I think it’s interesting that over the last few weeks we’ve seen a major divide develop among those who cover this sport. The divide exists where people take their stance on whether to acknowledge the tough times the sport has had, or not acknowledge them.
During the normal Daytona testing period, we saw where some TV folks (ie SPEED) almost pretended like things were completely hunky dory. They gave us several shows of regurgitated press releases and “fluff.” And the only time we got any straight talk was on a commercial break screw up. Are they living on the same planet we are?
On the other side of this divide we’ve seen a lot of writers who, if you didn’t know better, would lead you to believe the sport is dying. And I’m going to single out many of the internet writers here. Whether professional writer or amateur, I’m getting tired of reading the same article from these folks about how the Truck Series is dying; the only difference between these articles being the byline. The Truck Series, just like the two other series, is not dying. Are times tough? You’re damn right they are. But is the sky falling? No, Chicken Little, the sky is not falling.
What I don’t understand about all this, is why can’t we have a happy medium? Lets keep the fans educated about the state of the sport AND lets keep them up to date on all the driver, sponsor, and team news. The fans are smart enough to know that we are struggling just like they are, but they aren’t dumb enough to believe their beloved sport is on the brink of complete failure.
So I’m going to do right here what more folks should have been doing these last few weeks. I’m going to give you the complete rundown in a few sentences. Here goes…
Right now the economy sucks, a lot of people are out of work (not just in racing), and times are tough. But guess what? Come Saturday night at about 8:10PM the Budweiser Shootout will take the green flag. And just a little more then seven days later, on a Sunday afternoon in February, the Daytona 500 will officially kick off the 2009 Sprint Cup season. And for many of you, by the time you read this post, cars will already be on track at Daytona. The Cup haulers made their exodus en masse from Charlotte today (Wednesday) and the track opens tomorrow (Thursday) for ARCA RE/MAX Series practice.
Racing is back folks. Despite all the lost jobs, broken hearts, and tough times.
The show must (and will) go on.
Now don’t be afraid to enjoy it. It’s okay.