NASCAR and most of auto-racing was one of many pro sports hit the hardest in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. A large majority of companies curtailed their sponsorship, resulting in plummeting television viewers, as well as NASCAR and track attendance reaching all time lows. However, it looks as though things are about to change for the better.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is family owned and operated. Bill France, Sr. founded NASCAR, one of the most popular sports in America today.
On December 14, 1947, France began talks with prominent racers and promoters at the Ebony Bar at the Streamline Hotel at Daytona Beach, Florida. The talks ended with the formation of NASCAR on February 21, 1948; a business enterprise that endorses and presides over multiple auto racing sports events.
Many believed NASCAR was on its way out when television viewers dropped 21 percent from 2005-year highs and TV ads declined 16 percent, nearly six years ago. However, Forbes reports television viewers started returning and huge TV deals are signed and ready to start in 2015. Likewise, sponsorship, which is critical of NASCAR’s financial success, has returned.
NASCAR chief operating officer, Brent Dewar explained more to Forbes about the renewed interest in NASCAR.
“We’re seeing momentum ever since that time period, whether it be the number of fans engaging in the sport, through all the different mediums from broadcast to digital to social media. And we’re also seeing more sponsors in the sport today than we’ve ever had before.”
Rising superstars like Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Austin Dillon are charged and ready to replace NASCAR veterans, like legend Jeff Gordon.
NASCAR veteran Jamie McMurray had this to say to Tampa Bay Times about the upcoming stars of the racetrack.
“It’s been a while since we’ve really had a lot of fresh, new guys coming along.”
Joey Logano and Kyle Busch both made their Cup debuts at the age of 18. They have 37 combined victories since then.
This year, as many as nine drivers under the age of 25 will race in the Daytona 500, as opposed to only four drivers, 10 years ago. That’s not even including Chase Elliott, who is scheduled to make his Cup debut next month at Martinsville.
NASCAR racer Chase Elliott is the son of Hall of Famer Bill Elliott. Chase become history’s youngest champion in any of NASCAR’s national circuits when he won two of his first seven races last year in what’s now the Xfinity series. Elliott will also become heir to Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Chevy at Hendrick Motorsports, next year.
Jeff Gordon, the NASCAR four-time series champion said this about Elliott in a recent Tampa Bays Times article.
“You can’t prepare for what it’s like to be famous, to do autographs, to take pictures, to win at the highest level — you don’t know what that’s going to be like. But a guy like Chase, he somewhat can because his dad can give him that actual experience, or at least talk him through it to what it really was like.”
Former NASCAR champions, like Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart are in their 40s. In addition, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson will turn 40 this year. NASCAR will soon be without Jeff Gordon.
As the veterans approach their retirement, the new NASCAR superstars hope to bring the sport back into the days of glory and limelight.