If you are not a fan of change, you are not a fan of NASCAR in 2020. The sport has been making it clear that a transitional period has been put in place, one that traditional fans are chanting their displeasure.
Fans have started to claim they are leaving the sport, and maybe they are, and maybe that’s not the worst thing in the world. If NASCAR evolving is something that scares people, so be it, as long as the racing remains the same, true fans will always return.
However, this next bit of change is something less political and more about the actual sport itself. The All-Star Race is changing venues from Charlotte to Bristol.
This was a shock to my system at first because I’ve lived in North Carolina my whole life and always loved that NASCAR kept that connection with the state and city, but I also know that every other sport has different cities host All-Star events every year.
A shootout at Bristol for $1 million has the potential to be the most action packed race of the era. I’m very open to Bristol for this race, but if the race next year moves over to Pocono of Pheonix, I’ll be more skeptical. However, every track and every fan base deserves a shot to see the All-Star race.
The other change that’s coming to the All-Star festivities is a new sponsor package in which the numbers will be skewed slightly to the right to allow extra ad space. Again, when I first heard this I was less than thrilled. The traditionalist in me thought about how that was something too unique to stock car racing to change.
I still hope that it is something that doesn’t get applied outside of this All-Star race, however this is not a deal-breaker for me. I think that this would take away from the cars’ overall aesthetic, but it’s another one of those things you have to really look at it and say “does it really matter?”
It’s a cosmetic change to the cars that’s only negative effect is continuing to change from the traditional nature of the sport, while the positives are teams’ ability to request more money from sponsors. This would help the NASCAR economy overall.
President Steve O’Donnell has had to get on twitter to request fans’ patience as this is just a test run. They wanted to try this out but this by no means is what we will see in the future UNLESS it receives positive praise. Though this seems unlikely given the initial response.