Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


By Simon
GoDaddy has pulled out of IndyCar.  It’s sticking with Danica & NASCAR, but as it expands its horizons into other countries, they're looking to spend their ad dollars in other sports such as soccer.  No great shocker.  Sponsors come and go.  But I was a little disappointed to read some remarks out of GoDaddy.  They were leaving IndyCar because the dollar to potential customer ratio was too high.  Simply put: IndyCar has too small a viewership.  Something we all know too.  It was pretty sad to see barely occupied grandstands at Fontana.  Yet again, IndyCar loses out to tin-topped cousins. 

This is something I don’t get, because I don’t mean to be a snob, but I think IndyCar is far more interesting to watch than NASCAR.  Open wheel cars always look cooler.  The series has one of the most world’s historic races in the Indy500.  So it should be a clear winner—right? 

Sadly, not.

So why do I people gravitate to NASCAR?  Is it stock car’s romantic prohibition origins?  Is it a regional thing?  Is it because the cars somewhat akin to the cars you can buy at your dealership?  Is the sponsors?  Why?

So for the NASCAR fans in the e-room, what makes NASCAR the tops?  I really want to know.


  1. I have been thinking about this a lot lately actually and while I haven't been a huge Indycar fan since the CART days so I can't really address that side of the coin, I have a couple of thoughts on the matter:
    1. I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that the cars are akin to what is on the dealership floor. There has always been the win on Sunday, sell on monday mentality when it comes to NASCAR. They are actually trying to get back to that with the Gen6 car in that the cars actually look a bit more like their street car counterparts- specifically in the nose of the car (well except for the Chevy only because the SS street car hasn't been released yet).
    2. The drivers seem more like regular folk who do extraordinary things than like athletes (not that NASCAR drivers aren't athletes- I don't want to get into that argument- I am just talking about perception wise from a fan outlook). It's been my experience that with NASCAR drivers- it's more of a kinship and less of an idolship when it comes to fans. Tony Stewart might act like your brother, Dale Jr might have the same personality as your cousin...they are just easier to relate to. Why this is I have NO idea. And because there are usually at least 43 drivers at every race- there is a wider range of personality types for fans: some like bad boy personalities like Kyle Busch, some identify more with the guy-next-door like Kevin Harvick...
    3. Part of it's popularity might be due to the fact that it does have a wider fan base though so it's cyclical. Wider fan base means more "non-fans" are exposed to more NASCAR fans, who in turn say "Hey want to come to a race with me" or "Want to come over and watch the race" and thus infect them with their virus.

    Then you have weirdos like me- who bebopped around motorsports before landing on NASCAR. I started out with a love of both NASCAR and INDYCAR...then migrated towards INDYCAR because it's what my local track ran. Then CART split, my local track wasn't used any more, and half my drivers went IRL the other half went CHAMP and I went off on a NHRA binge, before settling back with NASCAR as my main motorsport of preference- my main reason for returning back to NASCAR was the personalities in the sport more than anything.

    1. You could be a race fan, Amy? :)

    2. I very well could be...I do like the good roar of an engine- regardless of type :-) And would rather be at a race track of any series...than doing most things :-)

  2. I think NASCAR has gained because it got the double bonanza of FOX & ESPN coverage. Fox does amazing job with camera angles, just letting you crank up the sound without commentary & while DW "boogety" is a little corny - it is great branding. It's the equivalent of play ball & why I stray from NASCAR once it leaves Fox. ESPN gives constant coverage on Sportcenter & its own show. It will be interesting to see how that plays out after they quit showing races, Also NAsCar does better job of playing up the stories around drivers more than Indy does.