This post may end up sounding self serving, but hear me out first. I think it’s time that NASCAR and the media partners start putting more of the spotlight on the faces behind the drivers. If the fans knew some of the people that work in the garage, shop, and on pit road every week, I think it would make the sport more compelling.
I’m personally not much for attention, and tend to like working behind the scenes. This blog may make you think differently about me, but one of my reasons for remaining anonymous is that I don’t necessarily want the attention. I want to bring you into the sport, but I don’t want or need any credit for doing it. Anyways, I digress.
Everyone knows who all the drivers are. You know where they are from, how they came up, and what they are involved in. The sport and the media coverage revolve around them.
Now, outside of the main players, how many crew chiefs can you name? How about crew chiefs outside of the Cup Series? What about pit crew guys? Can you name the car chief for your favorite driver? I’m betting you can’t.
Years ago, crew guys were given a little tiny piece of the spotlight. For a brief time, pit crews were featured on trading cards, and at various times during the TV broadcasts. But since then, the crews don’t get much air time.
With the recent advent of the pit crew helmet cam, a few names have started showing up during the broadcasts. Guys like DJ Copp and Dennis Terry come to mind (if you don’t know, Dennis Terry is the front tire changer for Martin Truex Jr. He has a blog over at That’s Racin that he updates regularly regarding his own experiences. Check it out). And while that is a good thing, I think it’s time to start featuring more people.
I believe it was NBC who used to intro pit crews at various points during the race. That should be brought back (for all three NASCAR series). Also, it would be cool if during the pre or post race shows each week, maybe a team or a few crew members were featured. Maybe talk about where they are from, how they got into racing, and what they do. The group of people that we are around from February to November is a very diverse bunch, and there are people from every part of this country and some other countries. And they all have a story to tell.
Wouldn’t knowing that there is somebody from your town who works on Carl Edwards team make you more interested? I know it would for me.
And this concept doesn’t have to just be the team members, as NASCAR officials could be included.
We currently have one of the best championship battles in the history of our sport brewing, and yet many headlines still continue to focus on the negatives like sponsorships and TV ratings. Letting fans get to know the real face of our sport would only benefit it in the long run.
Let that roll around in your head, and let me know your own thoughts.