busch?!?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nascar lost me when they let the cheating Japanese in the series. They've already been caught cheating several times with little or no penalties. I recall when Bill Elliot was winning, Nascar placed restrictions on all Fords every time he won a race until they restricted Bill and the Fords completely out of contention. Folks are staying away because it no longer the great American racing series. Same for Indy, all Japanese dominated. Not a single American powered vehicle in the race.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fleming in Tennessee "Nascar lost me when they let the cheating Japanese in the series. They've already been caught cheating several times with little or no penalties."

        Looks like history lost you also.

        2009, no penalties related to competition for any make.

        2008 Points reductions related to competition infractions.
        #7-Robby Gordon and team owner 100 pts Dodge
        #99-Carl Edwards and team owner 100 pts Ford
        #12-Ryan Newman and team owner 25 pts Dodge
        #66-Scott Riggs and team owner 150pts Chevy
        #70-Johnny Sauter and team owner 150pts Chevy
        #1-Martin Truex Jr. and team owner 150pts Chevy
        #83-Brian Vickers and team owner 150pts Toyota

        2007 Points reductions related to competition infractions.
        #24-Jeff Gordon and team owner 100 pts Chevy
        #48-Jimmie Johnson and team owner 100 pts Chevy
        #2-Kurt Busch and team owner 100 pts Dodge
        #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and owner 100 pts Chevy
        #55-Michael Waltrip and owner 100pts Toyota
        #9-Kasey Kahne and owner 50 pts Dodge
        #17-Matt Kenseth and owner 50 pts Ford
        #10-Scott Riggs and owner 25 pts Dodge
        #19-Elliott Sadler and owner 25pts Dodge
        #5-Kyle Busch and owner 25pts Chevy
        #70-Johnny Sauter and owner 25pts Chevy
        #7-Robby Gordon and owner 25pts Ford
        #20-Tony Stewart and owner 25pts Chevy
        #36-Jeremy Mayfield and owner 25pts Toyota
        #99-Carl Edwards and owner 25pts
        #41-Reed Sorenson and owner 25pts


        Pssst... "Fleming in Tennessee" you haven't clue number one and very little connection to reality.
      • 5 Years Ago
      NASCAR is quickly becoming irrelevant....

      If you had to say "Yankees and "West Coasters" have ruined your sport, you sir have become irrelevant...
        • 5 Years Ago
        "ocnblu 5:57AM (5/19/2009) I agree with "Bill" in his above comment (those were the days when NASCAR was most authentic, imo), and I think "Marc" with a "c" should perhaps move somewhere where they don't have internet so we don't have to listen to his grammatically incorrect, misspelled, misinformed raving. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to my regularly scheduled programming."

        No retort? Been reduced to being the "Grammar Police?"

        Not surprised, it's what usually happens to those that trot out the time-worn crapola about Toyota and the rest of "dem damn ferineers" sending money back to the parent company.

        "Damn Toyota for sending all its cash back to Japan" is the common refrain, but when it comes to asking for consistency and ask if they are willing to allow GM, Ford and Chrysler to keep profits gained overseas and not send them back to the U.S. you get silence or... The Grammar Police.

        But hey "oncblu" - with an O - don't feel bad you have plenty of company among a near zenophobic and large group of people.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with "Bill" in his above comment (those were the days when NASCAR was most authentic, imo), and I think "Marc" with a "c" should perhaps move somewhere where they don't have internet so we don't have to listen to his grammatically incorrect, misspelled, misinformed raving. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to my regularly scheduled programming.
      • 5 Years Ago
      yes, its all Dale Jr's fault, he should have known not winning races was going to ruin Nascar. Bad junior, baaaad!

      Paul Brook's, your a dumbass, its ludicrous to blame poor ratings one one driver. Although it may be true he had a large following, the big picture is that Nascar is nothing more than boring and predictable rolling billboards, has been for a while, and the only reason its still alive today is a few names and its crashes. No technical innovation, no showcasing of driver abilities, nothing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I personally hate the points system.
      What's the point of even racing the first 26 races? You might as well built a 500 pts lead and then lose it during the first race of the Chase (that happened to Kyle Busch last year).
      Second thing I really hate is how they show favoritism to some drivers. Last year Jimmie Johnson had to win the championship, they called cautions every time he needed them in the Chase (especially at Talladega).
      Even worse, they're making Roush to close one of its five teams because they had all 5 drivers in the Chase in 2005, but they did absolutely nothing when Chevy had 9 out of 12 drivers in Chase the following year.
      Or how they immediately increased number of drivers in the Chase (from 10 to 12) when Earnhardt Jr., Gordon and Stewart didn't qualify, but did nothing when Edwards and Biffle (Top 3 in 2005) missed Chase in 2006.

      Not to mention that they knew that Toyotas are making more power in the Nationwide series last year, but did absolutely nothing until the very end of the season? I guess same thing is happening this year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Zoron - "Even worse, they're making Roush to close one of its five teams because they had all 5 drivers in the Chase in 2005, but they did absolutely nothing when Chevy had 9 out of 12 drivers in Chase the following year."

        Nothing? Um.. ALL teams are mandated to cut to 4 car/teams after this season. What Chevy had in the Chase is irrelevant all teams have the same restriction.

        Zoron again forgeting history - "Not to mention that they knew that Toyotas are making more power in the Nationwide series last year, but did absolutely nothing until the very end of the season? I guess same thing is happening this year."

        The "end of the season" was July 2008? Who'd a thunk it I always thought the end of the season was much closer to Oct, maybe even Sept.

        http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net/nascar-feeds-the-conspiracy-theorists
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is probably due to the Republican party losing so many voters. I don't think you're allowed to watch NASCAR unless you are a Republican. (hehe)
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