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Uncle Sam should pull the plug

NASCAR fans might soon get some extra enjoyment out of Sundays. They’ll see their taxpayer dollars at work.
But the U.S. government would be wise to stop that sort of foolhardiness. It, after all, knows a thing or two about wasteful spending.
While GM and the rest of the Big three skid closer to bankruptcy, the government likely will step to prevent the tremendous blow to the economy.
But as Uncle Sam fills the auto industry’s tanks with cash, the Big Three will spend hundreds of millions of dollars at NASCAR race tracks. The car companies long have claimed that wins on Sundays meant car sales on Mondays. Perhaps my Internets are broken, but I have yet to find a survey that proves that. Car companies likely justify the colossal expense of motorsports because spending money there always has worked in the past.
But in today’s economy that’s not a good enough reason. The “it always worked in the past” line of thinking is the same logic that allowed mega banks to crash and burn and left the government to — knock on wood — clean up the mess.
U.S. car sales are about the only thing that has fallen faster than the housing market. And the drop comes coincidentally, or not if you’re a conspiracy theorist, at a time when NASCAR runs a car in which the only difference between Fords, Dodges and a Chevys are the stickers on the hoods.
Racing used to be a sound investment for the Big Three. You can’t beat 4 hours of network TV with big company logos flying past, sometimes in the lead at 180 mph. That’s not to mention the hokey, but market-research friendly ads that run during the races.
Today the money just isn’t there. For as much as fans might want to buy a Ford Fusion or Chevy Malibu after seeing one in Victory Lane, they can’t afford it. Until that changes, spending millions on NASCAR while having to cut millions of jobs isn’t right.
There is a solution. After all the U.S. car manufacturers have done for NASCAR, it’s time for the sport to return the favor. Send the marketing, engine and research and development costs to the France family. With a multi-billion dollar TV deal and sold-out races every weekend for the past 15 years, they can foot the bill.
Call it a NASCAR bailout.

7 comments to Uncle Sam should pull the plug

  • Dan Carmody

    NASCAR can salvage its future reputation and help the entire auto industry by changing its race format. Everybody gets one tank of fuel and the winner is the last one running. Let’s put that NASCAR marketing muscle behind something besides ubiquitous hats, jackets, and bumper stickers.

  • Ron Huber

    Sorry, but that was sophomoric. I’m not even sure what your point was supposed to be. I guess the point was that the taxpayer shouldn’t be supporting racing. Okay, I agree, but the taxpayer is supporting imbecilic wastes of money in the “stimulus”. NASCAR may go away on it’s own. It is a shadow of the organization that once existed. The one thing NASCAR should do is return the races to real devlopment. The engines, fuel management systems and drive trains should be based on the platforms consumers buy. The justification for racing was to improve the “breed”. The cars we see on Sunday don’t have much in common with the cars we drive. Having said that you can turn off the tv and make NASCAR go away instantly.

  • Sean

    Where are you getting your facts from? Do some research Mr. Bloomquist and you would find out that the manufacturers also develop the engine packages for the race teams and also help with research and development. Both R&D and Engine Development have been two major areas that NASCAR teams have needed help with in regards to the new cars. In this past weekend’s race, Kurt Busch credited Dodge’s new engine package for giving him the horsepower he needed to win. If all of our politicians would buy American cars we wouldn’t be in this situation and if people like you would stop brainwashing Americans into thinking imports=better we wouldn’t be in this situation either. Last time I checked, Chevrolet teams drive an Impala SS not a Malibu. By eliminating NASCAR, you will effectively kill the American Auto Industry. Let me guess, you think we should end all sports in America too so Americans wont waste OUR gasoline driving to a stadium or track and waste OUR money that we EARN to go see an event that we enjoy. Seriously do some research before you go off on something you clearly don’t know about. You probably supported the city of Davenport when they didn’t allow the NASCAR track that is now known as Chicagoland Speedway to be built in Davenport too right? NASCAR stimulates the economy more than you think, so do some research on that too while you’re at it.

  • Jimmie Mack

    First, I still love my racing and have since the mid 60′s. But I hardly agree that any R&D for the racetracks has any direct impact on a viable evolution of technology on the streets of America. If so, NASCAR would be racing Chrysler K-Cars. America has been making junk since the 70′s and pawning it off on us. There is a reason the big three are choking on their own vomit. They OD’d on greed and hubris. There is still time to change their ways. But they should be on their own, and go to bankruptcy, if that is what it takes to make people open their eyes. I do not believe in enabling bad business enterprises that produce crap and say, be a Patriot and buy my junk.

  • Natedog -
    Lay off the NASCAR guys, they gotta eat too. They can’t help it if the cars are all the same and all the mile-and-a-half tracks are boring cookie cutter speedways. It’s as simple as supply and demand. Fortunately for some race fans, the recession has given people a chance to attend races they once couldn’t get tickets for, like Bristol this weekend and the season-opening Daytona 500 — I actually took in the Budweiser Shootout. But as long as the races are all close to sell-outs, the Big 3 will spend the money … cause the audience is there.

    Man, you sound like a guy I used to know from up north who went to the Indy 500 with me in in 2000 Indy 500 with me, but didn’t want to go back to the Brickyard. What has the open-wheel racing scene done for us. How much of that tech do I really use?

    Anyway … I’d prefer to be supporting my area economy by heading out to my local dirt track.

  • cybermatrix

    Ah, has anyone really payed attention? Ford did not take any money, they do not need it.

  • Billd

    Racing needs to keep going strong and they should send the bills to France. I know him, he has life easy. He does get stressed out, but he is on Zoloft (he was on Klonopin until last July)for that and anxiety. But, above all, he can afford to pay the teams bills so go ahead and send him the bills. Send them to his house in Florida, that’s usually where he is at. I have ready all of your comments and I agree with all sides. Bill Diagraff

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