Over the years I haven’t commented on anything NASCAR too much as it hasn’t really been on my radar. Now that I spend so much time chasing the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series teams with a camera, I have more of a feel for the roundy round scene. Today’s news in the world of NASCAR is rather large, so I’m going to have a go at some commentary.
Rally fans found out yesterday that Travis Pastrana had cut his ties with Subaru. For you good old boys who don’t follow anything outside of the circle, Pastrana is a top competitor in motocross, freestyle riding and rallying. He has won multiple championships in all of them and for the past 5 years has been competing in the Rally America championship at the wheel of a Subaru.
Pastrana’s friendly, guy next door attitude, coupled with his incredible talents have garnered him legions of rabid fans. Fans that follow every move he makes. The move away from Subaru had more than a few folks worried, as there was no word about where he was going next.
That news came this afternoon: Travis Pastrana is going to NASCAR!
I can hear them good ole boys grumpin’ already.
I’ll leave the details of the deal to Jay Tomchuk, because that’s what he does best. I’ve got some things to say about the state of the nation.
Like every other form of motor racing, NASCAR has been hurting for fans. Try as they might, the marketing folks in the France empire can’t quite figure out why the younger generations just aren’t interested in go fast turn left. To say that they have had a hard time interesting the varying ethnic populace would be an understatement.
Here in Canada, NASCAR has done little to expose their series to the community at large. They’ve created a great series, but outside of racing circles, nobody knows it exists. They have even done away with the annual series banquet, in favor of awarding season winner DJ Kenninton at the main NASCAR banquet south of the border. The rest of the teams got to enjoy a mid day, mid week schmooz in Toronto’s Distillery District. Right venue, wrong event.
NASCAR has a lot of work ahead of them if they ever want to fill the stands again. Let’s hope they understand the importance of a guy like Travis Pastrana entering the Nationwide Series. If they use him correctly, NASCAR might just start to appeal to the kids north of the Mason Dixon Line.
Oh yes, did I mention that Pastrana has a habit of winning in everything he drives?