Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is Kyle Busch Bad for Business?

You're darned if you're good and you're darned if you're not. And I hate to criticize a driver or a team for being too good. However, based on Saturday's races I've come to believe there is such a thing as too much perfection.

Kudos to Kyle for dominating both the Camping World and Nationwide races. But he was SO dominant, that for most of the day, his competitors didn't stand a chance. At one point during the Nationwide race, the car in second spot was 10 whole seconds behind him. And if this stays true for the rest, or even the first half of this season, fans will be so bored, they'll be reluctant to pony up the cost of admission tickets. In short, Saturday's outcome does not bode well for the two race series that will likely struggle the most with America's economic downturn.

Even the commentators on Saturday found it difficult to infuse some excitement into their Nationwide coverage. Their attempts mostly consisted of comments like: "the fans here have got to appreciate the enormous talent they've seen on display today." Sure, fans may appreciate it -- but no fan goes to a race to see the same car take the lead in the first lap with nary a challenger.

You could argue that there's still good racing going on back in the field. Which was true in both cases. But if those drivers don't stand a chance to take the checkers...who cares?

The attendance at the track on Saturday was clearly lackluster. The stands didn't even look packed around the start/finish line. And this is troubling. If the other teams can't get themselves in a position to best Busch (and soon) I'm afraid attendance will only dwindle as the season goes on.

And that's bad for NASCAR, bad for race fans, and bad for business.

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