FENWICK: Our Inner Fan Has Gone

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CONCORD, N.C. — OK, NASCAR. That’s it. You win. You’ve officially destroyed our inner fan.

For perspective, we grew up during NASCAR’s boom period. Fans were flocking to race tracks all over the country to see stars like Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte and Bill Elliott battle with young guns like Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Jeff Burton.

The racing was good. The vibe coming from the garage and the stands was great. Everything was wonderful in the world.

Fast forward to Sept. 13, 2013. NASCAR, in the middle of a “race fixing” scandal involving its convoluted Chase for the Sprint Cup, added Jeff Gordon to the Chase simply because they thought he didn’t get a fair shake.

Right there. That moment right there is what officially killed our inner fan.

NASCAR is no longer about the racing. It is about pleasing the drivers, the teams, their sponsors and making sure everyone gets a fair shake.

Folks, I’d like to remind you exactly how NASCAR started. A bunch of moonshine runners wanted to see who could go faster. There was cheating — lots of it. Drivers would find any advantage — fair or not — in order to go faster and win races.

Let’s be honest, everyone in racing cheats. Some cheat more than others, but the truth is everyone wants to find another 10th on the track and often if they have to cheat to do it, they will. It happens every week in every form of motorsports. We just don’t always hear about it because a lot of times teams don’t get caught!

We think we’re just going to go back to the short tracks. The racing is great. If you cheat and they catch you they disqualify you and if you have a problem with someone you fight about it. That’s it. No muss, no fuss.

We’ll still watch NASCAR, but we can no longer consider ourselves fans. Not after this. This is simply too much to comprehend.

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Adam Fenwick
Adam Fenwick is the Associate Editor of SPEEDSPORT.com and SPEED SPORT Magazine. Both a writer and photographer, you can find him at race tracks across the Southeast covering anything from asphalt late models to dirt sprint cars.